Mack: One day a fire truck drove into the firehouse, and then the men came down the pole (turns page).
Child: I think—it’s their turn.
Mack: One day there was a fire on a boat, so a fireboat rescued. Today, fireman put out a fire, and then one day a boy was roasting marshmallows at the zoo. And smoke started to come out, and a firefighter had to put it out (starts to turn page).
Mack, age 4, attends a preschool class that has been involved for several weeks in a project called Exploring Fire Safety. The teachers have encouraged Mack and his classmates to make their own books related to what they have learned during the project. Some children, including Mack, have illustrated their books and dictated the words to the teachers. These children will then take turns sharing their finished books with classmates during group meeting. In this clip, Mack sits in a chair “reading” to the class from the book of stories that he created about firefighters.
Mack goes through his book from left to right, which indicates that he has some awareness of conventions of print. Mack’s stories show some of his understandings about fire and a firefighter’s work. His ideas include (1) fire trucks can be found at firehouses, (2) firefighters in a firehouse may use a pole to get to a lower level quickly, (3) “fireboats” may be used to put out fires on boats, (4) firefighters put out fires, and (5) smoke may indicate a fire. When Mack mentions firefighters going down a pole in the firehouse, one of the children who has been listening comments, “I think—it’s their turn.” This response to Mack’s story suggests that the child is aware that firefighters must take turns using the pole.
Benchmarks & How They Were Met
2.A.ECa: Engage in book-sharing experiences with purpose and understanding.
- Mack demonstrated understanding of how to hold a book, turn the pages, and “read” aloud. His purpose was to share his story with classmates.
2.C.ECa: Interact with a variety of types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems, rhymes, songs).
- Mack created his own book. A child listening to Mack’s story commented about the book.
2.C.ECb: Identify the front and back covers of books and display the correct orientation of books and page-turning skills.
- Mack held the book right side up in his lap, opened the front cover, and turned the pages from left to right.
5.B.ECc: With teacher assistance, use a combination of drawing, dictating, or writing to narrate a single event and provide a reaction to what happened.
- Mack illustrated a book that told stories of a series of events in the work of firefighters, based on what he learned during the fire safety project.
11.A.ECf: Make meaning from experience and information by describing, talking, and thinking about what happened during an investigation.
- Mack’s book described a variety of firefighter activities. He shared the book with classmates who also participated in the investigation of fire safety.
- One child commented that the firefighters were taking turns on the pole.
15.A.ECa: Describe some common jobs and what is needed to perform those jobs.
- Mack’s story described some of the work that firefighters do and some of their equipment (a pole, a fireboat).