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Fire Safety for Young Children Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-SFY0201
Submitted by: Sue Bouchard and Claire Gerin Buell
Email: sdbouchard@mediaone.net and wbcggbeb@greennet.net
School/University/Affiliation: Dr. John C. Page School, W. Newbury, MA
Endorsed by: Diane Edwards, Salem State College

November 25, 2001

Grade Level: Preschool Education, Kindergarten


  • Health/Safety

Duration: Two 45-minute sessions

Description: Students learn about the role of a fire fighter along with important fire safety tips.

Goals: To enable students to act safely in the event of being in a structure while it is on fire.


  • Students will demonstrate their ability to crawl to safety by crawling to a fire fighter, who is wearing full gear.
  • Students will identify fire fighters as helpful members of the community.
  • Materials:

    • Sesame Street Visits the Firehouse , Children’s Television Workshop, 1990 (Video)
    • Fire Fighter Brown by Harry Bornstein and Karen L. Saulnier
    • Fire Fire! by Gail Gibbons
    • a white sheet (to simulate smoke)
    • a bell (to symbolize a fire drill)
    • large red construction paper
    • scissors
    • blue construction paper
    • markers or glitter glue
    • glue sticks
    • white paper
    • black paper
    • ink pad
    • scotch tape
    • red crayons
    • The Wheels on the Fire Truck Handout
    • The Wheels on the Fire Truck Handout in .pdf format; requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

      Click the icon to obtain the free Reader.


    [Ahead of time, arrange a visit from a local fire department.]

    Learning Activities (conducted a day prior to the fire fighter’s visit) :

    • Before enacting this lesson, it may be useful to have a practice fire drill. Tell the students in advance that they will practice leaving the building quickly and quietly. After the drill, emphasize that you left the room suddenly, if appropriate, without coats.
    • Fire helmets – Draw an “arena” shape (a rectangle with rounded corners) on a piece of large red paper. Also draw an oval inside the “arena” shape. The children cut the “arena” shape which becomes the outside edge of their helmet. Then students cut the narrow half of the oval which becomes the forward part of their fire helmet. Then students can decorate their identifying badges. The “badges” are oval pieces of blue construction paper which the children decorate with markers or glitter glue. Then students glue their “badge” to the front part of their fire helmet.
    • Show the video, Sesame Street Visits the Firehouse . Have the children sing, “The Wheels on the Fire Truck” (see handout in Materials ).
    • Read Fire Fighter Brown , by Harry Bornstein and Karen L. Saulneir. This story exposes the children to the sign language gestures for fire, siren, and fire fighter. Another book that can be read is Fire Fire! by Gail Gibbons. This book shows fire fighters putting out fires in the city, country, forest, waterfront, etc.

    Visit by local fire fighter(s) :

    Tips: Talk with the students beforehand to see if any of the children have had frightening experiences with fire or fire fighters in the past. Encourage the fire fighters to enter the room in civilian clothes and to carry in their gear. Ask a fire fighter to put on one piece of safety clothing at a time. After each addition, the fire fighter may want to ask an open ended question, i.e. “How do I look now?” [ Author’s Note: Our fire fighters mentioned that if they go on a call at night time, they put their gear on over their pajamas!]

    Ask the fire fighter to talk with the children about safety tips. The fire fighter may discuss the emergency phone number for the area and when to use it. The fire fighter may cover the procedure of stop, drop, and roll which is used when a person’s clothes are on fire. He or she may ask the children if they know two ways to get out of their house. The fire fighter may also discuss how to “fall and crawl” to safety from a smoke filled building.

    Have students lay on their stomachs while you wave a sheet over them (to simulate smoke). Encourage the children to crawl away from the smoke and across the room to the fire fighter (dressed in full gear). Take students outside so that they can look at the fire engine. Give students time to walk around the fire engine. The fire fighter may be willing to demonstrate the varied apparatus. Ask the fire fighter to avoid starting the siren on the fire truck. Allow at least 20 minutes for this part of the activity.

    Assessment: The students will be able to crawl to a firefighter who is wearing safety apparatus. Ask students to share the fire safety tips that they learned today.

    Useful Internet Resource:
    * Staying Alive
    Staying Alive is a non-profit organization that promotes public safety education. Staying Alive has developed a successful age-appropriate curriculum program targeted at K-8 students to raise awareness about fire safety.

    Special Comments: We made an accordian-type thank you card shaped like a fire truck for the fire fighters. We took white paper and cut it into ten 5-inch by 5-inch squares. On each square we wrote a letter of the words THANK YOU! The children made a red frame around the edge of each square. Then they made thumb print people next to their letter. The thumb print people were made by an ink thumb print decorated with faces, arms, and legs. The children that knew how to write their names signed the back of their card. Then the letters were connected with scotch tape. The teacher added the black circle wheels and the cab of the fire truck to the card.