Here's Some Ideas!
October is Fire Safety Month and what a great idea to plug that in to your fall activities! Just last year one of our kindergartners saved the day when his family’s trailer caught fire and he was the one who ran next door and dialed 911 because of what he had learned two months before! Wow! Really makes you stop and say “That lesson was time well spent!” when life gives you a reality check!
Here are some things that I do:
- I collect cell phones and other real phones that my family gives me and that I find at garage sales. When people realize that I’m getting them for my students to practice dialing 911 they sometimes give them to me free! I keep them in a big tub and my students “play” all year long with them. I have them sit in a circle and we practice passing one phone around so I can watch the numbers that they dial and make sure that they are pressing a 9 and not a 6. We really work on those 2 numbers all month long. I make sure that they know only to dial this number in an emergency. The fire fighters who come share with us that they get a few calls from children in October “practicing” their new-found skills to see if that number really works!
- This month’s FREEBIE is a darling little booklet entitled: The Flame On My Candle. It’s the perfect tie-in for explaining the importance of not playing with matches. Click on the link to print a free copy.
- I take a picture of each one of my students wearing the firefighter costume. I bought this after Halloween and keep it in our dress up box. We have an Ellison puzzle die cut. Putting a puzzle together is one of our Y5 report card standards so I trace the pieces to make a template and run these off on white paper so each child has one to lay their photo pieces on. Then I put their photo under the Ellison press and it cuts it into puzzle pieces. I put the 4x6 white template and their photo puzzle pieces in an envelope with a sticker on the front that says: Who ‘Ya Gonna Call? They are so surprised when they put it together and discover that the fire fighter that they call is themselves! It’s a wonderful keepsake for them.
- Our Kent City Fire Department is great at coming out and showing all of the children the truck, what’s on it and dressing up in all of their gear and showing them how they look sort of scary because they have to bundle up so they can fight the fire, but to not be afraid of them and to never run and hide. I take all sorts of pictures and we make a book and bulletin board display. For the b. board I simply make a big flame and collage all of the fire pictures hither and yon and have black die-cut letters at the top warning them NEVER to play with fire.
- Because they saw so many things on the fire truck we sing The Wheels On The Fire Truck Go Round & Round instead of The Wheels on the Bus. The children give me things that they remember seeing and we make up the song as we go, such as the hose on the truck goes squirt, squirt, squirt; the ladder on the truck goes up, up, up, the ax on the truck goes chop, chop, chop etc. Click on the link for a copy. Song
- This would make a great class book to make with your students. Each child could choose one item to draw. You could incorporate your real photographs if your fire department also came to visit.
- I enlarge the picture of the fire truck that I take with my students standing in front of it. I cut out laminated construction paper circle tires and attach them with brass brads. I choose a quiet child to hold it up and spin them while we sing our song.
- For some gross motor movement, I have my students STOP-DROP and ROLL. I cut red, yellow and orange felt to look like flames. It sticks to a child’s clothes. I put the pieces on a student’s back and have them roll around ‘til the flames fall off (they put the fire out.)
- I put 4 chairs in a square and then put a gray sheet over the chairs. I tell my students that this is smoke and ask them what they should do if there is smoke in the room. They tell me they need to crawl UNDER it. But wait! We need to test the door to see if it’s hot. No, it’s not! Ready-set-go! Crawl under the smoke. Stay low and go! Get out and stay out!
- I tell my Y5’s that in the olden days they had “bucket brigades”. People got in lines and passed pails of water to the fire. We have a relay race with two lines and two garbage cans. I gently crush up red, yellow and orange tissue paper so that my garbage cans look like they are on fire. I have the children pass a bucket of “water” that is not filled with any water. They start at the end of the line and pass the bucket to the front of the line. That person throws the “water” on the fire and then they go to the end of the line carrying the pail with them and then the bucket starts up the line again. The team that puts out the fire first (the one that gets through all of their people) is the winner.
- For a fine motor skill, I have children put the tiny Popsicle sticks on the rungs of the ladder on the side of a fire truck that I copy and laminate. It has 10 rungs. I have them choose two colors and show me an ABAB pattern. They do this activity on their tummies. Click on the link to print a copy. Fire Truck with Popsicle stick patterning ladder.
Here are some great Fire Safety Sites for your computer center:
- I make my students PROMISE me they will never play with matches, lighters, or fire. We have a little I promise-pledge ceremony and they sign a skill sheet contract and then I give them a certificate. We celebrate and I give them a treat and we watch several 5 minute fire safety videos. Click on the link to make copies. Fire Safety Promise Contract / Skill Sheet + Certificate
- I also send a note home to parents telling them to please have a fire safety plan established with their family which includes an escape route as well as a safety checklist of things, like do they have smoke detectors and do the batteries work? These were given to me by a fire safety service and are copyrighted so I can't post them, but I'm sure you can find some free stuff online or simply make up your own. It's great to have the parents on board.
- Click on Smokey's Kids and tool around his cabin.
- Play Smoke Jumper and River Rage
- Click on the story and listen to the firefighter talk about HER job!
- Answer the questions and print out the junior fire fighter badge
- Play Escape From the Fire, Hazard House and the Matching Game
- Become a Junior Fire Marshall and print out a certificate
- Play fun with fire trucks.
- Play Sparky’s Closet.
- Play Hot Diggity Dalmatians
- Play Dalmatianize
- Watch the “Where’s The Fire?” video
- Play are you Fire Smart?
- Play Get Fire Fighter Frank Ready For Action
- Play How Fast Can You Spot Trouble?
Well that’s just a few of the things I do to prepare my students and their families. I’d love to hear from you and what you’re doing in your classroom. So feel free to comment and share ideas with us! Wouldn’t it be great if like the little boy above you saved a life by posting an art project or idea that helped a little one remember the numbers 911 or an aspect of fire safety? All I can say is WOW!
Happy Fire Safety Month!