SKILLS: Children foster creative thinking and improve observational skills as they make up and use clues to identify individuals who guard their safety.
IN ADVANCE: Find and make printouts of recognizable safety workers, such as firefighters, police officers, and crossing guards. Hang these pictures or hold them up so all can see them when seated at group time.
A few days before doing this activity, play a few identification games as children move out of group activities. For example, you might say, "Anyone who is wearing a red shirt can wash for a snack" or "Anyone who has brown hair and blue eyes can get in line to go outside." Continue until all children have been called.
1 Invite children to join you in a guessing game. Gather in a circle so they can see one another and the pictures of the safety workers. Encourage children to notice and think of specific characteristics of others in the group, such as the colors they're wearing, the color of their hair or eyes, and things they like to do.
2 Explain that you're going to share some clues about one of the safety workers, and everyone can try to guess who it is. Give clues such as "I'm thinking of someone who wears a brightly colored vest, stops traffic, and helps us cross the street safely. Guess who?" Encourage children to use the names of the workers, rather than point to them, as they make their guesses. You might even include clues about the teaching staff and how they protect children's safety.
3 When the group identifies the correct safety worker, invite one of the children to take a turn leading the guessing game. You might need to create clues by asking leading questions like "What kind of equipment does he use?" "How does she help protect us?" Continue the game until everyone who wants to be the leader has a turn.
For younger children: Supply a variety of pictures cut from magazines of different community helpers, including a crossing guard, firefighter, and police officer. Provide paste and a large sheet of lightweight cardboard that children can use to create a collage with the pictures. Display the community-helper collage in your classroom.
For older children: Turn the "Guess Who?" game into "Guess What?" Describe different kinds of safety equipment to children (a fire engine, a crossing guard's whistle, a police car). see if children can identify each object being described.
Play class "Guess Who?" by requesting that families send in baby pictures of their children. Include your own baby pictures and those of other teachers as well. Post the pictures on a bulletin board at children's eye level. Invite children to guess which baby picture belongs to which child or adult in the class.
Can You See What I See? Seymour and the Juice Boat by Walter Wick
Guess Who? (My First Reader) by Diane Namm, David Sheldon
Guess Who, Baby Duck! by Amy Rest