Community helpers cover a broad spectrum in our society and children are taught about them in early elementary school. Having hands-on activities is a fun way to discuss what a community helper is (someone who serves the community) and what types of things they do. You can use these as an introduction to a unit for Social Studies, something you and your child do together, or independent activity as a culminating activity. Click on the image of each picture to take you directly to the link.
Whose Tools is a free folder game for your student to learn about helpers.
Community Helpers Matching Worksheet Does your daughter or son know what tools each of these professionals need for their job?
Free Sorting Mats of Community Helpers. You can laminate these for durability to be reused. This is only a sample and you can purchase additional mats for this unit.
Community Helper Hats You can use these hats for play or for sorting. The directions are easy to follow to make the hat, and there is also a video should you wish to watch it. The police officer hat is free and if you would like to receive all 10 hats, sign up for the newsletter.
Does your student like to play with puppets or write stories? Here are some adorable community helper bag puppets to make and use.
Books for your children to enjoy:
These two books are interactive, which I think will make these books interesting and enjoyable.
This is a fun matching game book with information about various jobs in the community. There is a story for each profession and a rhyming text for younger students to read.
This looks like such an interesting book. “If your hands can mix and mash, what job might you have? What if your hands reach, wrench, yank, and crank? The hands in this book–and the people attached to them–do all sorts of helpful work. And together, these helpers make their community a safe and fun place to live.” (www.goodreads.com)
Happy Independence Day! Before we go to a parade and eat hot dogs and hamburgers, how about studying what we are celebrating? Does your child know the original 13 colonies who declared independence from Great Britain? Do you? 🙂
You can have your patriot label and color the map of the original 13 colonies.
The following videos are about some of the events that lead up to the war. For older students, they can take notes on the videos. Be sure to discuss what you have watched afterward.
You can use the documents below for copywork, memorization, or recitation. I read some documents several years ago at our family gathering and what a discussion and a sense of the magnitude of what those men did for us to become an independent country settled on us that day. It made me thankful for their courage to stand up to tyranny.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Do your children know what we observe on Memorial Day? You can read this post to them; discuss the poem In Flanders Fields and have them copy it; attend a parade; visit a vet, or decorate graves of military personnel; making this holiday more personal as part of your history studies. Here is the origin of this holiday from History.com
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.
Early Observances of Memorial Day
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.
By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. It first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866, and was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.
History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.
For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
Memorial Day Traditions
Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.
Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem, In Flanders Fields.
“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Homeschooling with real books (library/trade books) is much more interesting than exclusively using a textbook. The use of literature can be used to introduce, develop, or reinforce a concept that you are teaching. You may totally agree with me and are getting excited about doing this, but then comes the next thought, “Where do I begin? What books would I use?”
Serious Fun: Homeschooling with Real Books by Kristin Draeger is just such a resource you need! Kristin shares her personal homeschool experience of how she created this 120+ page list of books, games, puzzles, videos, and music. I appreciate that she has created such a fantastic open-and-go reference guide. She has taken the time to do this so that you can do other things! Kristin has categorized the books into the subjects of math, science, history/ geography, literature, grammar, and art history. She has also created subcategories of books for students K-3 and 4th-8th grade.
I love that Kristin has included extras for your student like this CD (or streaming option) that is about addition, skip counting, and money, but also includes some art, history, and information about space.
Math games are a terrific way to practice what has been taught without the use of yet another worksheet. Kristin recommends this logic game and I second it as my sons had this when they were young. It is compact and comes with a travel bag so that it can be played in the car or taken to doctor’s appointments. If you’d rather not take it out, it can be used as a culminating activity after your math lessons. If you click on the picture, you not only see the game, but you can watch a short video on the webpage on how it is played.
Serious Fun: Homeschooling with Real Books is a great deal at just $10.00. This is one book that I think you would return to time and again for ideas for your library trips or stock your own library shelves with real books.
Note- Kristin mentions the Kratt brothers Zoboomafoo series. You can click on the highlighted link to watch these science programs for your K-3 grader since they were not released onto DVD.
Have a great week! ~Lisa~
I received a free review copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.