RIC-20959 Early years People - Community Helpers

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Community helpers

A complete unit of lessons and activities

Early years themes—People

Published by R.I.C. Publications ® 2010

Copyright © R.I.C. Publications ® 2010


Titles in this series:

Early years themes—Places

Early years themes—People

Early years themes—Animals

Early years themes—Science

Early years themes—Fantasy

Early years themes—Fairytales

Early years themes—Special days and celebrations

Accompanying resources:

Early years themes—People Posters (set of 5)

Early years themes—People Stickers (set of 5)

Early years themes Interactive CD (Places, People,

Animals, Science)

Early years themes Interactive CD (Fantasy, Fairytales,

Special days and celebrations)

This master may only be reproduced by the

original purchaser for use with their class(es). The

publisher prohibits the loaning or onselling of this

master for the purposes of reproduction.

Copyright Information

Only the blackline masters contained within this

publication may only be reproduced by the original

purchaser for use with their class(es). The publisher

prohibits the loaning or onselling of these blackline

masters for purposes of reproduction. No other part of

this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any

means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying

or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval

system, without written permission from the publisher.

Internet websites

In some cases, websites or specific URLs may be recommended. While these are checked and rechecked at the time of publication,

the publisher has no control over any subsequent changes which may be made to webpages. It is strongly recommended that the class

teacher checks all URLs before allowing students to access them.

View all pages online

PO Box 332 Greenwood Western Australia 6924

Website: www.ricpublications.com.au

Email: mail@ricgroup.com.au

Early themes — People


Early themes—People is one of a new series of teacher resource books designed to support teachers as they impart knowledge

about commonly-taught themes in early childhood classrooms. The books contain a variety of ideas for using the themes to

assist teachers as they convey early skills and concepts using cross-curricular activities in learning centres or whole class


Titles in this series include:

Supporting materials available from R.I.C.

Early themes—Places

Publications ® to accompany these books

include posters, stickers and interactives.

Early themes—People

Early themes—Animals

Early themes—Science

Early themes—Fantasy

Early themes—Fairytales

Early themes—Special days and celebrations


Teachers notes ......................................................................... iv – xiii

The format of this series of books ............................................. iv – v

An explanation of the icons ........................................................... vi

About the artwork ......................................................................... vii

About the resource sheets/blacklines .............................................. vii

Curriculum links ......................................................................... viii

Sample social skills checklist ........................................................ ix

Sample language skills checklist .................................................... x

Sample fine motor skills checklist .................................................. xi

Sample fundamental movement skills checklist ............................... xii

Sample mathematics skills checklist ............................................. xiii

Me ............................................................................................. 1–20

Families.................................................................................... 21–40

Friends ..................................................................................... 41–60

Community helpers ................................................................... 61–80

People from other countries ..................................................... 81–100

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—People iii

Teachers notes

The format of this series of books

This series of books is designed to cater for early childhood teachers who use learning centres and cross-curricular activities as

a basis for planning activities to develop key concepts and skills. Teachers will easily be able to locate activity-based learning

within this complete compilation of ideas.

All of the five themes within each book follow the same format over 20 pages. Each theme consists of:

1. A title or cover page with

appropriate artwork which the

teacher can utilise for themebased


2. A number of pages of cross-curricular learning activities to develop the

theme. Those themes which relate closely to a specific learning area may

have more activities in key learning areas such as science. All themes

have activities which are predominantly ‘hands-on’.

3. Background information with

useful facts about the theme.

4. Concepts to be developed

provides suggested


learning outcomes to be

achieved by completing the


iv Early years themes—People www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

The format of this series of books

5. A small number of resource/blackline pages which can be used

to create games or oral language activities, as templates for art

and craft activities or as worksheets for more capable children who

are beginning to read and understand mathematical concepts.

6. Recipes relating to the theme—simple

cooking and non-cooking recipes,

including those for manipulative play,

such as ‘goop’.

7. Display ideas for art and craft or

specific learning centres.

8. A list of literature resources to

complement the theme, including

songs, action rhymes and fiction

and nonfiction books.

9. A notes section to enable the teacher

to record useful websites or resources

relating to the theme, or other

worthwhile activities or ideas etc.

Display ideas

A multicultural class

• Use a digital camera to take pictures of all the children. Pin to

a display board which has a large map of the world on it. Add

an appropriate sentence or poem. Connect lengths of wool from

the children’s pictures to the country where they, their parents

or grandparents were born. Encourage the children to view the

map as often as possible and follow the string ‘tracks’ with their

fi ngers to a country.



Multicultural hand prints

• Mix paint to match each child’s skin tone. Paint

one of each child’s hands and have them press

the hands onto a large piece of butcher’s paper

or cardboard. When dry, write each child’s name

near his or her handprint. Children could then

create a decorative border.

Multicultural dishes

• Place labels next to pictures of international dishes—Irish stew, fi sh and chips, spaghetti bolognaise, pavlova, souvlaki, roast

beef and Yorkshire pudding, trifle, satay, curry, tabouli, pizza, garlic bread etc. Display on a map of the world, linking each

dish to its country of origin.

Multicultural world

• Provide coloured paper of different skin tones for the children

to trace around and cut out their hands. Glue them all

together, overlapping on a circular blue and green shape

representing the world. Display with a suitable caption such

as ‘All the children in the world have the same hands’ or ‘We

all live together in this world’ etc.

The world

• Display a large world map on the wall or board. Write a

label for each country the children know and pin them close

to each. Focus predominantly on the children’s countries of


Around the flag

• Display the national fl ag prominently in the room. Cut and glue pictures of different faces from magazines onto cardboard

rectangles, triangles, squares or circles in national colours. Pin or tape the ‘patriotic’ coloured shapes around the fl ag.

