Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey

Enrichment activities and Internet resources to enhance the teaching of the true story Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman, a retired boat that was called into service again on September 11, 2001.
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Updated on: August 16, 2002

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey

by Maira Kalman

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey

Fireboat is the real-life story of the John J. Harvey, which was first launched in 1931. After many years of service fighting fires along the Hudson River, the boat was finally retired. In 1995, several New Yorkers bought and restored the old fireboat. This inspiring book tells how, and why, the Harvey was called into service again on September 11, 2001.

To buy this book, click here or on the book cover.

Enrichment Activities
Internet Resources
Books by Maira Kalman

Enrichment Activities

  • Activities to Honor Heroes

    These three activities will enable students to identify the characteristics of a hero and complete a project that reflects the person.

  • Appreciation Cards

    Have students make Appreciation Cards for people who have jobs that impact the students' lives.

  • Characteristics of Heroes

    Write a list of character traits on the board (like bravery, intelligence, etc). Go through the character traits one at a time and discuss whether each particular trait would make a person a hero. Then have the group write down which of those traits they see in their friends and in themselves.

  • Compare and Contrast

    Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the way the owners of the John J. Harvey felt on September 10 versus September 11.

  • Empathy and Peace-Building Activities

    Use these activities with young children to help them learn about each other, communicate positive messages, and more.

  • Hero/Heroine Writing Activities

    With these lessons and activities students can use creative writing to explore the topic of heroes.

  • If I Were a Hero, I Would...

    Have your students write an essay called, "If I Were a Hero, I Would…" Will they care about their friends, help their parents, be kind to people, say hello to neighbors? This exercise encourages students to think of themselves as heroes and feel good about it.

  • September 11, 2001

    Help your students understand the events of September 11, 2001, with our collection of articles, lessons, and advice.

  • Children's Literature on September 11

    This collection of books about September 11 will help you extend your teaching of Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey to include more literature on the topic.

Internet Resources

Bibliography of September 11 Books
Grade Levels: All

Heroes Articles
Grade Levels: All
A collection of articles and resources on heroes and heroines.

The John J. Harvey
Grade Levels: All
This site includes the history of the John J. Harvey, as well as a photo gallery and a description of the important role the boat played in helping on September 11.

The Many Uses of Fireboats
Grade Levels: Intermediate, Middle, Secondary
This article describes the many uses of a fireboat and the times in history it has been used to save waterfront cities, such as New York and San Francisco.

September 11 Teacher Resources
Grade Levels: All
Find lessons and helpful suggestions to deal with this difficult topic.

Word Find Puzzle Maker
Grade Levels: All
Use this Family Education site to create a word find puzzle using vocabulary words from Fireboat.

Books by Maira Kalman

Chicken Soup, Boots
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey
Hey Willy, See the Pyramids
Little Angels
Max in Hollywood, Baby
Max Makes a Million
Next Stop Grand Central
Ooh-la-la (Max in Love)
Roarr! Calder's Circus
Sayonara Mrs. Kackleman
Stay Up Late
What Pete Ate from A-Z

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