This is a post sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and Sparky.org.
Did you know that in a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds? No one likes to think about the possibility of a fire in their home but teaching fire safety along with escape planning and practice can be a huge help in making the most of the time you have.
This week is Fire Prevention Week (FPW), a single week during October Fire Prevention Month when the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) works to educate everyone about small, but important actions, to take to keep themselves and those around them safe. NFPA has exclusive, instructive Fire Prevention Week materials for teachers and parents that make essential and important fire safety learning engaging and memorable for children.
Years ago when I was a first grade teacher, I was always trying to plan creative ways to teach my students about fire safety during National Fire Prevention Week. I had a stack of favorite books for read-alouds and an entire folder of fun activities featuring Sparky the Fire Dog who I hoped would teach important lessons that would help them stay safe.
Created as the mascot for the NFP in 1951, Sparky is the beloved mascot and symbol of fire safety who my students loved. They came to associate with fire safety through their worksheets and now a new generation can learn important lessons about fire safety through incredible free digital resources that can be used during the month of October and throughout the year.
4 Free Resources to Teach Fire Safety to Preschoolers and Elementary Ages
Sparky is featured in videos, lesson plans, printables, take-homes and fun apps that teach preschool through elementary ages lessons about fire safety rules in an enjoyable, age appropriate way. Here are four of my favorite classroom resources for teaching with Sparky the Fire Dog that parents can use to reinforce these lessons throughout the year.
Sparky School House
Sparky School House is NFPA’s teaching portal for fire safety education. It’s a treasure trove for lesson plans on important fire safety topics for teachers and homeschooling families with kids in grades PreK-3.
Teachers can access music and videos (the Steve Songs videos are perfect for preschoolers!) for their auditory learners while downloading ebooks tailored for different reading abilities. Lessons are aligned with Common Core State Standards and include guides to help kids follow the choreography in the videos.
Sparky Schoolhouse’s Fire Prevention Videos
A catchy tune along with a fun video is a powerful way to reinforce learning about any topic, but especially fire safety. Sparky Schoolhouse’s Fire Prevention videos features a wide array of educational videos for all ages.
Younger ages will love singing along with Steve Songs’ Little Rosalie while older kids will appreciate learning about Firefighting’s Weird History and Fascinating Future or a Lesson from History: The Great Chicago Fire.
Sparky Apps for Students
Classrooms of today often use laptops to enhance classroom instruction and tablets allow kids to access apps to reinforce learning. Sparky Apps for students harness the power of apps as a learning tool for today’s digital generation.
One of my favorite apps for elementary ages is Sparky’s Brain Busters, a free trivia app for iOS and Android that involves a race against the clock. Kids are challenged to answer 20 questions in 2 minutes to earn badges in various categories like science, math, fire safety, social studies, and Sparky’s choice. Kids are motivated to collect all 5 character badges before time runs out. 3 correct answers lets them play for the character of their choice by answering age appropriate questions for their grade level.
Sparky’s Fun House is a perfect app (iOS and Android) to reinforce the importance of practicing a home escape plan for younger kids. Through this free app, preschoolers can help Sparky practice his home escape plan before going to a carnival. Kids are required to listen for the beep, beep, beep of the smoke alarm and help Sparky find a safe way to his outside meeting place. When Sparky makes it safely outside, three mini-games are unlocked that teach addition, spelling, and problem-solving skills.
Sparky.org is a wonderful resource full of engaging learning activities for elementary ages. It features videos, games, apps, activities and more and can be used at classroom computers as a learning center and shared with parents to extend classroom learning at home.
I was compensated by National Fire Protection Association and Sparky.org for this post but all opinions are my own.