98 Early years themes—PeoplePeople from other countries www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—People v

Teachers notes

An explanation of the icons

A number of icons have been used throughout the cross-curricular activities sections to make it easier and quicker for teachers to

locate appropriate learning activities.

Fine motor activities—building with blocks, puzzles, sorting, sand and water play, sensory items

such as ‘feely boxes’, playdough or clay work, threading, chalkboards, construction using recycled

materials such as boxes

Outdoor play—sand and/or water play (see also ‘fine motor activities’); gross motor activities such as

climbing, balancing, bikes, scooters, jumping, throwing, obstacle course activities etc.; tracking activities

using balloons and bubbles etc.; other messy art activities

Dramatic play—home corner, dramatising stories, dress up, puppets, shop etc.

Art and craft—free painting, directed and supervised painting,

craft (assisted and independent)

Computer—suggestions for simple games or activities (usually

individual or pairs) or relevant internet activities

Cooking—supervised activities, some of which use heat and others which do not

Games—indoor or outdoor games relating to literacy such as card games, memory

games etc.; mathematics, singing games, any physical education games involving

movement etc.

Writing—tracing, copying, writing on, and with, different things—cards, different types of paper etc.;

adding patterns or stripes etc.; tracking and following paths, dot-to-dot activities etc.

vi Early years themes—People www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

About the artwork

All the artwork in this series of books is:

• age-appropriate

• teacher- and child-friendly

• an additional resource to help develop the theme

• suitable for enlarging for:

~ colouring

~ handwriting

~ dot-to-dot sheets

~ use as templates for art and craft activities

~ visual texts to encourage oral language development.

Some artworks are based on simple shapes to support learning in the mathematics area;

others are more elaborate. It is expected that early childhood teachers will view an illustration

based on shapes and be able to use this idea to develop concrete play activities using shapes

or as a technology and design project. More elaborate artwork is used to demonstrate a

teaching resource which needs to be made, a recipe, game or other activity.

Examples of artwork relating to art and craft activities have wide, bold, easily visible cutting outlines to allow the children some

variation in the cutting path they will use.

About the resource sheets/blacklines

Resource sheets/blacklines contain:

• simple, age-appropriate artwork

• prominent visual clues

• little or no text

• visual clues to support text pages

• few instructions, so as not to confuse beginning readers

• teacher instructions in the margins with a number of different

suggestions for using the resource sheet/blackline

• literacy and numeracy activities.

These resource sheets/blacklines are included as valuable timesavers

for teachers.

It is anticipated that the teacher will enlarge any pages to A3 size

and photocopy them onto more durable paper or card, to make

them easier for learners of this age group to manipulate.

The cross-curricular section of each theme includes a reference to

resource sheets/blacklines relating to specific activities.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—People vii

Teachers notes

Curriculum links

All the learning activities in this series of books support the key learning areas of the current curriculum documents.

In particular, one or more activities also support each strand of the new English and Mathematics National Curriculum. The

specific strands from the National Curriculum relating to each activity are denoted by the words in brackets in the English and

Mathematics learning areas of the cross-curricular section.

For example, in the ‘Me’ theme:

English ‘Practise observation skills and initial sounds by playing ‘I spy’.’ (Language)

Mathematics ‘Children count how many of their steps it takes to: walk around the sandpit, walk around the perimeter of

the playground, walk to the library and so on.’ (Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry)

Reference to both is shown below.

Relevant curriculum reference






National Curriculum: refer to pages 6 and 11 of Shape of the Australian Curriculum: English

National Curriculum: refer to pages 6 and 7 of Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics

National Curriculum: Science learning activities also support pages 6 and 7 Shape of the Australian

Curriculum: Science

Belonging, being and becoming: The early years framework for Australia (2009)

Refer to Early years curriculum guidelines page 55 (Table 9: A

summary of the learning statements in the early learning areas)

and pages 61–75.

Refer to ‘Early years band: Age 3–Age 5’. South Australian

Curriculum, Standards and Accountability at < http://www.decs.

sa.gov.au/ >.

Refer to Victorian essential learning standards Level 1 at

< http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/vels/level1.html# >.

Refer to K-3 scope-and-sequence charts at < http://k-



viii Early years themes—People www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

Sample social skills checklist


Student name

separates easily

from parents

interacts readily with


interacts readily with


shares with others

and takes turns

participates in group


cooperates with



responsibility for

own behaviour

respects the property

of others

respects the feelings

of others

listens without


expresses feelings


solves simple


is developing an

awareness of the

wider community

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—People ix

Teachers notes

Sample language skills checklist


Student name

communicates needs clearly

articulates most words correctly

relates personal experiences

contributes to discussions

uses age-appropriate


articulates most initial sounds


asks appropriate questions

speaks in complete sentences

relates events in order of


able to tell a story from pictures

retells a familiar story without

pictures or clues

uses simple compound


responds appropriately to

questions about himself/herself

listens to a story for a given

length of time

follows simple two-step


knows his/her first and last


recognises rhyming words

answers simple oral cloze


labels emotions such as happy,

sad, angry, scared …

x Early years themes—People www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

Sample fine motor skills checklist


Student name

completes simple puzzles

builds a tower of eight or more

small blocks

dresses himself/herself (apart

from buttons and shoelaces)

manipulates playdough to

create a specific object

places small pegs in small


threads small beads

uses scissors to cut out simple

shapes and pictures

completes simple folding


uses a knife, fork and spoon


holds a crayon or pencil


colours within lines

writes or copies own name

draws and copies simple


copies a sequence of letters or

numbers adequately

traces or recreates patterns

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—People xi

Teachers notes

Sample fundamental movement skills checklist


Explicit teaching


Student name

balances on one

foot (static balance)


jumps vertically

catches a ball or



throws a ball or

beanbag using an

overarm movement

gallops sideways



kicks a ball

strikes a ball or

object using a twohanded


dodges a ball or


xii Early years themes—People www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Teachers notes

