One of the biggest social studies topics in K, 1st, and 2nd is community helpers. Firefighters, police officers, teachers, and servers, these community helpers are important for our students to learn about. ELL’s love to learn about these neighborhood helpers as well. Although it sometimes becomes a little difficult for them to remember which helper does which job. I have always loved reviewing and working on different neighborhood helpers’ vocabulary. Here are some important things I like to include in my ELL classroom during our community helpers unit.
Community Helpers Read Alouds
Officer Buckle And Gloria By Peggy Rathmann
This is one of my favorite books. Officer Buckle and Gloria not only introduce police officers but police dogs, Gloria is always goofing around behind Officer Buckle. Their relationship grows and changes throughout the book, and Officer Buckle and Gloria realize they need each other.
Career Day By Anne Rockwell
This is a great book to show students how any person can have a job that helps their community. Every student in Mrs. Madoff’s class has family members or friends who have different careers. They each have something interesting and each student learns about different jobs and what people do for work.
What Do People Do All Day? By Richard Scarry
This book was around when my children were little and when I found it in my basement. I had to bring it into my classroom! Busytown is full of neighborhood helpers and as students turn the pages in the book. They learn about construction workers, firefighters, farmers, doctors, and more, and how these neighborhood helpers keep Busytown running smoothly.
Let’s Meet A Construction Worker By Bridget Heos
This book is part of a series all about community helpers! I’d grab as many as you can because they are probably all great! Some children are wondering what a construction worker does. They visit Mr. Moore, a construction worker who’s helping to build a new school. He shows them all the ins and outs of construction work. From different machines to building plans, the children learn so much during their visit.
I love using read alouds while learning about community helpers. They are not only great for teaching about different helpers students will see in their neighborhood. But they also help with reading standards and comprehension. I can work on building my ELL’s reading skills while also covering and learning about neighborhood helpers.
Ways to Use a Read Aloud To Help ELLs:
- Reading comprehension practice (inferencing/main idea/text features/etc.)
- Making connections text to text, text to self, text to world
- Comparing and Contrasting Skills
- Slice of Pizza Activity
Community Helpers Flap Book & Writing Templates
Now these are fun! My students enjoy them every year because they really get down to the nitty gritty of each community helper and they get to learn about each one individually. You can find the community helpers flap books bundle in my TPT store as a bundle and THEY ARE WORTH IT!
The community helpers flap books bundle come with 8 different helpers (doctor, businessman/woman, firefighter, server, teacher, farmer, fisherman, construction worker). This shows a variety of different community jobs and a variety of people who do them!
Students work through different writing activities to learn about the community helper. Included with each community helper are two different flap books and a fast facts writing page. Your students will love writing the facts they learned about the helper!
If you are not seeing the community helper you were looking forward to covering with your students in my bundle pack, no worries!
I have many other community helper flap books available:
Teaching Diversity Through Community Helpers
You’ll notice all of my community helpers’ flap books are very diverse. I have people of different nationalities, and gender in all different roles. This is very important to me when teaching ELLs. Many students are from countries who have very specific gender roles or stereotypes.
I want students to understand and learn that they can be whatever they want to be and in the USA; we do not have specific jobs for specific genders or nationalities. If a woman wants to be a doctor, she can be a doctor. If a man wants to be a teacher, he can be a teacher.
I feel it is very important for my ELL’s to understand this type of concept. We discuss the clip art on the front of our flap books and discuss questions and comments they may have because of the clip art. It often leads to great conversation (and vocabulary practice 😉).
Community Helpers is a great unit and you can learn a lot about a child’s home country from information they already know about each helper. They can also learn a lot of new information about the helpers in the USA.
Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders all love learning about community helpers and are always excited when I pull out the different read aloud books.. All students have a love for their community helpers and want to learn as much as they can about them.
Don’t forget to grab your community helpers bundle in my TPT store.
If you need other community helpers not included in my bundle, you can grab them in my TPT store as well.