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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Fire Prevention Week in the USA falls on October 9-15 this year. These firefighter beginning sounds match cards will fit perfectly with a fire safety theme.
Near the start of the school year, there will undoubtedly be some time spent focusing on community helpers in the kindergarten classroom. This essential unit introduces your students to those people who are there to help, but who can look scary in their uniforms. Firefighters are key members for young children to be familiar with for emergency situations, so any time you can bring them and their equipment into your learning, you’ll be helping your students in multiple ways.
The Importance of First Sound Fluency
Kindergarten marks the official start of your students’ reading journey, and while most of them will come into your classroom knowing some if not all of their letters, you still need to help develop that phonemic awareness that printed letters make certain sounds. These fire safety theme cards will introduce beginning sounds to your students as each letter is matched with a picture that has the corresponding sound at the start of the word.
Preparing Firefighter Beginning Sounds
This is a quick and easy match set to get ready. Just download the pack and print off the pages in full color. If you’re going to laminate, make sure you’ve cut out each puzzle piece before you do so that you get the perfect seal. Your students will feel at ease around firefighters as they play this simple fire safety theme game.
Teaching With Firefighter Beginning Sounds Cards
You can help them develop first sound fluency by simply having them match each picture with its corresponding starting sound. This could be done a few letters at a time as you introduce them, or as a whole 52 piece puzzle as they become more familiar with the first sounds. To push your learners further with these firefighter beginning sounds, try some of these activities:
Fastest finder – once you’ve explored the whole set of fire safety theme cards, you can turn them into a small group game. Start by laying out the set of pictures, and then call out a starting sound and have students race to find the matching picture. You can up the challenge by saying the name of the letter instead so they have to practice their first sound fluency to find the right sound.
Play with partners – it’s always a good idea to build in some social skills into every aspect of your academics, and you can continue to introduce beginning sounds with a simple partner game. You could give each partner one half of all the cards (i.e. all the letters or all the pictures) and have them collaborate to make all 26 puzzles. Alternatively, you could have one person say the name of the picture, and have their partner call out or show the correct starting letter.
Make a scavenger hunt – movement should be an integral part of your kindergarten classroom day, so turn these practicing beginning sounds into a whole class scavenger hunt. Secretly post the pictures around the room, along with some objects (making sure that there’s a few for each letter). Have your students move around the room and find all the pictures and items that match their starting letter.