Sample mathematics skills checklist


Number and algebra Measurement and geometry Statistics and probability

Student name

recognises numerals 1 to

writes numerals 1 to

rote counts to

places numerals to

in correct order

understands one-to-one


understands ‘more than’ or ‘less


able to do simple addition and

subtraction using concrete materials

shares collections

creates or completes a pattern

measures using everyday items

makes comparison of size and


recognises basic shapes

identifies attributes of objects and


aware of use of devices for

measuring (scales, tape etc.)

shows awareness of

(money, temperature, time etc.)

sorts or orders objects

is aware of collections and

presentations of data

interprets data in a display

makes predictions about chance


R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—People xiii

Cross-curricular activities


• Provide pictures depicting a

number of different situations

that would require the services of

various community helpers; for

example, a child with an aching

tooth would need a dentist. Show

children matching pictures of

those helpers. Discuss what each

community helper does and what

is happening in the pictures. (Refer

to blacklines on pages 71–73.)


• Use the community helper pictures

on pages 71–73 (without cutting

them into sections) to create

cards. Copy a number of each on

card, cut out and laminate. Use

to play ‘snap’ and ‘concentration’


• Create a ‘What am I?’ booklet for

each community helper in the

shape of his or her hat or piece

of equipment. Each page gives a

pictorial clue and a written clue for

children to identify the helper. The

last page shows the helper in full

uniform with all his or her tools and

equipment included. (Literacy)

• After learning about hospitals,

each child writes his or her name

on a thin strip of paper. Cover with

clear adhesive wrapping or tape

and attach to the child’s wrist as

a band similar to those worn in

hospital. (Literacy)

• Place note pads, blank ‘prescription

forms’ and a keyboard in the

writing area to create a doctor’s

surgery. (Literacy)

• Give names to a selection of

community helpers. Choose

names with the same initial sound;

for example: Felicity, the firefighter,

Nathan, the nurse. Laminate

pictures with names added and

hand out to children seated in

a circle. Using a large alphabet

display, ask ‘Does anyone’s helper

begin with the sound ‘a’? As

children put their hands up, they

say the name and occupation of

their helper; for example: Angus,

the ambulance officer. Continue

for other letters of the alphabet.


• Children seated in a circle take

turns as they play, ‘I went to town

and met … (Patsy, the plumber)’.

Children have to remember all the

people met so far, in the correct

order. To help them, those who

have had a turn hold up their

pictures. (Literacy)

• Provide a variety of paper; envelopes and stamps; pencils, crayons and markers for the writing corner; and a bag (to put

mail in). Paint a large box in ‘postal’ colours, cut a slit to push mail through and allow the children to write or draw a ‘letter’

to place in the mail bag to ‘post’ to another member of the class. If desired, provide a postal worker’s hat to wear when

posting their letter. (Literacy)

• Read books about different community helpers. Make an illustrated list of those read to the children. Children draw images

or find pictures in magazines or newspapers. Use them for games such as ‘Who am I?’ or to place in the writing centre.

(Literacy, Literature)

• Watch TV productions related to different community occupations; for example: Postman Pat, Fireman Sam, Bob the builder,

Percy the park keeper, Construction site, Hilltop hospital. Discuss the characters. (Literacy)

• Collect pictures of specialised vehicles; for example: fire engine, police car, ambulance, IRB (inflatable rescue boats),

ferry, barge. Discuss what each does and the name of the community helper who uses it. If desired, label each (with the

initial letter printed in a different colour). Show the cards one by one, saying each name and emphasising the initial sound.


• Over a weekly period, hold a ‘Job in a bag’ news time. On their special ‘news’ or ‘show and tell’ day, ask the children to fill

a brown paper or plastic bag with items relating to the jobs of their parents. Encourage them to borrow (with permission)

part or all of their parents’ uniform to wear, and place in the bag items relating to the job. Be sure that they are able to say

the correct name of their parents’ job; for example, ‘My mum is a graphic artist’ or ‘My dad is an engineer’. To aid word

recognition, write a sign for each child which says ‘My mum is …’ or ‘My dad is …’. If many children have both parents

working, have one week when the occupations of mothers are presented and a second week when the occupations of fathers

are talked about. (Literacy)

• Play ‘Who am I?’ One child selects a community helper from an illustrated list. The child gives clues, such as ‘My clothes

protect me. I use a hose’. The other children try to guess the community helper. (Literacy)

62 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Community helpers – 1


• Cut large, colourful pictures of community helpers into

four or six pieces and laminate to make puzzles for

the children to complete. (Refer to pages 71–73.)

(Measurement and Geometry)

• Collect and cut out a variety of used postage stamps. Let

the children sort them in a variety of ways, such as by

size or colour. Count the amount in each group.(Statistics

and Probability, Number and Algebra)

• The children make firefighter hoses of different lengths from

playdough. Order from longest to shortest. (Measurement

and Geometry)

• Glue fire engine, ambulance or hospital pictures to paper

plates. Paint with clear glue to coat. Write the numbers

1 to 10 on different plates in thick marker. Ask selected

children to place a given number

of plastic or cardboard figures of

fire people, ambulance officers,

doctors or nurses on the correct

plate. (Themed birthday party

plates could be used.) (Number

and Algebra).

• The children use plastic dolls

and bandages to make up number

stories; for example: ‘Polly needed four bandages on her

arms and three on her legs. How many did she need

altogether?’ (Number and Algebra)

• Give the children used envelopes of different sizes.

The children use 2-cm cubes to measure the area of

the envelopes. Count and record the number of cubes

needed for each. Decide which has the largest area.

(Measurement and Geometry)

• Draw around different mathematical shapes arranged to

create outlines of community helpers or their equipment.

