Who are community helpers and what do they do?
For the past month in Rainbow 3 we have been working on a unit about community helpers. We decided to do this unit after observing many of the children pretending to be doctors during their morning play.
We began by discussing who are helpers in the community. We felt this would be a great way to organically include social studies in our curriculum. The children were ready for this conversation and made a list of helpers which included: doctors, dentists, nurses, musicians, florists, teachers, garbage collectors and farmers. The children knew that these people help the community by keeping us safe, keeping things clean, and making or growing things for us to eat.
To further implement our doctor’s unit, we changed our dramatic play area into a doctor's office. The children were provided with doctor kits to use on each other and on the babies to practice taking care of one another like doctor’s do! Children demonstrated representation and symbolic thinking through this unit, taking on pretend roles and situations, and make-believe with objects.
Taking care of friends
This afforded the children a chance to role play as doctors and show how they can take care of their friends.
Patients in a hospital
The children are pretending to be patients in a hospital while the doctor gets ready to take care of them!
During our unit on doctors, children were introduced to new vocabulary words such as syringe, cast, tweezers, medicine, emergency room and many more. Children practiced their fine motor skills while trying to write these new words.
First Aid kits
After discussing what doctors do and the importance of first aid, the children wanted to make their own first aid kits! We provided them with band aids, gauze pads, and gauze wraps.
While talking about doctors and first aid, the children were curious about broken bones. We introduced the idea of x-rays and brought in real x-ray photos!
Visit from a real doctor
The culmination of the unit on doctors was a visit from a Bigelow parent who works as a physician. He told us about what a doctor does and we all got a chance to use real doctor's tools.
After the doctor unit, we transitioned to learning about dentists! The children were very interested in learning about their teeth! We were able to explore dentist tools and practiced brushing on enlarged teeth! We were also able to take a field trip to a dentist office and learn more about dentist tools and how we take care of our teeth.
Tooth paste painting
Children used tooth brushes and tooth paste to create art work, helping to develop their fine motor skills.
Children were introduced to new vocabulary words during our dentist unit. Children practiced sounding out words and matching them to the corresponding pictures through puzzle word cards.