Activity Plan 5-6: Who Keeps Us Healthy?
"Say Ahhhh": Learning about healthcare providers will help children feel confident about visits to the doctor
- Grades: PreK–K
- chart paper
- camera and film
- drawing and writing materials
- books about healthcare professionals including A Day In the Life of A Doctor by Linda Hayward (DK Publishing, 2001; $3.95) and We Need Nurses by Lola M. Schaefer (Capstone Press, 1999; $14.60)
Objective: Children will learn about a variety of professionals who keep us healthy.
1 On a sheet of chart paper, write the heading Healthcare Careers. Ask children, "Who keeps us healthy and what do they do?" Record their responses. Do children know the names for the different types of doctors and their areas of specialty (such as pediatrician, obstetrician, optometrist, or orthodontist)? Have they heard of a podiatrist? Help them learn about nurses' important roles. Discuss other healthcare professionals such as x-ray technicians, dental hygienists, physician's assistants, and nurse practitioners.
2 Collect a variety of books, magazines, pamphlets, and photographs about healthcare professions and facilities. Read the books throughout the course of the unit. Engage children in discussions after each reading and encourage them to share and summarize what they learned. Place additional reading materials in the library area.
3 Invite children to draw a picture of their favorite healthcare professional. Ask them to write or dictate information including the person's name and what they do to keep people healthy. Invite the group to share their work with their classmates.
4 Find out from children if they have family members who have healthcare careers. Send a note home inviting those family members to be classroom guests. Work with the class to develop a list of interview questions to learn where their guests went to school to prepare for their jobs, what they do, what they wear, the equipment they need, and health and safety practices they must follow. Take a photograph of each guest. Invite the class to create a display to document the visits and what they learned about each person's job.
Curriculum Connection: DRAMATIC PLAY
Healthcare Office. Work with the class to change the dramatic-play area into a healthcare office such as a doctor's, dentist's or school nurse's office or a multi-service clinic. Ask them to recall the different parts of an office, including a waiting room and examining rooms. Help children gather props and materials to create their office. Make time for different groups of children to work in the area. Take photographs to document their experiences.