For example, a square and three circles for a baker’s hat;

circles, squares and rectangles of different sizes for a fire

engine. (Measurement and Geometry)

• Provide pattern or construction blocks, and pictures for

inspiration, for the children to create fire engines, police

cars, hospitals, ambulances etc. Laminated block picture

cards may help guide some children. (Measurement and


• Use the outline of the fire engine on page 74 and ask

the children to cover the area with red sticky dots.

(Measurement and Geometry)

• Collect two of as many different kinds of disposable

bandages as possible and stick them to index cards and

laminate. Ask the children to match the pairs or sort them

into groups. (Number and Algebra)

• Provide a number of fire engine, hospital, ambulance or

police car shapes on a sheet of paper for each child.

Write the numbers from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 on each. Call

out a number or roll a dice, then ask each child to stamp,

cross, tick or place a coloured dot on the correct amount.

(Number and Algebra)

• Place different-sized ‘firefighter’ buckets in the water trolley

for the children to experiment with volume. (Measurement

and Geometry)

• The children place two craft sticks on the floor or table

in front of them to form the sides of a firefighter’s ladder.

They roll a dice, collect that number of matchsticks and

place them to make the rungs of the ladder. More capable

children can roll the dice twice to make simple addition

problems to solve. (Number and Algebra, Measurement

and Geometry)

• Place a variety of 2-D and 3-D shapes in a postal bag.

Play ‘Pass the parcel’, with the children closing their

eyes, and choosing and naming a shape when the music

stops. (Measurement and Geometry)

• Create a ‘community helpers emergency phone book’. Children learn one phone number at a time. (Number and Algebra)

• Children watch as two plastic thermometers, two plastic syringes and two plastic stethoscopes are placed in a doctor’s bag.

They then put up their hands to indicate which item they think will be pulled out of the bag as it is emptied, one item at a

time. (Statistics and Probability)

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 63

Cross-curricular activities


• If possible, obtain a real stethoscope for the children to use to listen to their own heartbeat in the same way that a doctor or

nurse does. Alternatively, use a paper cup with the bottom cut out. The children gently press the larger end of the cup to the

chest of a friend and place their own ear against the small end. (This works best if the children don’t hold onto the cup.)

• Trace the children’s hands on a sheet of paper. Ask them to colour an index card heavily with a lead pencil to

make a layer of graphite. Then ask them to rub each of their fingertips on the graphite and have an adult place

clear tape on each fingertip and press firmly. The adult pulls the tape off and sticks each to the corresponding

finger on the hand outline. When all fingers are completed, examine the fingerprints using a magnifying glass

and talk about the ways police officers use fingerprints in their work.

• List the names and jobs of people in the school who help

to look after the school environment; for example: Mr

Green, the gardener.

• Discuss ways in which the children can look after their

school environment; for example: putting rubbish in the

correct places, taking care of plants.

• Discuss parks or nature reserves found in the local area.

Name the people who work to look after the natural and

built features of these areas. Include the rangers and vets

who look after animals.

• Identify hot and cold objects and places in the home or

at school. Discuss which are safe and those which are

not. Reinforce the fire officer’s rules for safety around hot

objects and how to call emergency numbers.

• Discuss appliances in the home or at school that use

electricity or gas. Imagine what would happen if the

energy needed to make these appliances work was not

available. Name the people who help to provide energy

to the home and school. Talk about what an electrician


Health and physical education

• Provide textured materials for

the children to use to cover large

outlines of emergency telephone

numbers (e.g. 000)

and encourage

them to feel and

memorise them.

• Create a ‘Body bandage’ book for

each child. Place different body

parts and their names on each

page. Ask individual children to

identify the body parts on his or her

own body and put a disposable

bandage on the picture of that

body part in his or her own book.

• Set up an obstacle course of

activities related to different

community jobs; for example:

climbing a ladder (climbing

frame) like a painter or a firefighter;

running like a police officer to

catch a criminal; cycling on a

trike, pretending to be a postal

worker delivering mail; running

like a firefighter and carrying a notso-heavy

load such as a beanbag,

or dragging a ‘skipping rope’ hose

over a short distance or rolling it


• Discuss jobs which are very

physical (active) (such as

landscape gardening, tree lopping,

bricklaying, house painting etc.),

and those which are not physical

(such as a computer programmer,

writer etc.) Role-play to show how

these people mow grass, trim

bushes, water plants, dig soil,

build walls, paint a house, type

on a keyboard etc.

• Reinforce safety rules for

emergency situations, such as

there being a fire. Role-play what

to do.

• Invite various community helpers, such as a dentist or dental nurse, to the

classroom to show the children how to clean their teeth correctly.

• Discuss how to stay healthy (and not have to go to the doctor) by eating healthy

food, exercising, washing hands and using medicines correctly.

• Discuss a chemist’s job with regard to supplying medicines to make us feel

better when we are sick. Explain that only grown-ups should give out medicines

and tablets.

• Move to healthy action songs and

poems; for example: ‘The dentist

tells me’. (See page 80).

64 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Community helpers – 2

Society and environment

• Discuss the different community

helpers required to put food on

our tables. For example, milk: the

farmer tends and milks the cows,

the tanker driver collects the milk

from the farms, laboratory workers

check the milk is safe, plant

workers process the milk, truck

drivers transport the packaged

milk, store workers stack the milk

in the shops, cashiers sell the

milk to the customer. Count how

many people are needed, copy the

number onto a milk carton shape

and draw the correct number of

stick figures to represent them.

• Play variations of ‘Pin the tail on

the donkey’; for example: ‘Pin the

helmet on the firefighter’, ‘Pin the

badge on the police officer’.

• Make a collection of pictures of

the vehicles used by different

community helpers. Play

games matching the vehicles

to their helpers.

