Community Helpers Background Information for Teachers and Parents
This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about neighborhood and community helpers. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Community Helpers. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.
How can you be involved with your community? This movie will describe different community helpers and how they help out. It will also share ways children can be active, responsible, and conscientious members of the community. Encourage children to be active citizens and help them understand that everyone plays an important role.
Remind children that a community helper is anyone who works to help the community. Civil servants such firefighters, police officers, and paramedics make sure that the community and its members are safe. Remind children that a firefighter puts out fires and also teaches people how to be safe during an emergency. Police officers help prevent crimes and make sure people in the community follow rules and laws. Review with children that a law is a rule set by the community. Paramedics are also community helpers. Explain to children that they help keep people safe during emergencies and take them to the hospital. Who else keeps the community safe? Discuss with children and brainstorm together.
Talk about which community helpers work to keep people healthy. Doctors, nurses, doctor’s assistants, dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants are just a few community helpers in this category. A veterinarian is a doctor who treats animals and makes sure pets in the community are healthy. Who else keeps community members healthy? Discuss and record children’s ideas.
Remind children that many people are involved in the community. Sanitation workers collect garbage and help keep communities clean. Maintenance workers, including electrical and sewage technicians, make sure the community is functioning from the ground up. Letter carriers make sure everyone receives their mail. Bus drivers, train conductors, and cab drivers move people from place to place. Farmers are also community helpers. They grow crops and raise livestock that feeds the whole community. Drivers transport, or move, things around the communities. Store owners and clerks sell goods and services to the community. Teachers are community helpers who help people learn, and a librarian helps people find books and other resources in a library. Who else is a part of the community?
Remind children that a government is a group of people who sets rules and runs a community. A mayor is an elected leader of a town or city and makes important decisions that affect everyone, including the creation and maintenance of schools, libraries, roads, and public programs. Remind children that many government officials are elected and people from the community get to vote on who will do the best job and keep the community’s best interests in mind. Instilling the importance of voting at an early age is a great way to help children become active community members.
There are many people who are involved with the community’s safety, health, and general well being. This includes parents, teachers, and students. Remind children to keep their communities clean, recycle, and treat everyone in the community with respect. Also encourage children to volunteer in their communities. Explain that when people volunteer, they give their time to help out in the community and work to make it a better place for everyone. Discuss different volunteering opportunities, such as starting a recycling awareness program, helping out in a shelter, or raising money for a program or cause in the community. Encourage children to think about ways to help the community and consider why being an active community member is important. Social responsibility can begin at an early age. Explain that since there are many people who live in a community, it is important to work together to improve and maintain it.