Fire Safety

Every year I had to make so many difficult decisions about what to teach.  Of course I was responsible for the district Kindergarten curriculum, which was based on State Benchmarks, which were developed from National Standards; but I had choices about HOW to teach that curriculum.  In Kindergarten much of the curriculum can be taught or reinforced through lots of different units.  I always tried to integrate math and language arts into our science and social studies units, and I loved to spend time on topics that my children were interested in.  But from year to year I switched off some units, and lengthened or shortened some, depending on lots of specific factors.   Some years I spent quite a lot of time on Fire Safety and Fire prevention, other years I just hit the main points.  Rachel is already planning her fall units, and asked for some ideas – so here goes!

I usually began a unit by thinking through what I wanted the children to learn, and came up with 5-6 important ideas.  For Fire Safety, like lots of other units – I loved to introduce these facts with a puppet.  You could use a bear puppet who might come and tell about his “cousin” Smokey the Bear, or a dog puppet – talking about Dalmatians and how they are sometimes called Fire Dogs.  A puppet is always an effective way to share information with young children.  You might want to make a fire hat from a red foam sheet or construction paper – I will include some simple patterns that you could resize on a copy machine to fit your puppet.

Your puppet might bring along a backpack or something to hold pictures of things like a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher, a fire engine, or telephone to call 911.  If you ever come across tiny replicas of these things that would be even better!   I found these cute pictures online:

You could even turn these into stick puppets.  Here is a suggestion of things you could tell children about them:
rules

You might like to make Fireman Fingerpuppets.  You could use one to share information, then when the children make one you could encourage them to talk abou fire safety too!

finger puppet

Here is a book about Fire Safety that I made.

Some years our local fire department would bring a fire truck to school, occasionally we took a field trip to a fire station.  Even when we didn’t have a chance to see a fire fighter in person I would talk about the protective clothing they wore, and how their face might be covered, and the noise of the air tanks.

I included the main points I wanted my class to remember in this book.  Through the unit we would discuss and read about lots of other elements of fire prevention, but these were my main focus.  I sent home a note telling parents we were discussing fire safety and encouraging them to make a family plan, and find a safe meeting place.

 We would practice touching the door with the back of our hand, and talked about the importance of closing your bedroom door at night.

I read a fun suggestion to take a piece of roll paper and have the class color it to look like smoke.  Then 2 adults could hold the edges of the paper and the children could crawl under it – as a reminder that they need to stay low to breathe more easily.

 We would talk about the importance of helping a Fire Fighter find you, and that even though you might be scared you would never hide.

We would practice Stop, Drop and Roll.  I made flames from orange, yellow and red felt glued together.  I put a flame on a child’s clothing and they had to demonstrate this technique.  They loved it!

  We would talk about how you wait until you are safely away from a fire to call 911.  We also talked about the word emergency – and how important it is to know your address to tell the fire department.

Here is a copy of this book:

Safety Rules book

I put tiny picture cues on most pages to help the children figure out what the page says.  You might want to do this entire book at one time, or just one page a day.  Here are the clipart pictures I used:

book pictures

You could simplify this a bit by just gluing on pictures instead of cutting and pasting the tree, door, etc.

I Know Fire Safety Rules clipart

Dramatic play was a very important part of my classroom – I already shared our Fire Safety play but here are a few pictures.

I turned our play center into a fire station – these “fire fighters” were answering an emergency call.  I found an old red jacket they used for a uniform.

I cut off a length of an old garden hose.  These children are sitting on “Benchley” as a fire engine – other times it was a car, plane, train, etc.

I gave a full description under the Play heading on my blog, but the fire hydrant was a gas pump covered with paper.  The burning building was a magnet board – the kids drew an apartment or office building and I taped it over the magnet board.  Then I put magnets on felt flames.  They could pretend to put out the fire and remove the flames.

Here are some song ideas – I did not make these up, but I am not sure where they originated, sorry!