• Collect offcuts of plastic plumbing

pipes from a trade store and place

them in the construction corner

for the children to use to make


• Identify and match items to the

community helpers who use

them—a book to a librarian, a

chef’s hat to a chef, a paintbrush

to a painter, a hammer to a builder

or carpenter, brush to a hairdresser

etc. After matching each, role-play

how to use the tool or item.

• Join together several cardboard

milk cartons in layers, and paint

or cover them with clear adhesive

wrapping for the children to roleplay

postal workers sorting mail.

• With parental (and the shop’s)

assistance, visit the local

supermarket to see shop assistants

working and to buy ingredients

for a meal. The next day, use the

ingredients and allow the children

to be chefs to help cook a meal.

Select some children to be waiters

to take small plates of food (with

assistance) to other children.

Change places to ensure that each

child gets to role-play and receive

food to eat.

• Invite a ranger to talk to the class

to tell how she/he helps to look

after the natural features of a

specific area. Talk about the ways

children can help to look after their


• Look at the different modes of

transport used by police officers:

– bicycles, horses, motorcycles,

cars, vans, boats etc.

• Ask the children to relate personal

experiences of visits to the doctor,

dentist, barber etc. Arrange for the

children, with parental assistance,

to visit the local police station,

hospital, fire station, post office

etc. to see community workers in

action. Of course, be sure to obtain

permission for the visit.

• Talk about the different community

helpers at school and the jobs

they do (paid and unpaid).

Take photographs of the helpers

and display in an ‘Our school’s

community helpers’ gallery.

• Ask the children to draw a futuristic

vehicle or space vehicle that police

officers or firefighters may use.

• Discuss what mums and dads

and other adults wear to work.

Some wear uniforms: ‘Why do they

need them? What do their uniforms

look like?’ Show pictures of some

uniforms: ‘Are some uniforms worn

for safety reasons; e.g. warmth, to

keep them cool or to make them

easy to see?’ Ask the children to

describe the uniform of their mum or

dad (if they wear one). Ask relevant

children to bring in photographs of

their mums or dads in their work

uniform, or ask them to visit while

wearing their uniform.

• Show and discuss pictures of the

places where different community

helpers work; for example: a dental

surgery, a building site, a restaurant

kitchen, a fire station.

• Make a ‘Community heroes’ gallery

of pictures of those helpers who face

danger in their jobs; for example:

firefighters, air-sea rescue, miners,

gas and electricity power workers.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 65

Cross-curricular activities

Technology (and design)

• Provide plastic ferry or cargo boats for

carrying toy cars, trucks and cargo

across a waterway (the water play


• Use large wooden blocks to construct

a ‘community’ with a hospital, library,

police station, fire station, school,

shopping centre, homes etc.

• Design and make a fire engine or

police vehicle model with moving

cardboard wheels.

• Design and make a fire engine; police

wagon, car or bike; or ambulance

using 2-D pattern blocks or coloured

paper shapes.

• Complete a week-long technology project: On day one, pretend to be architects

and construct a design for a playhouse. On day two, pretend to be builders

and, using a large packing box or similar, build the playhouse—complete with

a letterbox and windows—as a class (wear plastic hard hats and ‘workboots’

for safety). On day three, pretend to be house painters and, wearing paint

shirts, paint the playhouse. On day four, write letters to other class members

and place them in the letterbox of the playhouse. On day five, plant and water

seeds in soil in window boxes and, after the children have gone home on day

five, insert plastic or silk flowers in the window boxes. When the children next

arrive in class, they’ll receive a big surprise!

• Provide toy tools and explain how each is used to fix or make things. Allow

the children time to play with them in the play corner. If possible, provide

large nuts and bolts for them to join together (under adult supervision).

• Look at the checkered pattern on some police uniforms

and vehicles. Weave strips of blue paper between vertical

cuts on a large white outline of a police car to create the


Visual arts

• Make creative outlines of medical tools. Place old tweezers,

bandage strips and medical scissors on a sheet of paper

and spatter with paint. When dry, remove medical tools

and attach outlines to a medical bag outline.

• Use cardboard rolls cut to size for the children to create

a gallery of community helpers. Cut out a rectangular

strip of paper to wrap around the roll, to make the body,

face, arms and legs. Draw specific features to show the

uniforms. Give each helper a name and use in creative


• Have children trace the shape of a police badge onto

card. Assist them to cut it out and cover with aluminium

foil. The children use a thick marker to write their own

name carefully on the badge. Punch a hole near the top

to insert a safety pin for each child to pin the badge on his

or her chest to wear during

dramatic activities.

• Make a fire officer’s helmet

or police officer’s hat to wear

for dramatic play. (Refer to

the blacklines on page 69

and 70.)


• Provide each child with a plain

cotton or canvas garden glove

and thin colour markers to draw five different community

helpers—one on each finger. In the palm of the hand

write ‘Community helpers’. Use as finger puppets.


• Cut out two semicircular or rectangular shapes from black

cardboard to make a doctor or nurse’s bag for dramatic

play. Punch holes around the bottom and side edges

for the children to sew or lace both shapes together with

thick wool, making sure they leave an opening at the top.

Leave long ends of wool or tie a strip of material to the top

corners to make a handle. If desired,have

the children paint a large red cross

on it. Provide a bandage, a plastic

pair of scissors, cotton buds or

cottonwool, and a tongue depressor.

Alternatively, provide a blackline of outlined pictures of

items to be coloured, cut out and placed inside the bag.

(A similar shape in brown card can be used for a postal

worker’s bag. Capable students can copy the word ‘mail’

onto their bag using white crayon.)

• Provide orange, red and yellow chalk for the children

to draw flames on the cement outside the classroom.

Provide squeeze bottles full of water for the children to be

fire fighters who ‘put out the flames’. (Play this game on

a hot day and do not use excessive water!)

