Learn not to Burn® – PRESCHOOL
Lesson 1
FIREFIGHTERS ARE COMMUNITY HELPERS
Teacher Information
A firefighter is a community helper who protects people from fire and keeps them safe. Firefighters
work for the fire department and can help us in many ways by putting out fires, teaching people to
prevent fires, rescuing people from fires, and responding to medical emergencies. Firefighters wear
special clothes and equipment to keep them safe. They wear special protective coats, gloves, pants,
hoods, and boots. They also wear protective helmets, use alarm devices to signal for help if they are
in trouble, and use special breathing apparatus to allow them to breathe when they go into a fire or
smoke.
Some children are scared by the look and sounds of firefighter equipment. Explaining how the
equipment helps a firefighter stay safe while working is important. Becoming familiar with the role of
the firefighter and the sight and sound of the equipment can lessen a child’s potential fear during a fire
and encourage cooperation during life-saving fire rescue incidents.
Teaching Points
• Firefighters help the community stay safe from fire.
• Firefighters wear special gear (clothes and equipment) to help them stay safe from fire and smoke.
• The equipment can look and sound scary, but it keeps the firefighter safe.
• We do not need to be afraid of firefighters even though their equipment can look and
sound scary.
Objectives
ach child will be able to:
E
— explain how firefighters are community helpers.
— explain how a uniform helps a community helper stay safe.
— acknowledge that children do not need to fear firefighters, even when they are wearing gear.
Materials
•Book: Whose Hat Is This? by Sharon Katz Cooper
• Pictures of community helpers
• Masks worn by various community helpers
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Procedure
Hook (4–5 Minutes)
1. Read book: Whose Hat Is This? by Sharon Katz Cooper
2.Explain that the clothing and equipment workers wear can be called “gear.” Discuss the different
types of gear the characters wear in the story. Ask students why the workers wear special gear.
Talk about the different ways each worker’s gear helps to keep the worker safe.
Body (10–12 Minutes)
3.Show pictures of community helpers (umpire, construction worker, chef, dentist, firefighter) with
minimal gear. Ask students to identify each picture.
After each picture is identified, ask students what the people have in common:
­
—Community helpers
— Wear special clothing
— Have special equipment to do their jobs
4. Briefly discuss how each helper works in the community and how the gear and equipment protects
the helpers and helps them work.
5. Discuss whether or not the equipment makes the workers look scary. Ask if any children are afraid
when someone is wearing a scary mask or scared by loud noises. Reassure the children about their
fears. Discuss how firefighters’ gear can be scary but the gear is important. Gear keeps firefighters
safe so they can help people in the community.
6. Use different types of masks to help children understand that masks can make people look scary
but a friendly helper can be under the mask. If possible, demonstrate with actual masks used by a
dentist, an umpire, and a firefighter. Cover the teacher’s face with a mask and remove it to reveal
the friendly helper underneath.
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Wrap Up (3-4 Minutes)
7.Sing the Helpers song to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot” with the children and review the main
points of the lesson.
Look at all the stuff firefighters wear
Boots, helmets, masks, and all that gear.
They might look scary but I know
They are helpers on the go.
Discussion questions related to main points:
• How do firefighters help the community?
• What are some example of firefighters’ gear?
• Why do firefighters wear special gear?
• Why might some kids find the gear firefighters wear scary?
• What can you say to a friend who might be scared by the firefighter’s mask or loud equipment?
Optional Extension Activities
• Visit from a firefighter — Having a firefighter visit the classroom with her or his clean gear would
be very helpful. The firefighter can show each piece of gear to the children and explain its purpose.
The children can help the firefighter get ready for work and add each piece of gear. This will allow
children to see how a real firefighter will look in full gear. Note: The firefighter should be sure to
bring only clean gear. Do not allow children to wear the firefighter’s helmet. It may be too heavy for
the child.
• Create a center activity with a firefighter template
to create a large sized firefighter cut-out. Children
can dress the firefighter in safety equipment (turnout
gear, helmet, SCBA, and so on) piece by piece.
Children can explain to peers how the equipment
protects firefighters. The children should remove the
gear to reveal the friendly firefighter underneath.
• Read the book Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do
by Kathryn Heling to reinforce the message about
gear workers wear to be safe. Have children color in
pictures of gear worn by firefighters and hang the
pictures on a classroom clothesline or allow children
to hang dress up gear on a clothesline.
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Learn not to Burn® – PRESCHOOL
Family
Letter
FIREFIGHTERS ARE COMMUNITY HELPERS
Dear Family,
We will be learning about fire safety through the Learn Not to Burn®–Preschool
program. The children will learn age-appropriate ways to stay safe from fires.
Topic include knowing the sound of a smoke alarm, practicing a family fire drill,
and staying away from hot things such as matches and lighters.
Today, we learned about firefighters. The children learned how firefighters are
community helpers. They also learned about the special gear firefighters wear to
stay safe. It is not uncommon for children to be scared by the look and sounds
of the gear. Our activities help children become familiar with the gear. This can
lessen the fear a child may have if interacting with a firefighter during a rescue.
Please talk with your child about the important jobs firefighters do in the
community. If your child is fearful about firefighters, comfort her or him by
reviewing how gear helps the firefighter stay safe. Remind your child there is a
helpful person underneath.
Together we can keep your family safe from fire.
Sincerely,
_________________________________
Family Fire
Safety Activity
Play a guessing game with your child about community helpers. This game is a
great way to fill time while riding in the car, waiting at a restaurant, or when settling
down at bedtime. Allow the game to serve as a conversation starter about firefighters
and the important jobs they do. Gently address any fears your child may bring up.
Person 1: Say, “Guess what community helper I’m thinking of.”
Person 2: Respond with “What sound does it start with?”
Person 1: Sound out the first letter of the helper’s name. “It starts with the ___
sound.” (Be sure to say the sound not the name of the letter.)
Person 2: Respond with “One more clue, please.”
Person 1: Provides a clue such as “This helper delivers letters,” “This helper drives a
noisy truck,” or “This helper keeps pets healthy.”
Person 2: Guesses the community helper.
Fire safety fun for families at Sparky.org!
NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION • 1 BATTERYMARCH PARK, QUINCY, MA 02169 • ©2014
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www.nfpa.org/learnnottoburn • Learn not to Burn® is a registered trademark of NFPA.
Learn not to Burn® – PRESCHOOL
NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION • 1 BATTERYMARCH PARK, QUINCY, MA 02169 • ©2014
9
www.nfpa.org/learnnottoburn • Learn not to Burn® is a registered trademark of NFPA.
Learn not to Burn® – PRESCHOOL
NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION • 1 BATTERYMARCH PARK, QUINCY, MA 02169 • ©2014
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www.nfpa.org/learnnottoburn • Learn not to Burn® is a registered trademark of NFPA.
Learn not to Burn® – PRESCHOOL
NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION • 1 BATTERYMARCH PARK, QUINCY, MA 02169 • ©2014
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www.nfpa.org/learnnottoburn • Learn not to Burn® is a registered trademark of NFPA.
Learn not to Burn® – PRESCHOOL
NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION • 1 BATTERYMARCH PARK, QUINCY, MA 02169 • ©2014
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www.nfpa.org/learnnottoburn • Learn not to Burn® is a registered trademark of NFPA.
Learn not to Burn® – PRESCHOOL
NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION • 1 BATTERYMARCH PARK, QUINCY, MA 02169 • ©2014
13
www.nfpa.org/learnnottoburn • Learn not to Burn® is a registered trademark of NFPA.