For most Kindergarteners, beginning school is a very exciting time, which can also be frightening. Get a free poem and two downloads to teach them about the school workers and get them acquainted to their new surroundings.
Meeting the School Workers
Meet the Social Studies standards for Kindergarteners by teaching them about school. It lends itself to the beginning of a school year study.
Start with a shared reading poem about the people who work at school. *Note- Kindergarteners need picture association with words. Ahead of time, take a picture of each of these people in your school and tape their photo next to their job. Students love it!
A cafeteria worker,
by, Laurie Patsalides
Print the poem on chart paper and laminate it. In the beginning of Kindergarten use different colors to print each word. For example, print the "A" in red and custodian in blue. Do this for the whole poem.
Use the poem as a shared reading text focusing on the word, "A". Read the title. Read the poem several times with a pointer stick, pointing to each word. Teach the students that "A" is very special because it is both a letter and a word! Add that "I" is as well. Model to the students how to find a word in text, by circling the first word, "A". Then, call a student forward to circle the word, "A"; continue until all of the A's are found.
Download a copy of the poem with pictures from our Media Gallery to send home at the end of the week as homework, or to do as a small group activity. Students find the word, "A" in the poem. Students draw a picture of themselves.
Take a Tour of the School
Kindergarteners like mystery! Take advantage of it by turning the school tour into a treasure hunt. Before beginning, create a schedule to speak with each person in the department about his or her "job" in the school. Next, draw a map or route to take. Then, make cards to distribute around the school; each card has a clue, which points to the next destination. The goal is to find the treasure at the end of the map. The "treasure" is a school supply that student's will need for a successful school year; pencils or small books are great choices. Hide the treasure in the classroom and find it at the end of the school tour.
Begin in your classroom.
The first card says:
"We are on our way to see our school, and we begin in the nurse's room." Take students to the nurse’s office to learn about the nurse's job.
At the nurse’s office, leave another clue:
"If I am lost when I start the day, the secretary shows the way!" Visit the secretary’s office.
There, have another clue:
"The principal is our friend and helps to guide us to the end." Go to the principal's office.
Next, visit the library. The note reads: "When we need books, the library is where we look."
The next note will be, "The cafeteria is where we eat, and where new friends, we will meet."
In the cafeteria, have another note: "The custodian helps us to clean, and we are careful when we're painting."
The last note will read: "Where we learn is in our classroom, and there is a treasure by the broom."
Hide the treasure by the broom in the classroom for all to share.
Download a copy of the cards for the school tour from our Media Gallery. Print them on card stock and laminate.
After the Tour
After you have the class settled in, discuss the tour and the part they liked best.
Talk to the students about each worker's job and the tools they need to be successful. Draw three columns on chart paper. List the school worker, the job he or she does and the tools he or she needs.
As a formal assessment, show the photo of the job/person. Ask who he or she is, what he or she does and the tools he or she needs to do the job. Document the results.
Tell the students that they too have tools that they need to be successful in the classroom and begin a discussion about classroom resources, which will lead into the next article (lesson plan) in the series about needs and wants and not wasting the resources we have.
After this lesson on the school workers, Kindergarteners are more relaxed and confident. They will realize that they are a part of a bigger picture and enjoy their role in it.