66 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Community helpers – 3


• To the tune of ‘The farmer in the dell’, compose a

community helpers song with the children; for example:

‘The gardener mows the lawn, the gardener mows the

lawn. Up and down the grass he goes; the gardener

mows the lawn’. The children perform actions as they


• Attach simple outlines of hats of community helpers to

craft sticks. With children, label and name them before

playing the game. The teacher sings or chants a verse

and holds up one hat for the children to identify (call out)

who wears it. The verse is: ‘What can I be, when I wear a

hat like this? I can be a (name of worker), when I wear a

hat like this’. Selected children can be chosen to say the

verse and choose the hat.

• Puppets or pictures are needed to play this singing game.

Select one child to walk around a circle of children. All

sing: ‘When I went walking down the street, down the

street, down the street; a community helper I happened to

meet. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho’. The child walking

selects a community helper puppet or picture to dance

with and the group continues to sing: ‘A rig, a jig-jig

and away we go, away we go, away we go; a rig, a jigjig

and away we go; heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho’. The

next child is selected to walk around the circle. Refer to

pages 71 to 73 for pictures.

• Sing ‘Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?’ with

one child wearing a police officer’s hat and indicating a

particular child who is the cookie ‘thief’. Refer to

for words and instructions.

• Listen to and identify the sounds of emergency vehicles such as police and ambulance sirens.

• Sing songs, such as ‘Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick’, and ‘Who are the people in your neighbourhood?’

(from Sesame Street; see ).

• Provide simple child-size cut-outs of

different community helpers (police

officer, firefighter, doctor, nurse, dentist

etc.) and full-length mirrors. Cut out

head-size holes for the faces so the

children can use their own and see

themselves in the mirror. Play a game

where the children must place their face

in a cut-out without looking at who it is.

They then ask questions to guess who

they are. (Refer to pages 71 to 73 for

reference pictures.)

• Provide tweezers, gauze or a bandage

and a bowl of coloured water. The

children must pick up the bandage using

the tweezers and place it in the bowl of

coloured water. (Later, the bandage may

be used to create a picture.)

• Make pretend stethoscopes for dramatic

play by covering an egg carton cup with

aluminium foil. Tie string to the cup to

hang around the children’s necks.


• Teach, and ask the children to role-play, the procedure for making a

phone call to the emergency services.

• Make fire officer finger puppets from an oval

(about 3.75 cm x 6.25 cm) and a rectangle

(7.5 cm x 2.5 cm) of felt. Glue the rectangle

around the child’s ‘pointer’ finger, add marker

dots for buttons; fold the oval in half, cut a

semicircle on the fold and insert over finger for

a helmet. Use the marker to draw a face on the

child’s finger.

• Provide yellow raincoats, gumboots, plastic helmets (or ice-cream

containers cut and painted the correct colours) and pieces of garden

hoses or old vacuum cleaner hoses. Two 1-litre plastic bottles taped

together can be oxygen tanks. A fire truck can be constructed from large

packing boxes, painted red.

• Cut holes in used white pillowcases for a doctor’s or vet’s uniform. Place

stuffed animals in the play corner or dolls in beds. Provide bandages

for children to care for sick patients. The stove can become the X-ray

machine and the table for examining patients (dolls or stuffed toys).

Plastic doctor’s kits are readily available from toy shops.

• Provide bubble wrap, recycled postage stamps, envelopes, boxes, tubes,

paper, pens and a mailbox for post office play; or walkie-talkies, blue

shirts, notepads, pens, badges and hats for police officer play.

• Mark a road on a large rug or outside (using masking tape) for the

children to practise crossing the road safely.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 67



Teacher background information

The aim of the unit ‘Community helpers’ is to highlight the roles of the different occupations people have within the community

and to identify their uniforms, specific tools, equipment and transport. The focus of this unit is the following workers: police

officers, fire officers, doctors, nurses, dentists and postal workers.

Children will come to realise that community jobs are not performed in isolation but are part of an intricate web of needs and

responses to those needs, for everyone in the community.

Young children may have already had direct contact with a number of community helpers; for example: the doctor, nurse, dentist,

librarian, crossing patrol warden, teachers and mail carriers. They may also be aware of the emergency services, (the police,

firefighters, ambulance paramedics) and many of the domestic services; for example, the person who comes to fix the washing

machine, install the TV aerial or unblock the main drains.

In the early years, it is appropriate to consider only the occupations which are visible and obvious to the children.

It is important for children to appreciate that all jobs have their place within the community. A community has many parts, all of

which are essential to its smooth running. Ask the children to imagine what would happen if doctors, garbage collectors or bank

officers didn’t do their jobs for a week.

Many activities in the unit suggest using laminated colour pictures of different community helpers and their associated tools/

equipment/vehicles. If a large bank of these is prepared in advance, they can be used repeatedly.

A collection of uniforms, plastic tools, equipment and toy vehicles will also be very helpful.

Introducing a few unusual and interesting community occupations will capture their interest and imagination of children and

encourage them to ‘think outside the square’ when answering the question, ‘What job would you like to do when you grow up?’

• In the community, there are many people who help us.

• Different people do different jobs within the community.

Concepts to be developed

• Some people wear special uniforms, require special vehicles and/or work in special places.

• Some people help us in our homes, and others in our schools.

• Some people work to keep us safe, and others look after our health and well-being.

• A community relies on people in different occupations for its success and survival.

• All jobs can be done by men and women.

• Some people provide a service, others produce goods.

• The work of some community helpers is obvious, for others it is not.

68 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Fire officer’s helmet



Instructions: Copy the template onto yellow cards and assist the children to cut them out. Cover each badge shape with aluminium foil and write a child’s name on it. An adult will need to cut the dotted

section to be folded up.

