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A Unit of Study Introducing Community Helpers

By Jacqueline Chinappi

This is the first of a series of articles which will include lesson plans for Labor Day. Here we will include the unit learning objectives, resources, an overview of Labor Day, and an outline of the lessons to follow.

Unit Objectives

By the end of this unit the child will be able to:Classroom 

  • recognize community workers
  • understand the jobs of community workers
  • understand the origin of Labor Day

This unit includes:

  • letters
  • numbers
  • shapes
  • coloring pages
  • book lists & online book links
  • poems, stories, finger play
  • cooking & crafts
  • book lists
  • online book links
  • worksheets

Origin of Labor Day

"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Labor Day occurs the first Monday in September every year. This holiday is dedicated to all of the workers in America who have contributed to its economic and social success. The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York on September 5, 1882. This first celebration occurred on Tuesday and it was not until two years later in 1884 that it was decided to be celebrated on the first Monday in September. The Central Labor Union persuaded other industrial cities to join in and celebrate the “workingman’s holiday”. By 1885 many cities throughout America had joined in to celebrate Labor Day.

After reading this section and perhaps looking over the above website the teacher should explain to the students in basic terms what Labor Day is all about. Here is a list of books that can be read to the children that go along with this unit.

Book List & Online Books

Jobs People Do by Christopher MaynardJobs People Do 

Community Helpers from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman, Niki Walker

I Want to be a Teacher by Daniel Liebman, Dan Liebman

My Daddy is a Soldier by Kirk Hilbrecht

What is a Community from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman

A Job for Witilda by Caralyn Buehner & Mark Buehner

The Bee Who Would Not Work by Charlotte B. Herr

The Littlest Knight by Carol Moore

Story Place contains preschool and elementary stories, online activities, reading lists and printable activities. Choose the firefighter theme to hear: “Time to Fight a Fire.”

The Lesson Plan

Community helpers unit will take approximately ten days to finish if you break up the material as I did. You can also combine material such as teaching astronaut and baker on the same day, teaching about firefighters and police officers on the same day, etc. This will cut the unit into a shorter time.

Part 1: The Astronaut

Part 2: The Baker

Part 3: The Farmer

Part 4: The Firefighter

Part 5: The Police Officer

Part 6: The Nurse/Doctor

Part 7: The Postal Worker

Part 8: The Pilot

Part 9: The Teacher

Part 10: Review