Together When Apart: "Essential Workers" Learning Extensions
During this week’s inquiry, students examine how essential workers and helpers support communities. You can always ask students to dig deeper into the inquiry, encouraging them to ask questions, make inferences, and take additional actions. Try the extensions below!
Source: Stories about community helpers
People in the Neighborhood book by Michelle Garcia Andersen on Epic!
Personas en el Barrio book (Spanish) by Michelle Garcia Andersen on Epic!
Neighborhood Helpers book by Katy Duffield on Epic!
Ayudantes Del Barrio: Neighborhood Helpers book (Spanish ) by Katy Duffield on Epic!
Task: Prompt students to explore the video read-alouds on Epic! Ask them:
Can you identify the community helpers in these stories?
What makes their work important?
Source: “Many People Are Doing Good to Combat the Fear and Isolation of the Coronavirus” article from Newsela, adapted from Washington Post
Task: Prompt students to explore the Newsela article. Challenge them to:
Write a persuasive essay about someone who is considered "non-essential" and express the various reasons that they are essential to you. Some ideas may include a librarian, musician, coach, craft store owner, or scout leader. Include details about what this person means to you and how they fulfill an important need or want for you or your community.
Source: Data collected from people in a student’s household
Task: Prompt students to survey people in their life to see which community helper or essential worker comes to their mind first. Challenge them to represent this information in a graph or chart.
Source: "Tommy the Robot Nurse Helps Italian Doctors Care for Coronavirus Patients" article from Newsela, adapted by The World
Task: Prompt students to read the Newsela article. Ask: How is technology helping our nurses and doctors?
Source: “Local Government Departments” video from Kids Academy
Task: Prompt students to pick a favorite department and find out more about it.
Source: Community Helpers Then and Now book by Bobbie Kalman on Epic!
Task: Invite students to explore this book to learn about how the roles of community helpers have changed over time. Ask:
What similarities do you notice?
What differences do you notice?
Source: Map of student’s local community
Task: Challenge students to fill in a map of their community (or create a fictional one) and identify where all the essential workers are helping.
Source: Information about essential workers and activists throughout history
"Cesar Chavez: American Civil Rights Activist" video from HISTORY
"About Cesar Chavez" article from the Cesar Chavez Foundation
Florence Nightingale: Founder of the Nightingale School of Nursing book by Marc Davis on Epic!
"The House that Jane Built" video read-aloud by Tanya Lee Stone from Storyline Online: tells the story of Jane Addams, social worker and social reformer
Jane Addams: Social Reformer and Nobel Prize Winner book by Pam Rosenberg on Epic!
Task: Challenge students to read about and research well-known essential workers and activists. Ask:
What essential work did this person perform?
What would happen if this person did not do their job?
How would you show gratitude for this person’s work?
Source: Information about industrialization and the changes it brought to society
"The Birth of Industrialization and How It Changed the World" article from Newsela, adapted from National Geographic Society
Industrial Revolution for Kids: The People and Technology That Changed the World with 21 Activities book by Cheryl Mullenbach on Epic!
The Industrial Revolution by Carla Mooney on Epic!
Task: Challenge students to investigate the sources about industrialization. Ask:
What changes did industrialization bring about?
How did industrialization increase the need for certain types of essential workers?