Exciting Ways To Teach Community Helpers

One of the important lessons we cover in kindergarten or first grade is on the topic of community helpers. We generally consider this to be police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, construction workers, mail carriers, etc. This is a great way to teach about the different kinds of people who help in our community. It helps students further understand how a community works and the important roles these people play. 

There are tons of ways you can teach this lesson and make it super fun and engaging for your students! 

Here are some of my favorite ways to teach about community helpers.

  • Bring in guest speakers. Reach out to some of the community helpers in your area and ask them to come in and speak to the class! This can be parents in that profession, or friends. The guest can share what they do, how they help the community, and what a typical day in their profession looks like. 
  • Keep a journal. As students are learning about the different community helpers, have them keep a journal about the different people. They can draw pictures of them in uniform and get some writing practice by writing a couple of sentences about who they are and what they do. 
  • Discuss the differences between long ago and today. How were the jobs different? Are they easier now? This is a great activity to encourage critical thinking. 
  • List the different occupations. Use this list to get students thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. They can write it in their journal and you can go around the classroom sharing. 
  • Read books about community helpers. Whenever possible, adding a story or two about your topic will enrich your lessons. 
  • Watch videos about community helpers. There are lots of options available on Youtube. This video includes a fun song for students to sing or dance along to. 

Looking for more activities to do during your community helpers lesson? Check out my Community Helpers resource! 

community helpers

This download is nine weeks of lessons designed to easily create a journal for students to use, interactive notebook pages, posters, and so much more! It covers three topics, Community Jobs, Tools and Equipment for Jobs, and Today vs. Long Ago.

community helpers

This resource covers 9 full weeks of detailed lesson plans. You’ll get everything listed above and some extras including poems and songs, how to dial 911, cut and label activities for different community helpers, a volunteer art handprint gift, police officer hat/headband, police badges, and firefighter hats. Everything you need for this exciting social studies topic! 

community helpers

What are your favorite ways to teach about this topic? Let me know in the comments!

Looking for more social studies fun? Check out my year long social studies bundle for kindergarten and first grade!


 

How To Teach Students To Be A Good Citizen

We teach many things in the primary grades like math, writing, and reading. Apart from that, we also teach things like social skills, listening, following directions, and how to be kind. Another important subject to teach is how to be a good citizen. 

Students can be good citizens by following rules, being responsible, helping others, being respectful, and making good decisions. This doesn’t come naturally to younger learners, so we must remember this concept and include it in our lessons. 

I created my Civics and Government resource to help teach about rules and the importance of being a good citizen! 

citizen

This resource covers many concepts that will give students a strong foundation. They’ll learn how to become good citizens by teaching them about rules and laws, conflicts, and fair decisions in a fun and engaging way. It has a tattle tale lesson plan, interactive notebook pages, posters, center activities, and a Write the Room Activity.

citizen

Included in this resource you’ll get 9 full weeks of lesson plans including: 

  • Weekly detailed lesson plans for 9 Weeks
  • Home Connection parent letter
  • American History journal cover
  • Word Bank for the Journal
  • KWL
  • Printables to insert as a journal or use individually covering 9 weeks of American history
  • Rubric for the journal 
  • Nine interactive notebook pages (suggested to do once a week on Fridays)
  • An optional Interactive Notebook (If you don’t already have a spiral started for students to create their interactive pages.)
  • Classroom posters
  • Primary source activity
  • Months of the year (What Comes Next)
  • Write the Room activity
  • Sort the Pictures (rules vs laws)
  • Tattle Tale Officer – Teach students the difference of being helpful or hurtful
  • Big Problem, Medium Problem, Small Problem Posters

citizen

These activities can be used on their own or in centers! After this unit, students will understand how to be good citizens and the importance and value of rules. Check it out here! 

Looking for more resources for elementary? Check out these engaging geography activities! 

In what ways do you like to teach students to be good citizens? Let me know in the comments!

citizen


 

How Are Virtual Field Trips Helpful in Education

The world is at your fingertips thanks to technology! I find that resources like virtual field trips are terrific for providing experiences for students in your classroom who might not have opportunities to visit places across the globe.

