Stories are a great tool for preparing children for upcoming experiences. Reading about relatable characters starting school, or practicing for a fire drill, for example, allows kids a few risk-free ‘practice-runs’ in someone else’s life and body before having to try doing it themselves! It also provides a number of fictional scenarios, and contexts for naturals conversations with those older and more experienced than themselves to help kids know not to expect their own experiences to be identical!
(As an aside, I should give you some inside information from the writing world directly from a children’s and YA author I was fortunate enough to have as a very entertaining writing instructor a few summers ago: “Get your characters in trouble.” Having been a highly anxious child, I’m glad he wasn’t my kindergarten teacher!
To the picture books!
The following are great examples of great picture books with relatable characters for preparing kids for Fire Drills, that you may have right in your school library!
Dinofours: It’s Fire Drill Day! by Steve Metzer, illustrated by Hans Wilhelm
Albert is afraid of loud noises and his teacher, Mrs. Dee, explains why the fire bell is so loud, helping Albert get over his fear of its loud noise. Fire safety tips are also included in this book.
Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill by Jamie Harper
Miss Mingo and FireChief Grizzly teach all of the animals in the class what to do in a fire drill. Even though they were all afraid of danger at the beginning, after they practiced, the animals had excellent results!
Arthur’s Fire Drill by Marc Brown
D.W.’s is worried the school is going to burn down after her teacher announces an upcoming fire drill! Arthur gives her advice on fire safety, and his fire hat and whistle, and puts her in charge of fire safety at home to make her feel better. Naturally, she extends this to school…she’s D.W!
Fire Drill! by Paul DeBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender, illustrated by Huy Vours Lee
The kindergarten students know exactly what to do it’s fire drill time! Told in rhyme, this bright and simple story walks young children through all the steps of a fire drill. Fire Drill is a 2011 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.
Best wishes for fire drill practice everyone! Being calm, practicing and listening to your teacher is the best preparation of all!
Have your kids started talking about fire drills yet? How do they feel about them?