COMMUNITY HELPERS THEMATIC UNIT
PROJECT: As you go on field trips, take photos of the community workers you meet along the way, with your child. Make a community workers scrapbook.
Worker Classification: Find pictures of workers in free clipart. Glue to index cards. Have your child sort the cards into different classifications: Jobs inside/outside, heavy lifting/not heavy, wears a uniform/doesn’t wear a uniform.
Option two: do the same with pictures of tools and classify the tools that go together with a worker. For example: a fire fighter would use a ladder, an axe, fire hat, water hose, etc. A secretary would use a computer, pens/pencils, desk, paper, etc.
Extension: Make a graph using the above information.
Tall-Short Game: Print the “Tall:Short Community Worker Game. ” Cut the cards apart and have your child put the workers in order by sorting and then put them in size order.
Weigh the mail: Use a small digital scale and have your child weigh the junk mail you get.
Nuts and Bolts: Have a jar of various size nuts and matching bolts. Have your child match the nut with the bolt.
Use grocery sale papers, cut out photos, and have your child sort them into groups (fruits, canned goods, meat, dairy, snacks, drinks, etc.)
Road construction: Have your child plan and construct a road. Measure the road.
Chef: Let your child help be the chef for dinner. This is a great way to begin measuring skills.
Machines: Talk about different machines workers use. Look at machines used in your home: Vacuum cleaner, tape player, clock, pencil sharpener, scissors, tools, etc.
Stethoscope: Have your child listen to his/her heart through a stethoscope. Have your child jump or run and listen again. Talk about the heart rate speeding up. Talk about how a stethoscope works.
Make toothpaste putty: For each child you will need: 2 teaspoons cornstarch, ½ teaspoon toothpaste, 1 teaspoon of glue. Mix with fingers and add in ½ teaspoon water. Mix until a lump of putty is formed. This is a neat sensory experience. Can your child shape a mouth and teeth??
Guess The Job: Hold up pictures of tools/equipment and have your child guess the job.
Extension: Give descriptions of a job and have your child guess the job.
“If I Were A…” Book: Find pictures of various workers from the computer, clip art, or magazines. For a fun twist, cut out the face on the picture and put your child’s picture in place of it. Your child should narrate the words for your book. For example: You find the picture of a police officer. Your child would say, “If I was a police officer I would arrest people.” That is what you will write or type. Do that for several careers and you will have a book your child can read. This is a very rough example of how this might look:
ABC Community Worker Book: Make an ABC book of community helpers.
A- Astronaut, accountant, architect, artist, automobile mechanic
B- Builder, bookkeeper, baker, bag boy, bus driver
C- Carpenter, caretaker, coach, computer jobs, child care worker, cosmetologist, chemist
D- Dentist, doctor, driver, dancer, Dairyman, desk clerk, deputy
E- Editor, electrician,
F- Farmer, firefighter, florist, fisherman,
G- Grocer, gardener, golf instructor, garbage pick-up
H- Historian, housekeeper, human resources officer, hair dresser
I- Insurance salesman, inspectors, interior designer
J- Janitor, jeweler, judge
K- Keyboard instrumentalist, kindergarten teacher
L- Landscaper, laundry worker, lawyer, lawn care, librarian, locksmith, logger
M- Mail carrier, machinist, mechanic, manicurist, mariner, maintenance man, massage therapist, meter reader,
N- Nurse, nursery worker (plants), nurse’s aide, naturalist
O- Office worker, Orthodontist,
P- Preacher, painter, pediatrician, pizza delivery man, pharmacy, photographer, physical therapist, pilot, plumber, police, printer, private detective, paleontologist
Q- Quilter, quarry men, quartermaster, quality controller
R- Radio personality, radiologist, real estate agent, railroad conductor, receptionist, reporter, retail sales
S- Secretary, security guard, seamstress, social worker, service station attendant, switchboard operators, salesman, sheriff, sanitation worker
T- Tailor, teller, taxidermist, tire repairman, tour guide, teacher, trainer, traffic cop, travel agent/guide, truck driver, trash man
U- Undertaker, usher, umpire,
V- Van driver, veterinarian,
W- Welder, waitress/waiter, woodworker, writer,
X- X-ray technician
Y- Yard caretaker
Z- Zoo keeper
Extension: You can make this more personal to your community by going around town and take a photo of your child in front of local businesses. Can you find one for every letter of the alphabet??
Interview: Your child pretends to be a worker of choice and you interview him/her as a reporter.
Craft stick workers: Using three craft sticks, glue one horizontally across two vertical, as in this picture:
Using basic shapes cut from construction paper, make community workers. Here is an example of a nurse and a chef.
Wood Worker art: Go to a nearby wood yard, cabinet maker, etc. and ask for the wood shavings left from planning wood. If possible, show your child a wood plane and explain how it works. If you do not have a plane at home, go to your local Lowes, or Home Depot and show your child one from the shelf. After the shavings are gathered, have your child glue them to a piece of cardstock or cardboard to make an art work.
Construction Workers can be made by using a small Styrofoam ball or even an egg cup, cut from an egg carton. Use a permanent fine marker to draw a face on the cup or ball. Use ½ of a Walnut shell glued on top as a hard hat!
Make a tool collage by having your child cut tools from catalogs and glue to a piece of cardstock. Have a different collage for different jobs. What tools would a chef use? (go to the kitchen section) What tools would a builder, carpenter use? What tools would a trash collector use? (gloves, coat for winter, etc.)
FIELD TRIP IDEAS:
So many places in your community will allow you to bring your child for a field trip. Tell them you are homeschooling and are trying to help your child be aware of the important people in your community and the jobs they do. Also, if you call and explain the interest in your child experiencing their job, they will many times give you an in-depth tour of the business or office:
- Veterinarian Office
- Post Office
- Construction Site
- Fast food restaurant
- Family owned restaurant
- Car repair shop
- Fire house
- EMT office
- Dental Office
- Advertising Agency
- Lawyer office
- Police department
- Movie Theater (reel rooms, offices, etc)
- Hotel (Talk to a manager about how to schedule, what goes into cleaning, etc)
- Distribution Center
- Each department in a department or grocery store could be a different field trip (produce, meat, stock, dairy, bakery, floral, clothing, sporting goods, etc.)
- Feed/Farm supply
- Farmer’s Co-op
Have a variety of blocks and props and suggest your child build a different environment for community workers each day: construction site, dental/doctor office, bakery, grocery store, fire station, post office, office building, etc.
One day have Worker lunch day and pack a lunch in a brown paper sack.
Smiley face snack:
Ingredients: Red apples, peanut butter (or cream cheese), miniature marshmallows.
Slice apples, leaving skin. Rub peanut butter on one side of each slice. Place miniature marshmallows between the peanut butter and you have a snack to smile about!
This is a photo from kidsgardening.org:
Fire Truck Snack:
Ingredients: Graham cracker, red frosting, chocolate sandwich cookies, pretzel sticks
Spread red frosting on graham cracker. Use pretzel sticks to form a ladder across the cracker. Place two chocolate sandwich cookies on the bottom as wheels. Searching online for “graham cracker fire truck” will result in several images.
Coming this weekend: Transportation Unit!