There is nothing quite as exciting as a field trip for students. There is also nothing quite as exhausting for teachers as a field trip. Virtual field trips can provide excitement to learning about locations, animals, culture, or imagination while connecting across your subject areas. You also don’t need a permission slip signed and returned!

How are virtual field trips helpful in elementary education?

  • Teachers say that in-person trips and virtual visits provide real-world text connections.
  • Technology allows students to travel around the world.
  • Students gain cultural understanding when they are exposed to other countries.
  • Virtual field trips allow learners to engage and explore new places.
  • Teachers are not exhausted by planning and attending an in-person field trip.
  • There are no worries about forgetting lunches or finding volunteers to chaperone.
  • Students can learn about animal habitats or dangerous places like a volcano!
  • They are FREE!

It is hard to replace visiting real places to help enhance learning experiences, but during the pandemic, I found virtual field trips beneficial.

You don’t have to buy anything to make a virtual trip.  There are lots of places like the San Diego Zoo online that have fantastic links to see animals in real-time. I like to have students dress up as part of the trip theme, include writing, centers, math, or science activities to complete the field trip.

If you don’t want to plan a virtual field trip, for just a few bucks on TpT, you can find them already made and ready to take your class on some exciting adventures!

Here are a few popular field trips for K-2 Classrooms:

  • Beach Themed – Learn about beach safety and what it would be like to go to the beach.
  • Earth Day – Take your class to the recycling center safely!
  • Camping Themed Trip – See a bear and other animals while learning about camping.
  • Zoo Trip – Be their favorite teacher by taking students to the zoo! They can find hidden animals, write about the trip, take a plane ride, and more!
  • Wizard School – This is a GREAT way to teach your class about fiction and non-fiction stories. Students will visit a school for wizards, use their imaginations to write their own stories, learn about the life cycle of a frog and enjoy a home project with parents!

Virtual Beach Field Trip for Kids

Harry Potter Virtual Field Trip

I hope you have fun learning with your students this year in the comfort of your own classroom!

Read all about How to Set Up Your Virtual Classroom 

Engaging Geography Lessons For Kindergarten And First Grade

When you think of teaching kindergarten and first grade students, you often think of letters, numbers, reading, math, etc. Those subjects are extremely important, but it is also beneficial to them to introduce the subject of geography! 

Learning about the different countries around the world is so important. To these kiddos, they may not even realize that there is more out there besides what they can see. It’s so fun to teach them about all of the different countries, continents, and people around the world and watch their eyes light up in wonder. 

Learning about geography is so vital to students because: 

  1. It teaches them about the diversity of locations and cultures in other countries around the world.
  2. It helps them know where they are and what else is there- giving them a sense of location. 
  3. It helps them understand the impacts of changes in the environment on land and people. 
  4. It helps them understand and appreciate nature.
  5. It helps them understand the world and their place in it. 

For kindergarten and first graders, you want to start with the basics to introduce the topic. First, teach them about maps and globes, cardinal directions, landforms, bodies of water, etc. This will help them understand the essentials as you get more detailed in your lessons. 

After they understand that, try introducing our country and the states. You can teach students where they are located. Make it extra engaging by teaching about the locations of famous landmarks or attractions. Next, get the students involved by asking them about their favorite vacation destination and then finding it on the map together. Geography can be so fun! 

If you are ready to dive into geography with your students, I have THE go-to geography resource for you

geography

My Geography Resource includes 9 weeks of geography lessons and hands-on activities that are perfect for kindergarten or first grade students. It has everything you need including lesson plans covering positional words, landforms, bodies of water, cardinal directions, maps, globes, personal information, and seasonal weather changes. It has crafts, interactive notebook pages, posters, a “Me On The Map” flip book, and a write the room activity. 

geography

Here is a breakdown of the 9 weeks: 

  • Week 1: Positional words to describe locations
  • Week 2: Identify maps and globes
  • Week 3: Cardinal directions
  • Week 4: Identify land and water on a map
  • Week 5: School and community places
  • Week 6: Personal information (phone number and address)
  • Week 7: Landforms
  • Week 8: Bodies of water
  • Week 9: Seasonal Weather

geography

Additionally, you will get posters and directional signs for your classroom, a fun Earth hat, photo instructions of how to put materials together. 

geography

Check it out here!

For more social studies resources, check out my TpT shop!