Songs

I found this website

  • http://www.do2learn.com/games/songs/firesafetysong/song.htmand it contained this song, including pictures.  If you go to the site you can click to hear the music, but I found it works pretty well to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell.

    Song 1

    Song 2

    Here is another idea that someone shared with me – near the end of your unit, set up a maze using tables, chairs and classroom props.  You could give children the choice of being blindfolded, to simulate not being able to see in heavy smoke.  The children would crawl on their hands and knees through the obstacle course and then you could have a designated “safe” place in the classroom that they would run to, to meet up with the rest of the class.

    Here is one version of the story of Smokey the Bear.

    If you choose to talk about Smokey, or use a bear puppet, you might want to try this activity.  Each child could hold a simple bear shape with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other.  You could read scenarios like these and the children show whether it would make Smokey happy or sad.

    Sad bear

    Here are more craft ideas that I have accumulated in my files:

    You would also supply a circle, or tracer to cut one, for the face, and some way to make hair.

    Each child only needs one hat.

    Paperbag puppet

    coloringbook

    Here are the pieces you need to glue onto the styrofoam cup.,

    Fire stuff

    Fire truck project

    Here is a 2 page template to be taped together to make a fire fighter hat large enough for your kids to wear.

    Fire hat

    Here are a couple of books I found online.

    coloringbook

    Fire safety book

    Here is a cut and paste fire truck

    firetruck template

    fireman

    Toilet paper roll fireman

  •      Sesame Street
  • Stop, drop, roll
badges_stopdroproll
Here is a book
Book
Here are some great pictures from Do2Learn
 
 picture cards
safety picts
If you are as organized as Rachel, and starting to plan Fall and October lessons, I hope you find something helpful here!
I hope your school year is off to a great start!

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carla
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 11:08:17

    Oh, my goodness are you a wealth of information! Please come out of retirement, move to NY and become my son’s kindergarten teacher???!! You must have been so well loved by your students and their parents! Thank you for all that you share..

    Reply

  2. rachel
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 14:32:38

    Thank you so much for all the useful ideas and taking the time to organize and share them with us all! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

    P.S. I’m am so not organized! I try to be! LOL!🙂

    Reply

  3. Sam The Fire Safety Training Man
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 19:04:59

    What a thing of beauty!

    Some very creative stuff in this post about teaching fire safety to the younger guys. I like the use of puppet characters to get the ideas across, it keeps it fun and keeps their interest in the subject. If the interest in the subject is set early on in life, then it’s easier to recall an interest in fire safety later on in life, which ultimately saves lives. We should all get creative like this🙂

    Reply

  4. Laura
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 12:15:46

    I just found your site through Pinterest. I too am a teacher in Michigan and I LOVE all of your ideas! Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge!

    Reply

  5. ANGIE
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 10:57:14

    THANKS SO MUCH FIR THIS INFORMATION, I AM HOMESCHOOLING MY DAUGHTER AND I WANTED OUR FIRE SAFETY WEEK TO BE FUN, YET EDUCATIONAL. THE INFO YOU HAVE ON THIS PAGE MADE MY JOB A LOT EASIER THANKS AGAIN.

    Reply

  6. Julie
    Jan 14, 2013 @ 15:03:26

    Stumbled across this on accident while planning for my Scout den of first graders to prepare for our upcoming fire station visit while completing our My Community unit. THANK YOU!!!! YOU ROCK!!! And I will be sharing your info with our entire Pack to use for future Tiger dens. I will be doing this in the spirit of Pay it Forward by the way and not trying to steal it. I hope that’s ok. I will definately be following you from now on!!🙂

    Reply

  7. Penny
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 18:09:15

    Thanks for sharing, great ideas!

    Reply

  8. Petra Kupčihová
    Mar 14, 2014 @ 15:24:40

    Thanks very much, really great ideas!🙂

    Reply

  9. Trackback: Friday Freebie: Community Helpers: Firefighter Resources

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