Postcards to Firefighters

Name: Diana Pyatigorsky

Grade: First

Subject: Community Building, English Language Arts

Lesson Title: Importance of Firefighters


Community Helpers; Fire Fighters, by Dee Ready

• Paper

• Pencils

• Markers

Pre-assessment of Student Knowledge: (A) Students have been immersed in a unit on their community. Students have explored the many aspects of their community and the importance of specific members that contribute to efficiency of their community.

(B)Students have created a local map of the area surrounding the school including the fire station, police station and hospital.

Content-Specific Standards

Danielson Framework

Domain 2: Classroom Environment
2a- Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
2b- Establishing a Culture for Learning
2c- Managing Classroom Procedures
2d- Managing Student Behavior

New York Learning Standards

Social Studies

Standard 3: Community resources provide public services that are important to life.

English Language Arts

Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding.

Health and Safety

Standard 2: Students will acquire the knowledge and ability necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment.


Students will understand why firefighters are everyday heroes and what their duties are.

Connection: Teacher will complete a K-W-L chart and ask the students what they know about firefighters. The teacher will then read aloud Community Helpers: Fire Fighters, a non-fiction book about the members of our community.


Introduction and Motivation:

Teacher will lead a discussion about the role of the firefighter and what the students have learned about the firefighter’s job and responsibilities. Students will brainstorm the advantages, disadvantages and challenges that firefighters face in everyday life.

Direct Teaching:

Teacher will lead discussion of questions:

  1. What does a firefighter do?
  2. Why do you think a firefighter is important?
  3. Why do we need firefighters?
  4. What did you learn about firefighter?

Teacher will model “think aloud” and creation of a postcard to the firefighters.


Students will draw a picture of what they like about firefighters on the front side of a postcard, including illustration details and labels. On the backside of the postcard, student will write a short thank you message.

Closure: Students present their postcards to the class and discuss their thank you messages.

Assessment: Assess understanding during conference time and during the share. Ask follow up questions if students are not confident with their explanations.

Assessment: Students will be assessed by their ability to complete their investigation report.

Teacher will assess understanding during conference time and during the share. Ask follow up questions if students are not confident with their explanations. Students will be assessed for their activity participation, their participation as audience members and their working material. Student project work will be reviewed against the rubric below.

Diversity: This lesson continues the work of opening a window into different modalities of learning such as Collaborative and Flexible grouping, scaffolding, varied time allowance, multiple intelligences, varied demonstrations, simulations, use of visuals and role play.


“A hands-on activity supports students who struggle with verbal skills” (Cornett, 2011). Using visual and tactile skills, students that struggle with writing are able to use the images to show that they understand the content. This lesson also supports concreteness of the topic with the use of pictures, labels and names.

Post Card Template

Postcard Rubric

Illustration Construction


Illustration is extremely attractive. Many different colors were used


Illustration is attractive. Some different colors were used.


Illustration is attractive. Very few colors were used.


Illustration is poorly made. Almost no color used.

Written Message


The sentences include a thorough message. Punctuation used correctly


The sentences include a good message. Punctuation is often used correctly


The sentences include a fair message. Punctuation is used correctly sometimes


The sentences include very little information or message. Punctuation is not used correctly.

Quality and Effort


Student’s work displays high quality and put forth great effort


Student put forth some effort.


Student puts forth little effort.


No effort put into project and lack of quality.


Student Work: Illustration Rubric

Illustration Concept






Uses 4 or more colors Uses 2 to 3 colors Uses 0 or 1 color No use of color


Both ground and sky Either sky or ground No background No background


4 or more additional details 2 to 3 additional details 0 or 1 additional detail No details



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