Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fire Prevention: Do You Believe that Kinders Can Do THIS? (and a FREEBIE)

The book Fire Truck! by Ivan Ulz is my all-time favorite fire related book.  I got it from Scholastic with a CD that had the song on it years ago (by chance) and it has also become a favorite song of ALL of my kindergarten classes.   My teaching partner and I do this book and song with our students every year, so you can't even imagine my excitement when Mrs. S projected this on her promethean board:

Now, the children can REALLY see the pictures and some can even follow along with the words (differentiation!) as they do the dance routine that we have created to go along with the song.  It isn't a particularly educational book, but it definitely can be a great discussion sparker or introduction to your Fire Safety Unit. 
After we listened to the song and looked at the book (okay, yes, several times--it is THAT much fun) and did some fire safety talk, we all gathered our directed drawing materials: 
 a clipboard, white piece of paper, and a black fine point Sharpie marker.
Then 38 children piled into my classroom for our second large group directed drawing.  If only we could have had a video from the first time we did it (2nd week of school) and compare it to the video of this one (6th week of school)!  You would see a HUGE transformation. 
Here are some photos of the fire trucks in progress:
I use my Promethean Board to do the drawing.  I say and draw first with the thin "pencil", then say and show again with the highlighter.  Some of the student's drawings looked so much better than mine.  Don't judge! :)

The end results were amazing across the board.  I wish I could show you all of the them, but here are just a few examples:

I love the ground details of the grass beside the road!
So creative with these details.
The flying fire truck--so cute.
Check out Sparky running beside the fire truck!  Is that not great??
I appreciate that all of the trucks look the same, but different.
This one is also cute, because he drew the extra large tire that I was just
RE-demonstrating to the right (not necessary to draw, but he was in tune
with doing EVERYTHING I did on the board). 

Even though directed drawings are reflective of MANY kindergarten standards, I still always feel the need to have a literary component as well.  So, as you can see, we added a sentence strip to the drawings that reflected the story we had enjoyed before our drawings.  __________ wants to ride on a fire truck!  We will display them for awhile (so the rest of the school can get some enjoyment out of them), but then, we will place them in a book that WILL become the class favorite that is read (well, sang chorally) time and time again through the year.
In year's past, I have glued a black and white photo of them wearing a fireman's hat on their truck, but we haven't gone to the fire station yet (our fingers are crossed, awaiting approval for that trip!).
I am going to give Directed Drawing Directors a tip that I only share with my best of aquaintances (it's a secret, so please do not divulge- ha ha.):
Especially in the beginning of the year, you need to GIVE the students the first direction completed on a blank piece of paper (just make the first direction be "Trace over the lines of the rectangle with your black marker" so that it looks like they drew it themself (tricky, tricky, I know!).  It guarantees less tears and frustration by giving them the correct starting spot and the correct size.  If they get either of these wrong on the first step, they will have difficulty rectifying it as I move on with the directions.
I have a freebie to share with you and it is simply the starting page for a fire truck directed drawing.  You have to come up with your own directions (until I create this kit--by NEXT October).  But, as long as you know your students' capabilities and you keep the language simple and relative, you should be all set!
Have fun and let me know how it goes with your kiddos!
If you are nervous about starting off with a directed drawing without any written directions for you, I have some kits already prepared (with many additional activities in the kits, as well) in my TpT store and there is also a free apple (although, I know that apple season is just about done) directed drawing kit there!


  1. Love your fire trucks! So cute! Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. I love your blog! I have just updated mine and am trying to post more things more often! If you get a chance I would love it if you could stop by and maybe grab my button or follow me!

    Thanks so much!!

  3. You can get the full directions for this project here, for free, right now:
    Heidi Butkus

  4. As always, you are so welcome Cheryl.
    Michelle, I am now a follower of your blog and have an up and coming way to feature new kindergarten blogs coming SOON! You'll be on my list (if you want to).
    Heidi, You are so awesome! Thanks for sharing this link with my followers. My job will be a bit easier next year when I do this.

  5. Hey what a splendid post I have run over and trust me I have been looking out for this comparative sort of post for recent week and barely ran over this. Much thanks and will search for more postings from you. ספרינקלר נסתר


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