Sunday, March 3, 2013

Community Helpers!

One of my favorite parts of my week is the "Language Group" I teach to our preschool class. It's a short, 30-minute, theme-based lesson that is always so much fun. I love planning for it and I love giving my students the chance to practice language skills in such a functional way. Plus, since the preschool is a combination of typically developing peers and students who qualify for special services, my students get great modeling and social interaction throughout.

A couple of weeks ago, we finished up a unit on "Community Helpers." I always get so excited for this unit because talking about firefighters and policemen not only gets my kids talking, but also gives me a great way to practice and introduce "who" questions. Here are some things we did:

First, we sat as a group and sorted items that belong to a firefighter, mailman, or doctor. We introduced some vocabulary terms, talked about "Who would need this?", and "What does a _______ do with a ______?"

Next I divided the kids in to three groups or stations. I'm lucky enough to have my preschool teacher and a paraprofessional help split up the work on this! They are life-savers! 

Group 1 (or the doctors) drew pictures of body parts out of an envelope and then put a band-aid on the drawn body part. We targeted positional concepts, vocabulary, and "where" questions here.

Group 2 (the firefighters) sorted items as "hot" or "cold".  This was a great way to target the concept of temperature, answer yes/no questions, and even some of those higher level questions like "Could a toaster catch on fire?"

Group 3 (the mailmen) matched "letters" (index cards) with a variety of shapes/colors on them to a corresponding envelope. Then the kids had to put their letter and envelope in the correctly colored mailbox. This was by far the favorite of everyone, as they really loved these little mailboxes I found in the Target dollar section. It was a great way to work on sentence expansion ("Three green circles"), preschool concepts of colors/shapes/counting, the concepts of same/different/matching, and PLAY, of course!

I included all of these activities in a packet for you below. I would love to hear what you think and if you do groups in your school too!

Community Helpers Packet


  1. Hi Casey, what cute activities. Thanks so much for sharing. When I click on the link though, the page that comes up does not have the bar to download the packet, it only allows you to print. Is this an error on my side?? Thanks.

  2. Thanks for letting me know, that is my mistake! I think I fixed it, but let me know if you have any additional trouble!

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