Monday, September 7, 2015

Honoring First Responders on 9/11

The 14th anniversary of September 11th will be here this Friday and as a second grade teacher, I always want to incorporate it in my plans but at the same time I want to leave out most of the details. One of the best ways I've found to honor the day is by focusing on first responders and how they are good citizens in the community.  And I think it's even more important to honor our first responders this year due to everything that has been going on in our country. As the wife of a police officer, I have personally felt the shift from first responders being honored to frowned upon.  So here are some simple and fun ways you can honor first responders in your classroom this week.  

Find A Local Event

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce or the Police Department to find out if there are any local events being held to honor first responders.  In our town there is usually a luncheon for all police officers at the police department. If you're able to find a local event, ask the coordinators if your students can provide thank you cards, posters, or placemats (if it's a food event).
These are the placemats we made one year for a local event (these could also be turned into posters).  Before completing the placemats we did a mini-lesson on character traits to tie in some ELA standards. :) 
(I have a list of character traits in my First Responders Are Good Citizens Packet.)

Check Out First Responder Books

Head to the library and check out a variety of books on first responders.  Select the best one and save it for a read aloud and spread the others throughout your classroom for your students to read during the week.  

If you want to tie in ELA standards, you can use these sheets from my First Responders Are Good Citizens Packet. The first sheet focuses on using the pictures or illustrations to gain meaning, and the second one focuses on retelling important points and questioning.  Plus, these worksheets are designed that you can use them with any text throughout the entire school year. 

Write About First Responders in Their Lives

Have your students write about a time when they had a first responder help them or a family member. If there are unable to think of a time when they interacted with a first responder first hand, have them write about a time they saw first responders helping someone else. Maybe it was a time when they saw a car accident or a picture from the newspaper.  And of course, have them illustrate the story and then share it with their classmates. 

These are just a few quick-and-easy ways you can focus on how first responders are good citizens.  I know there are many more! If you have any other great ideas, please share them in the comments below! 

If you're looking for a packet that contains more ideas and activities about first responders being good citizens, check out my First Responders Are Good Citizens packet!

First Responders and Patriot Day (9/11)

Have a great week! 

-- Leah 

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