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When I Grow Up

Explore the community helpers theme by having students imagine and express themselves as adult workers in this color filled lesson.

  • Kindergarten
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Prepare for lesson by taking individual pictures of students. Pictures can be printed directly to copier or printed and copied. Tape a piece of clear acetate that matches the picture size to the top of each picture.
    2. Gather and view William Wegman photos from “The Ghent Portfolio”. Images can be projected using a classroom white board. Ask students to describe what they see in the pictures, what makes them unusual?
    3. Read “What Do You Do?” written and illustrated by William Wegman. Can they retell the community helpers Wegman introduced in his book? Work with students to list additional community helpers.
    4. Discuss uniforms and how appearance communicates many occupations. Identify elements of various uniforms (name badges, boots, hats, gloves, etc.).
    5. Demonstrate how to trace around the edge of clothes and add detail with Crayola® Washable Window Markers on top of acetate to create uniform or apparel for community worker they would like to someday possibly be.
    6. Plastic can be flipped over, and students could color large empty spaces inside uniform on back of clear acetate.
    7. Small details like badges, belt buckles and shoes can be added with contrasting colors on the front.
    8. Encourage students to write their name along with what they want to be along the top.
    9. Individual pages may be assembled to a class careers book by using a hole punch and assembling with brass fasteners and heavy paper decorated for the front and back cover.
  • Standards

    LA: With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear.

    LA: Actively engage in a group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

    LA: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one’s personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    SS: Describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the productions and exchange of goods and services.

    VA: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

    VA: Interpret art by identifying subject matter and describing relevant details.

  • Adaptations

    Create play spaces to explore occupations through play-based learning.

    Invite various community helpers to meet and describe their occupations to students.

    If unable to take individual student photos lesson could be altered by using picture of school mascot following similar directions.

    Create a song with students about various community helpers- have students develop movements for the song.

    Challenge students to draw themselves with pencils on white paper and add color with crayon instead of using photo resources.

    Read and compare storyline of “What Do You Do?” with other books written and illustrated by Wegman such as “My Town”, ”Farm Days” or “Flo and Wendell Explore”.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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