56 cm


43 cm

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 69

Police officer’s hat

Instructions: Use as a template to trace around on coloured card or as a blackline copied onto card for the children to colour. Attach to a strip of cardboard stapled to fit each child’s head.

70 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Community helpers – 1

Instructions: Colour the pictures. Cut out each segment. Randomly order the segments within each body part, including with those on pages 72 and 73. Students match the segments to make whole

pictures. Teachers may wish to separate the name labels for ‘reading’ and ‘matching’ by more capable students. Teachers can also ‘white out’ the internal cutting lines and use the pictures as flashcards

or to make multiple copies for memory games.

Pete, the police officer

Dayna, the doctor

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 71

Community helpers – 2

Fred, the fire officer

Pam, the postal worker

Instructions: Colour the pictures. Cut out each segment. Randomly order the segments within each body part, including with those on pages 71 and 73. Students match the segments to make whole pictures.

Teachers may wish to separate the name labels for ‘reading’ and ‘matching’ by more capable students. Teachers can also ‘white out’ the internal cutting lines and use the pictures as flashcards or to make

multiple copies for memory games.

72 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Instructions: Colour the pictures. Cut out each segment. Randomly order the segments within each body part, including with those on pages 71 and 72. Students match the segments to make whole pictures.

Teachers may wish to separate the name labels for ‘reading’ and ‘matching’ by more capable students. Teachers can also ‘white out’ the internal cutting lines and use the pictures as flashcards or to make

multiple copies for memory games.

Community helpers – 3

Nick, the nurse

Deeta, the dentist

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 73

Cover the fire truck

Instructions: Cover each section of the fire engine with coloured blocks. (Or use as inspiration for the children to create a fire engine picture with coloured shapes or pattern blocks.)

74 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Missing numbers

Instructions: Read the numbers on each row and write the missing number(s) to complete the row. Teachers can ‘white out’ the numbers drawn and write any five numbers between one and 10.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 75


Dentist delight

A sweet treat to keep the dentist very busy.

• 400 g icing sugar

• 400 g grated coconut

• 400 g tin condensed milk

• few drops red food colouring


Mechanic mixed salad


• 125 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

• 1 tbsp. chopped basil

• 2 tsp. lemon juice

• 2 tbsp. oil

• 3 zucchinis, sliced into rounds

• 1 red capsicum, sliced into thin strips

• 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered


• Grease and line a lamington tray. Sift icing sugar into a

large bowl. Add 200 g of coconut and all the condensed

milk and combine thoroughly with spoon. Add remaining

200 g of coconut, mix by hand and create a ball. Divide

the ball in half. Add food colouring to one half and blend

in. Press into prepared lamington tray. Press white mixture

on top. Cool in the fridge for one hour. Cut and serve.


• Boil zucchini in water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse in cold

water. Dry with kitchen paper. Add all ingredients to salad

bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, add a dash of

salad dressing and mix gently. Chill for one hour before


Firefighter fish fingers


• 8 fish fingers

• 2 slices of cheese, each cut into four strips

• 2 slices of lean ham, cut into small pieces

• tomato paste


• 1 small can tuna

Teacher treats

• 1 small can creamed corn

• 1 beaten egg

• 6 slices of fresh bread, crusts removed


• Spread tomato paste on top of each fish finger. Add a slice

of cheese to each finger. Sprinkle with ham. Arrange fingers

on a baking tray and bake at 200 ºC for 10–15 minutes.


• Place tuna and corn in a bowl and mix well. Add the egg

and mix well. Spread the mixture onto the slices of bread,

make sandwiches and cut each into 4 triangles. Spray a

frying pan with oil and fry triangles until they are golden

brown. Place on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil and


76 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®


Librarian lips

A laughing treat to keep the librarian sweet.

• 2 slices of apple

• 6 miniature white marshmallows

• small portion of red jam



Lifeguard loaf

• 100 g mixed dried fruit

• 125 mL milk

• 125 g butter

• 115 g caster sugar

• 3 beaten eggs

• 250 g self-raising flour

• 1 tsp. lemon zest


• Spread jam on curved section of each slice of apple.

Arrange marshmallows on the jam of one apple slice.

Place the second slice, jam side down, on top of the

marshmallow ‘teeth’.


Plumber platter

• 3 pickled cucumbers, quartered lengthways

• 2 carrots, cut into thirds with each third quartered


• 6 thin slices fresh bread, crusts removed

• 12 stuffed green olives

• 12 pitted black olives

• 12 tinned button mushrooms

• 12 cherry tomatoes

• 6 slices cheese

• 6 slices ham


• In a bowl, add

milk to dried fruit

and set aside

for half an hour.

Grease and line a

1-kg loaf tin. Beat butter

and sugar until light and

creamy. Beat in eggs. Add

fruit, milk and lemon zest. Sift

in flour and blend gently. Pour into

loaf tin and bake at 180 ºC for one hour.


• 115 g plain flour

• 300 mL milk

• 2 beaten eggs

Police officer



• Place a slice of cheese and a slice of ham onto each slice

of bread. From a corner, roll the slices and secure with a

cocktail stick. Arrange all the ingredients in the segments of

a platter, with the ham and cheese rolls at the centre.


• Sift flour into a large bowl. Add milk and egg and beat to a

smooth batter. Set aside in fridge until ready to use. Spray

a frying pan with oil and heat. Pour three tbs. of batter into

frying pan and tip to cover base of pan. When golden on

underside, flip and heat on other side. Top with favourite

filling and roll up, ready to serve.

R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 77

Display ideas

Community helper mobiles

• Provide large outlines of different helpers and their equipment for children to decorate in appropriate colours using a range of

craft materials. Use different lengths of string to hang the finished work from wire coat hangers.

