The next time a classroom visits your fire department, make it an interactive experience by creating learning stations. Or, take the learning stations to a local school, a mall, a retail store or other community locations where children and their families gather.
These step-by-step instructions will help you create different learning stations. When students arrive, divide them into groups and assign each group to a station. Plan to have each group of students spend four minutes at each station. After four minutes move the students to another station. Continue until the students have visited all stations. After completing the stations, all the students will meet at the sing-along station with the firefighters.
Station #1: Sparky party
Materials: Sparky's party kit
Presentation: Use the Sparky the Fire Dog party kit to create your own party at the fire station. Kit comes complete with fill in the blank invitations, to-do lists to keep organized, free coloring sheets, games, memory cards and Sparky cootie catchers. Don’t forget the decorations. Print out a fun banner you can fill in the name of your fire department, water bottle labels, hats to make for the kids and more.
Station #2: Sound the Alarm
Materials: Smoke alarm, battery
Presentation: Show students the smoke alarm. Explain that a smoke alarm knows when there is smoke in your home. When the smoke alarm knows there is smoke, it will make a loud sound to let everyone know there is a fire. Make sure they understand that when there is smoke, there is probably a fire somewhere, and that smoke is always bad for them. Explain that it is important to know the sound of the smoke alarm and when the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
Ask if anyone knows what sound a smoke alarm makes. Demonstrate the sound of a smoke alarm by pushing the test button.
Have kindergarten and first grade students make the sound of the smoke alarm – beep, beep, beep (pause) beep, beep, beep.
Ask students if they have smoke alarms at home.
Show students how to test a smoke alarm. Encourage them to have a grown-up test their alarms once a month by pushing the test button. Allow students to push the test button.
Teach them the five most important words to remember when a smoke alarm sounds, GET OUT AND STAY OUT!
Ask them what they would do if a smoke alarm sounded in the middle of the night. Answer: GET OUT AND STAY OUT!
Station #3: Everybody Out
Materials: Doll house with doll figures, small white button to simulate a home smoke alarm, Velcro, sample home escape plan based on the doll house you are using. Note: If your community has multi-family or high-rise housing, ask a firefighter who is handy with wood to make a doll house to resemble the housing in your community.
Presentation: Explain to students that a home fire escape plan is a plan to get out of their home in case there is a fire. If they hear a smoke alarm go off, they need to know how to escape quickly and safely. Remind students of the important parts of a home fire escape plan: knowing the sound of the smoke alarm, having two ways out of every room, having a meeting place outside the home, and practicing the escape drill twice a year. If possible, try to get a sense of the type of home the students live in. Modify the presentation to meet the needs of the students.
Gather students around the doll house and explain the escape plan for the house.
Have them identify the two ways out of each room, smoke alarm locations (attach Velcro to a white button and the ceiling in the doll house). Note: Smoke alarms are required in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
Ask students to tell you what they think a good outside meeting place for the doll house would be. (A good meeting place might be a telephone pole, a tree, mailbox, or a streetlight)
Pretend that the smoke alarm sounds and the doll house figures are in different rooms of the house. Have students explain how each figure would get out of the house and where they would meet. Note: Make sure to reinforce proper responses and correct inappropriate answers.
Station #4: Keep it Down: Teaching Students to Get Low and Go Under the Smoke
Materials: Gym mats, sheet
Presentation: Explain to students that when they hear a smoke alarm sound, they need to get out of the house or apartment quickly. Explain that if there is smoke on the way out, they should use their second way out. Smoke is dangerous. If they must go through smoke, they should get low and go under the smoke to their way out. Why? Because smoke rises to the ceiling, leaving cleaner air under the smoke.
Have students line up at one end of the gym mat. Four student volunteers will hold the corners of the sheet over the gym mats at a height higher than three feet.
Demonstrate how to get low and go under smoke.
Have students practice getting low and going under the smoke to their way out.
Have a meeting place marked where all the students will go after practicing.
Review the important information about smoke: If there is smoke, use your second way out. If you must go through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out. Once you are safely outside, go immediately to your meeting place and call the fire department from a portable phone or from a neighbor’s house.
Station #5: Stop, Drop and Roll – Cool the Burn
Materials: gym mats, felt flames, tape
Presentation: Explain to students that it is important to stay away from fire. If they get too close to open flames – like a fireplace, outdoor grill, lighter, and matches – their clothes could catch fire. Explain that if their clothes do start to burn, it is important to act right away. They need to stop right where they are and drop to the ground. They should cover their faces with their hands, and roll over and over or back and forth to smother the flames. Explain that it takes time to put out flames, and they should continue rolling for a long time, until they are sure the flames are out. Then they should cool the burn with cool water and get help from a grown-up.
Demonstrate the Stop, Drop, and Roll procedure for students .
Give each student an opportunity to practice the behavior. Tape a felt flame on the child and have him/her roll over and over.
Have the students practice rolling in a confined space. Using chairs or other furniture, demonstrate that a tight space may require rolling back and forth, as opposed to rolling over and over.
Station #6: Matches, Lighters, and Things That Get Hot
Materials: Small cabinet with a lock, matches, lighter, sample small toys (truck, ball, doll, book), iron, toaster, candle
Presentation: Explain to students that matches and lighters are tools for grown-ups only because they can get very hot and cause a fire. Matches and lighters should be locked up high, out of the reach of children. If students find matches or lighters, they should tell a grown-up to lock them away in a safe place. Explain that some things can be very hot and children should not touch them. Ask children to give examples of things that can get hot (stove, iron, water, and candle).
Demonstrate placing the matches and lighter away in the locked cabinet.
Display the toys, matches, lighter, iron, toaster and candle on a table. Ask the students to identify the things that children can touch. Then ask the children to identify the things that they should never touch, things that should be placed in a locked cabinet and things that can be hot.
Station #7: Firefighters Wear Funny Stuff
Materials: turnout gear, 9-1-1 simulator or telephone
Presentation: Have a firefighter talk about the special clothes and equipment used for protection, putting on each item as he/she explains it. Note: Do not let the children try on the gear (especially the helmet). The clothes and equipment are too heavy and could injure a child. Explain that firefighters wear special clothes and equipment to fight fires, and that sometimes it's necessary for them to rescue people from inside burning homes and buildings. Explain that it is important to know how to get help from the fire department. The number to call is 9-1-1. But you only use it if you need help. Ask children why they might need help? (There is a fire; someone is really sick or hurt really bad)
Station #8: Sparky the Fire Dog® photo opportunity
Materials: camera, Sparky the Fire Dog® costume, puppet, or robot
Activity: Kids love Sparky. Have kids take their picture with Sparky the Fire Dog. Ask the students to explain one important message that they have learned that day.
Station #9: Fun with art
crayons, Sparky coloring pages, construction paper, glue
Station #10: Techno Center
Materials: computer with internet access
Activities: Have kids explore Sparky's online games. If you are having a presentation or waiting for people to arrive at your open house have a laptop set up with Sparky’s Match game. This a great game for kids of all ages.