Community Helpers: an important unit in any preschool
program! Put a new twist on this popular theme by asking children to think
about those in the community who help the Earth. Invite children to close their
eyes and picture the events in their minds* while you tell a story like the one
morning Ian woke up and looked out his window. The birds were chirping and the
ground looked clean. Ian stopped to think about this. Who made sure the birds
had a good place to live? Who made sure the street was clean?
and his dad walked to a city bus stop to ride to school. As Ian and his dad got
on the bus, they said, “Good morning,” to the driver. She smiled at them.
watched the people walking on the sidewalk. He saw some people riding bikes.
They were on a special bike path, built just for them. Ian especially liked
passing by the community garden. Mrs. Bertrand was standing at the gate, giving
people tools to help them care for their plants.
Ian saw a fire truck. It was not making a sound but was headed to the park. .
He saw many people standing around a tree. A cat was stuck in the high
branches. Ian’s dad explained that the firefighters would get out their ladder
and help the cat get down.
the bus stopped in front of Ian’s school, he and his dad waved to the driver.
They said hello to the high school students who were picking up trash that had
blown onto the playground. Ian took his dad’s hand as they walked into the
classroom. He wanted to show him the thank you letter he and his friends made
for the shopkeeper who had given the class birdseed for their window birdfeeders.
Then Ian was ready to start his day!
After reading this little story (and we hope you will change
names, events, etc. to make it more relevant for your area), ask children to
retell it to encourage sequential thinking. You can hold up fingers to
represent the events. This visual helps children think about the order of Ian’s
Use a chart paper to make a list of the community helpers.
Some of these community helpers are implied and you may need to ask leading
questions such as the following:
Do you think someone who walks helps the community by not
using gas? This keeps the air cleaner.
Do you think someone who drives a bus helps the community?
This offers people a chance to ride together and keeps more cars off the roads.
Would people who made a bike path be community helpers? Tell
Do you think someone who works at a garden helps the
Were you surprised that firefighters help animals, too?
How are the high school students helping the community?
Do you think the shopkeeper is a community helper? Why?
Do you think Ian is a community helper? Tell why.
This little story gives our children a window into those
that might not readily be thought of as community helpers. It shows that
everyone, even preschoolers like Ian, can make a difference in the world. As a follow-up, make a list of those who help
around your school and neighborhood. As
you know, anytime we make charts and lists, we are modeling literacy concepts
for our children.
*It is important and necessary to tell children to picture a
story. I always suggest ‘making’ a movie of it in their minds. Throughout the
years many children have told me they did not know they were allowed or
supposed to do this!
NAEYC – 2.D.01.; 2.D.03.;
Head Start – V.A.; V.B.;VII.D.; VIII.A.; IX.C.;XI.B.