This past week (and a little of the week before), we spent some time discussing what to do in an emergency and how to dial 9-1-1.
A lesson in good citizenship? You bet!!! You are training someone how to help others (or themselves) in a real emergency! If you like some of the activities we did below - you should be able to find them in the (very) mini unit I quickly came up with to go along with our theme. The unit is available for FREE in my TPT store here. :)
We started by watching a free online video for kids available at this address. We then reviewed information from the video and discussed it.
I made up some scenarios printed on paper and we went over them together. Miss A had to decide whether the situations were real emergencies or not. If it was a real emergency, she would write 9-1-1 next to it (I originally thought it would be fun to use number stamps, but we didn't have any so Miss A just wrote the numbers instead).
I was also curious to see what she might consider an emergency - how accurately she was grasping this information - so I made a 9-1-1 web chart of sorts. I wrote the "9 1 1" at the center with arrows pointing outwards and then asked her to draw pictures of emergencies which would require her to dial 9-1-1.
Curious what she thought of? Of course you are! ;) She drew a house on fire, a car accident, an unconscious adult, and a dog attacking someone.
We also discussed why we should NOT dial 9-1-1 unless there is a real emergency. I emphasized how the emergency teams might be on the way to a jokester's house when someone else REALLY needed their help and wasn't getting it. (You might emphasize how the child or children would feel if they were the ones urgently needing help).
To go along with this part of being a responsible citizen, I made up a little poem we read together and then Miss A illustrated a picture of why it is important to only dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. The man in stripes is a fireman (if I remember correctly) at a jokester's door when someone in a house far away is REALLY needing help.
Something that I thought of during this unit is how many young children might be unfamiliar with phones other than cell or cordless phones. The video we watched emphasized the many kinds of phones which could be used to dial 9-1-1 if you were in your home OR away from it.
I wanted Miss A to be prepared by knowing what different telephones look like so she could spot one in an emergency and not be shy about using it. For this reason, we did a "telephone" scavenger hunt of sorts online. We looked up photographs of different phones the video had mentioned and Miss A chose some for me to print. She then cut them out and glued them to a paper to create a phone collage.
Once we had learned about emergencies and different types of phones, it was time to practice! I drew a map on a large piece of paper, and we created an accident on the map using toy cars (we did this more than once in different areas on the map).
Miss A then flew into action! She pretended to dial 9-1-1 on a (disconnected) real phone and answered the questions from the 9-1-1 operator (me).
One of the main goals of this activity was to help Miss A learn to describe where an emergency had occurred if at an unfamiliar address. She practiced looking for street signs, landmarks, stores, etc. on the map to help the operator know just where to send the emergency vehicles. :)
If you do this at home, make sure you take some time to actually pretend at a real intersection or park. It is one thing to look at things on a fun map, but can be a completely different experience when standing out on a real street corner.
And for those emergencies at home? Well, Miss A has been learning her address, but I know how quickly one can forget things in a panic, so I decided to make some little reminders we could post by the phones in the house.
Miss A helped me fill in the "9 1 1" part, and I filled in our address. I also added our home phone number underneath so Miss A could see it and confirm the number if asked to do so by the emergency operator.
I made sure Miss A went with me to post the slips by the phones so I could make sure she knew where they were. I also wanted to make sure they were at her eye level or in an area where she could still easily read the information if she needed to.
Hopefully, as a child, Miss A will never be called upon to use what she has learned in this unit. However, I feel better knowing she is now much more prepared for an emergency situation should one ever arise! :)