Thursday, April 16, 2015

Community Helpers

Community Helpers is such a fun topic to study in school. Kids love to make police hats and badges for art and a puppet to start a puppet show writing project. We always sing a few songs about different occupations, read these fun story books,  and do some riddles on the same topic.
Community Helper Stories. Here are some of the fun stories I read the class. For social studies we learn about communities and what that means, and we talked a lot about helpers in our community.
Community Helper Books I read to my class during Community Helpers unit. 
Then we made a brainstorm on the board of all kinds of community helpers. We would make a puppet out of 2 of them and think of a story idea with a problem that could happen to one of the puppets we chose. Then we had to come up with a solution to the problem that another puppet (community helper) might come and fix for us. We made a list of problems and a list of helpers. Then we decided on 3 opening sentences to get us started and everybody chose one.

 I  modeled how to start a puppet show with the class. Our class story had a baker that had a fire start in his bakery and called the fire department and had firemen come put out the fire. Then the baker gave some cupcakes to the firemen and they became friends after that. (gotta have a happy ending people!)

Here we are doing a match game using community helpers and what they do for us. The kids had to match up the occupations with a riddle of what they do. We did it in small cooperative groups of 3 or 4. Here are my little police people matching up their cards. (some of the boys were too "cool" to wear their hats home.) Isn't that so funny? Gotta be macho in Grade 2! tee hee.....)

We also did a few worksheets on vocabulary words from the Reading Streets story and some community helper songs.HERE are a few songs I thought were fun. I played my autoharp and we sang to a few familiar tunes.   I had the kids do a few fun activities like a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting Urban communities with Rural communities.
Here at First Palette.com was a lot of free printables of community helper people to use as puppets. We put heads on bodies out of paper and glued them to tiny popsicle sticks. 
My goal was to have them write a fictional story with a problem, a solution and the setting would be a community helper's place of business. We are learning about story structure. Then they buddied up with a partner who did their puppetry for them while they read their story in a microphone.
Here are the finished puppet shows and puppets. I forgot to take a pic of our puppet theater I got out for the occasion.It was cute seeing them taking it all so seriously. Some of them got "stage fright". Good thing we had a microphone!  It took us all week during writing workshop to finish the puppet shows. Then we read and shared them in the afternoon. HERE at only passionate curiosity are some cute visuals you could put up in a pocket chart. Another cute one that is free and downloadable is HERE at k-3 teacher resources.

 Here is our finished bulletin board. I also had a magnetic match game with these little community helper cutouts they could match up at the magnet center. I'll take a pic of that too.
 Some of the kids made more than 2 puppets, and some had extra visual aides.....like wedding cakes or butterflies.
Lots of great illustrations happened here.....yup! 
     I try to get them to learn the vocabulary in the writing process. The one before sharing is illustrating. So they learn what to do to become great illustrators; at least 4 colors, no white showing.

HERE 
are a few songs I thought were fun. I played my autoharp and we sang to a few familiar tunes. Then I read them a few stories on people that help out in our communities. We are a mixture of urban and rural where we live. And a mixture of both where houses are outside of a city is called Suburban.
Community Helper Puppets and Stories we shared last week to go along with reading The Twins Club.
Bulletin Board of our Community Helpers and our Puppet Show Stories....

We also did a fun activity using URBAN, SUBURBAN, and RURAL. We did a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast both. The kids did it on whiteboards while I did the one on the doc camera.
Kids did a venn similar to this one....
 Then we came to the rug and did a brown bag activity where they each got 3 cards (using the COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS CARDS found below at UEN) and they had to decide which bag labeled Urban, Suburban and Rural, to place it in of the 3 Vocabulary Words.. HERE at Utah Education Network are all the activities and some lesson plans to go along with it taken from our Utah core
Each bag had the caption "URBAN" or "RURAL or "SUBURBAN" and kids had to come up and place picture in the right bag. The class all helped. 

There are many youtubes about communities highlighting our vocabulary. I liked this one and it was a short 5 minute video. There are longer ones with reading blurbs on each scene too. ..
 Nice Handwriting and illustrating on all of these cool puppets guys!
 It was fun to listen to such creative stories. We have some budding authors in our class!
Community Helpers Puppet Shows
Our vocabulary for the week were  the amazing words from Reading Streets. I keep them in a pocket chart all week and we do short activities with them every day from acting them out, to switching around the words and then matching them back with definitions. Then we tested them all on Friday. 30 kids all got 100%. Way to go parents!! Woot!
 This little artist in my class won the illustration contest.  We have lots of other good illustrators too!
 Another fun things to do in this unit is to play Community Helper Bingo. A VERY easy one is HERE made by Michelle Prinzo. It would be great to put these words in the pocket chart to help the kids learn the vocabulary of different types of community helpers.
Our finished puppet shows and puppets were awesome.
 It is a fun reading unit and a great story to compare with Country Mouse City Mouse. I have 3 different versions and it's fun to read them to the kids and get a different response and perspective on each one. And we are thankful for all those community helpers we rely on.

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