Science, Physical Science, Social Studies
Grade 1- 3
Students learn about fire safety and fire fighting equipment.
This lesson can take place over a week to coincide with a safety week or Fire Prevention Week or can be taught as a separate social studies unit. Begin by discussing some general fire facts with students. This is designed to be an oral exercise to establish a general base of information. See what the students do not know and give them the information that they do not have. Expand on and discuss the different ideas for reinforcement.
Controlled fire is one of humanity's best friends. Primitive people used fire for heating, cooking, turning clay into pottery, and light. Except for furnishing light, fire is used by people today for much the same things. Fire also furnishes the energy for running steam engines and other machines. It is used to separate metals from their ores and for many chemical processes.
Uncontrolled fire is one of humanity's worst enemies. Fires have caused many deaths and billions of dollars in property damage in the United States. Some fires are brought about by natural causes. Lightning often starts forest fires. Some fires are caused by carelessness, and others are set on purpose.
Distribute a copy of your school map to each student. Take a walk around your school and note the position of fire alarm boxes, fire extinguishers, and fire hydrants. Have students mark all these on their maps.
When you get back to the classroom, pool all of your information and make one good copy of the map. Run off enough copies to give to the school office and for each classroom in the school to post for their information and safety.
Give some consideration to discussing the serious offense of giving a false alarm. Most schools have very severe penalties for this kind of misbehavior, and students should be warned ahead of time of the consequences of pulling such a prank.
Have students draw a sketch of the floor plan of their homes, indicating doors and windows and second stories if they have them. If they live in apartments or condominiums, have them show stairways and attached buildings.
Send these sketches home with students so they can discuss them with their parents and make family plans for escaping from a fire.
Have students create fire prevention posters. Remind them to think of good slogans and use simple, bright pictures and big letters. Put the posters up around the school.
Fire Fighting Equipment
Distribute a copy of the Fire Fighting Equipment activity page to each student. Have them do research to find out about each kind of engine. Then they can color the engines. If time permits, have them draw lines and labels to identify the different equipment on the fire engines.
- encyclopedias or other illustrated reference materials
- school map
- writing materials
- large paper or poster board
- Fire Fighting Equipment activity page