A Trip to the Firehouse by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

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Intro and techniques

Summary of the Story

A group of school children visit a fire station and learn how firefighters do their jobs.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book on the cover, pointing to each word as you say it. Have children repeat the title as you point to each word.
  • Point to the fire truck on the cover. Ask children if they have ever seen a truck like this. Ask: Who drives a truck like this? What do you think the children in the picture are doing?

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the story, moving your finger under the words as you read.
  • As you read, have children say whether the firefighters and the children are inside the firehouse or outside the firehouse.

Recalling the Story

  • After you have finished reading, ask the children the recall questions below. Continue to ask these questions when you reread the book, until they know the answers.

Reading the Book Again and Again

  • Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What's happening on this page? Do less reading of the words, leaving more and more of the "reading" or retelling to the children.
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. Ask: Who are the children visiting? (They are visiting firefighters at the firehouse.) Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the child's response. Expand it by giving more information. Ask children to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help in answering a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book. Good words to ask about are listed below.
  • You may wish to discuss the prompts shown below.

Extra Activities

  • Children can dramatize the visit to the firehouse while you read all or parts of the book.
  • Children can draw pictures of fire trucks or the firehouse. Help them label the parts of their pictures, using some of the words in the book.

Recall Questions
Ask the following questions to check the children's understanding of the story.

  1. What is the title of this book? (The title of the book is A Trip to the Firehouse.)
  2. Who takes a trip to the firehouse? (David and his classmates visit the firehouse.)
  3. Who lives at the firehouse with the firefighters? (Spot, the firehouse dog, lives at the firehouse.)
  4. What do firefighters wear to a fire? (They wear helmets, jackets, pants with suspenders, and boots.)
  5. What do firefighters do on the second floor of the firehouse? (They sleep and eat and talk.)
  6. How do firefighters know when there is a fire? (A bell rings in the firehouse.)
  7. How do the children play on the fire truck? (They climb on it, they sit inside and steer, and they play with the two-way radio.)
  8. What happens at the end of the book? (The firefighters go to a fire.)

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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!

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