This post is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and Sparky.org to raise awareness about fire safety.
National Fire Prevention Week this year falls on October 9th-15th, and I recently learned about some terrific free resources you can use to help teach PreK-5th grade students valuable fire safety skills.
For many years, teachers have been turning to resources created by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). All the stories and games feature the iconic Sparky the Fire Dog in his yellow fireman uniform, and there are supplementary lessons, videos, and other resources that make learning about fire safety easy and memorable.
Each year, the NFPA releases a new app for fire safety awareness, and this year, it’s called Sparky’s Firehouse. This latest app may be the most robust one yet. Unlike Sparky’s Brain Buster, another app released by the NFPA, Sparky’s Firehouse contains more than one game and has a bunch of other activities as well.
It’s great for educational games to play at home (the website and app can be accessed by parents to enjoy with their children) and for teachers who have access to mobile devices in their classrooms. The games can be used for introducing fire safety, recognizing smoke alarms, and getting to know people who work to keep the community safe.
One of the fun games you can play with the entire class is Sparky’s Eye for Safety. It’s similar to “Where’s Waldo?” but kids search for objects related to fire safety. This is perfect for PreK-1st grade students.
For something a little more challenging (geared toward grades 1-3), try Crack the Code. In this game, Sparky the Fire Dog will have to collect notes with codes written on them. At the end of the level, students will try to use the codes to solve the puzzle.
As always, the Sparky School House website is a must-visit for fire safety resources. The site categorizes music and videos according to grade level, making it easy for teachers to find resources suitable for their kids. The music videos are engaging and interactive–I highly recommend them for the PreK-2nd grade set.
There is also a section of the website called Digital Backpack which features all the videos, apps, ebooks, and lessons and activities on one page with the additional ease of one-click sharing — under each resource are links to social media sites, email, and download to simplify access.
Figuring out how to integrate the games, music, and videos into your instruction is simple because there are lesson plans provided. One of the lessons that you can find in the Digital Backpack is the Fire Prevention Lesson Plan, which is a 45 minute lesson that appropriate for students in grades 1-5.
For the very youngest students, there’s a preschool program called Learn Not to Burn which is designed for children aged 3-5. The program features five lessons that will acquaint students with firefighters and community helpers, teach about what to do in an emergency, how to recognize danger, and more.
The awesome thing is that there is also a Spanish version of the program to help teachers accommodate ESL students.
There’s also the Parent Letter that you can send home to help educate students’ families about fire prevention. This is a guide on how to check smoke alarms in the home. The letter is available in both English and Spanish.
Older kids may want to take home activities such as How to Make a Home Fire Escape Plan so they and their families can determine in advance how they will respond in case of a fire.
Overall, I’m really pleased with the resources the NFPA created this year for fire safety, and I think this might be their best collection of resources yet. Head over to the Sparky School House website and see which resources will be best for your class! If you have a favorite, please share it below in the comments so other teachers can utilize it, too.
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