Life-size community helper

• Draw the outline of a child on butcher’s paper to create a model template.

Transfer to sturdy cardboard and cut out. Make a base so that the figure is

free-standing. From construction paper, cut out different clothes for children to

decorate with collage materials to make community helper clothes/uniforms.

Next to the models, have a box of community helper name strips with a small

picture of the helper for identification. Children take turns to choose a strip

and dress a community helper. The name strips can be attached to string and

hung around each model’s neck.

‘Who is hiding?’ chart

• Divide a large sheet of card into squares, each large enough to accommodate a picture of a community helper. Children draw

and colour the helpers and place them randomly on the squares. Divide a second sheet of card into the same size of squares.

Cut three sides within each square to make a flap. Staple the second card on top of the first. On each flap, glue pictures of tools

or equipment that will identify the helper. Children can take turns to guess which helper is hiding beneath the flap, and to name

the tools and equipment and explain how they are used.

Post office

Fire station

My neighbourhood

• Make a list of places in the community: zoo, museum,

library, hospital, petrol station, fire station, shopping centre

etc. Select a child to paint a picture of each place on a

large sheet of art paper. When dry, the children cut out

the places and attach them to a large board to create a

neighbourhood or community. Choose different children to

draw, using another medium such as markers or pastels,

different helpers actively engaged in their work; for example:

firefighters putting out a fire or rescuing a kitten from a tree,

a traffic control person helping school children across the

road, a lifeguard rescuing someone in the ocean/pool.

Attach the community helpers to the neighbourhood scene

with appropriate labels. Use the display for discussion.

Health helpers

• Paint or decorate large pictures of community helpers associated with looking after our health: doctors, nurses, dentists,

opticians, paramedics, sports coaches etc. Display two at a time, changing them each day. Under each, write a cloze sentence;

for example: ‘The (optician) looks after my (eyes)’. Provide name strips of all the helpers and the parts of the body the helpers

look after, each with a small picture for identification. Children take turns to place the strips in the correct places in the cloze


Fingerprint flames

• Combine two community helpers with this fun activity! Fingerprint the children, using orange and yellow paint (just like a police

officer). When dry, have the children draw simple flame shapes (to associate with a fire officer) around the fingerprints, and then

cut them out. Glue onto black paper or card with brown rectangles at the bottom, representing logs in the fire.

78 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

Literature resources – 1


Grandma drove the garbage truck by Katie Clark

The jolly postman and The jolly Christmas postman by Janet

and Allan Ahlberg

Postman’s dog by Lisa Shanahan

Hugo the flying firefighter and Hugo the lifesaving sailor by

Lorette Broekstra


A day in the life of … series includes: a childcare worker,

a dentist, a doctor, a farmer, a firefighter, a police officer, a

teacher and a veterinarian by Heather Adamson; a zookeeper

and a garbage collector by Nate LeBoutillier; a nurse by

Connie Fluet; a librarian by Judy Monroe

Whose hat is this? by Shaton Katz Cooper

Whose tools are these? by Shaton Katz Cooper

Whose vehicle is this? by Shaton Katz Cooper

A day with … series by Jan Kottke, includes: firefighters,

paramedics, police officers and a mail carrier

I want to be a … series by Dan Liebman, includes: a doctor,

a librarian, a nurse, a pilot, a police officer, a teacher, a truck

driver and a vet

I drive a garbage truck by Sarah Bridges

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems



Three men in a tub;

And who do you think they be?

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker;

And all of them gone to sea.

Doctor Foster

Doctor Foster

Went to Gloucester

In a shower of rain.

He stepped in a puddle,

Right up to his middle,

And never went there again!

(Note: ‘Gloucester’ is a two-syllable word [Glouce-ster], and is

pronounced ‘Gloster’, rhyming with ‘Foster’.)

This is the way

(Sung to: ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’.)

This is the way we mail a letter,

Mail a letter, mail a letter.

This is the way we mail a letter,

So early in the morning.

The big red fire truck

See the big red fire truck,

With a ladder on top,

Going to a fire where it will stop.

Hear the wailing siren,

‘Move over! Let me pass!’

Speeding to the fire,

It gets there at last.

Unwind the hose.

Turn on the tap.

Water shoots up

And the fire goes out.

The wind starts to blow

And the smoke drifts away

The fire truck goes home

Until another day.


(Sung to ‘Three blind mice’.)


Help’s on the way. Help’s on the way.

If I need help, I know what to do.

I can call the police and the fire people too.

It makes me feel safe to know what to do.


R.I.C. Publications ® – www.ricpublications.com.au Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers 79

Literature resources – 2

Songs, action rhymes, fingerplays and poems

The dentist tells me

The dentist tells me to brush my teeth,

Up and down and in between.

The dentist tells me to brush my teeth,

To keep them nice and clean.

The dentist tells me to drink my milk,

For good strong bones and healthy teeth.

The dentist tells me to drink my milk,

And look after the gums underneath

Where is the doctor?

(Sung to ‘Where is Thumbkin?’)

Five police officers

Five police officers, standing by the store;

One directed traffic, and then there were four.

Four police officers, watching over me;

One took home a lost girl, and then there were three.

Three police officers, dressed all in blue;

One stopped a speeding car, and then there were two.

Two police officers, how fast they can run;

One caught a bank robber, and then there was one.

One police officer, standing in the sun;

Sun went down, he went home, and then there were none.

Where is the doctor?

Where is the doctor?

Here she is! Here she is!

Making us feel better,

Making us feel better,

She’s our friend!

She’s our friend!

(Other verses may include: Where is the police officer? …

Chasing all the bad guys! Keeping us safe!; Where is the

nurse? … Helping out the doctor! He’s our friend!)


80 Early years themes—PeopleCommunity helpers www.ricpublications.com.au – R.I.C. Publications ®

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