Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Lesson Plans



  • Health and Physical Education
  • Healthy Living

Grade level:

  • One


  • Emergency Workers and Emergencies

Time required:

  • 35 minutes


Introduce different types of emergencies (small-scale and large-scale), and identify people in the community that provide assistance before, during and after an emergency occurs.

Instructional Expectations

The Grade One learners will:


• Outline the potential safety risks in the home, school, and community

• Demonstrate an understanding of essential knowledge and practices for ensuring their personal safety (e.g. identify people who can provide personal safety assistance and explain how to access them)


a) Learners – Required Prior Learning

• None

b) Learning Environment

  • The students will sit on the floor/carpet for the lesson/discussion
  • The students will complete the assignment at a desk/table

c) Resources

  • Blackboard, chalk, masking tape, crayons, markers, coloured pencils
  • of the following:
  • Firefighter
  • Fire Truck
  • Choking Child
  • Police Officer
  • Police Car
  • House on Fire
  • Paramedic
  • Ambulance
  • Lost Child
  • Books or Photos of the following types of natural emergencies:
  • (Severe) Thunderstorm
  • (Severe) Snowstorm
  • Tornado
  • Flood
  • Copies (one per student) of pre-folded Emergency Helpers Flyer (attached)


Book: Staying Safe In Emergencies

Robin Nelson

(Other emergency worker/emergency vehicle books are also appropriate)


  • Explain to the class that today they will be talking about emergencies. Explain that emergency workers are people who help us learn how to stay safe in an emergency and who come to help us if we are in an emergency situation.
  • Read the story to the students.

Establishing the Learning

Definition of an “emergency”

  • Ask the students what an emergency is. Allow several students to give examples and give personal accounts.

Identification of emergency workers, their vehicles and the jobs they do

  • Explain that an emergency is a dangerous situation where someone might get hurt or has been hurt.

Recognition of different types of emergencies

  • Before the lesson, set up three wide columns on the board (no titles needed).

Identifying natural emergencies that could happen in their community

• Next to the columns, tape to the board the photos of the three emergency vehicles, the photos of the three emergency workers and the photos of the three emergency situations.


Identify how to contact an emergency worker to get help in an emergency

  • Ask the students to come up and point to a photo and tell everyone what is in the photo. Continue until all pictures are identified.
  • Tell the students that they need to sort these photos into three groups. The students should then be guided to separate them into 3 groups: vehicles, emergency workers and jobs/what emergency workers do.
  • Have the students give appropriate titles to each column.
  • Explain that emergency workers are community helpers who help us learn how to stay safe. Emergency workers also help us in an emergency.
  • Explain that emergencies can affect one person, a few people and sometimes a whole neighbourhood or village/town/city.
  • Remind students that so far we have just talked about smaller emergencies which can be very serious, but do not affect the whole neighbourhood or village/town/city.
  • Ask students if they can think of any emergency that could affect their whole neighbourhood or their whole village/town/city.
  • Show the students photos of four types of natural emergencies that can happen in Ontario (thunderstorm, snowstorm, flood and tornado). Ask the students what the name of the natural emergency is. Give a basic description of what each natural emergency is. Remember this topic is a sensitive one, use words/descriptions that are not fear-inducing. Try to avoid saying things like a tornado can rip through a house. Explain that a tornado is air spinning fast and that it can sometimes damage things like trees or power lines. Make sure to explain that natural emergencies can affect our safety and that is why we need emergency workers during and after a natural emergency.
  • Game: Have the students stand up and spread out so that they are not going to bump into anyone. Hold up each of the four natural emergency photos and ask the students to come up with a movement for each. For example, turn around in circles for tornado, shovelling for the snowstorm, making rain with their fingers for thunderstorm and climbing up for a flood. Call out the names of each natural emergency and have the students perform the associated movement.
  • Explain that emergency workers are community helpers who are there to help keep us safe. Explain that emergency workers can help with emergencies that affect one or a few people and emergency workers are there to help with larger emergencies like snowstorms and floods that can affect a neighbourhood or a village/town/city.
  • Ask the students if they know what number to call on a telephone in an emergency to get a firefighter, paramedic or police officer. Most will know of 9-1-1 but the teacher should quickly explain this. Remind students that 9-1-1 is for an emergency only.

Consolidation of Learning

Ask the class what an emergency is.

One at a time, show each of the photos of an emergency worker and then ask the class:

  1. To name the vehicle that each emergency worker can be seen with
  2. What the emergency worker does

Show each of the natural emergency photos and ask the class as a whole to name the natural emergency.

Finally, ask the class what number we call in an emergency.


Show the students the Emergency Helpers Flyer and explain that they are to draw a picture of each of the four natural emergencies discussed on the front cover under the title Emergency!, one in each of the spaces provided. Students are then to open the flyer and connect the emergency worker picture to the correct emergency vehicle and connect the vehicle to the correct emergency worker job, using a line. Finally, students are to write the number they should call to get emergency workers to come in the space provided at the bottom of the page.


While the students are working on their pictures, visit each student to observe their work and make note of anyone having difficulty with the assignment.

Assignments should be collected at the end of the class and evaluated using the attached rubric.

Additional Related Activities

  • Visit a fire station, police station or ambulance station
  • Have an emergency worker visit the classroom and talk about what they do
  • Set up an emergency worker learning centre with books, toys and activities
  • Have students bring in their favourite emergency worker toy or book
  • Have the local Community Emergency Management Coordinator in to talk about natural emergencies
  • Set up a classroom library with books on natural emergencies and emergency workers

Emergency Activity

Emergency Game

Emergency Preparedness Grade 1 - Lesson 1