Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Firefighter ~ A Review

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Firefighter is a part of The Old Schoolhouse Store's WanneBe Series of ebooks. This 82-page ebook is intended to be used with children aged 4 - 10. The purchase of this ebook (available from The Old Schoolhouse Store for $8.95) and access to a printer are all that you really need to complete this unit study. However, if you want to enhance your study of firefighters by completing some of the activity suggestions, you will also need to collect the supplies for the those individual activities. A supply list is provided at the beginning of each activity, and most of the supplies appear to be common items that you probably already have in your home.

This ebook contains a number of short articles that provide information about firefighters, including the history of firefighting, the equipment that firefighters use, and you even get a glimpse into the life of a firehouse dog.

It also includes a number of worksheets and activity suggestions that will help you integrate math, science, language arts, physical fitness and FUN into your study. The activities range from completing a coloring page or a wordsearch that contains firefighter vocabulary words to building a model of a robotic arm (complete instructions are included). There are also food, game and decoration suggestions for those creative families who want to conclude their study with fun, firefighter-themed party.

How we used this ~ One morning this past week, I read the articles in this ebook aloud with my kiddos (ages 3,6 and 8). I simply set my laptop out on the kitchen table and I read the articles as my kiddos worked on their coloring pages (also included in this ebook) as we all sat around the table after breakfast.

I really appreciated the endnotes on each page that defined different terms that came up during the of my kiddos would interrupt with a "mom what does that word mean?" and thankfully I was able to simply scroll down the page and answer their question.

The articles were short, easy to read, and full of information. At some points during the reading I would pause to use one of the suggested activities to help explain a term or idea further. For instance, while reading about the history of firefighting we learned about the use of the bucket brigade...we stopped reading and made our own little bucket brigade (not with real water though :)). This really helped my kiddos get a visual of what a bucket brigade actually was.

We also took breaks to head down some rabbit trails that came up during our reading: we talked about forest fires that we've heard about, the fire training academy that we have nearby, and the different colored fire trucks we've seen (my 3yo's idea).

My thoughts ~ I really like the fact that this ebook is so adaptable. You can use it as a simple read-aloud time (as I did) and use the coloring pages can keep your little ones' hands busy. You can turn it into a full unit study using the suggested activities to integrate math, science, language arts, and physical education. Or you can fall somewhere in between, picking and choosing a couple of worksheets and activities that you and your children would enjoy.
The reading really whetted my appetite for some further study of firefighters. I think I'm going to plan to do some further investigation of this career field (with the help of this ebook, of course!) with my kiddos this summer. My ds8 was really intrigued by the information offered about robotics and I know he'd love to learn more. It also reminded me that we really need to discuss a bit more about fire safety within our family ~ especially making a fire escape plan and then practicing a couple run-throughs.
All in all, I think that this ebook would be a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to study the field of firefighting with their elementary-aged kiddos.
I was given a free copy of this ebook in return for my unbiased review of our experience with this product.



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