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Updated 9/18/06
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Home Fire Safety: What Every Parent Needs to Know

*Note: This lesson will be enhanced by pairing it with a visit from a local Fire Safety Educator. See Contact Information for information on finding local contacts. 

Adult ESOL Level
Level 2 and higher 

Time Needed
Prep Time (including teacher preparation):  30 minutes
Activity Time:  60 to 75 minutes 

Lesson Objective(s)

To learn how to teach children fire safety.
To learn how to teach children to survive a house fire.

ESOL Grammar and Language Skill(s) Addressed

Reading: Fire Safety Material

Grammar: Fire Safety Vocabulary, Answer Comprehension & Detail Questions

Listening: Video:  Prevent and Survive a Fire

Writing: Designing Fire Escape Plans

Conversation: Discussion on the importance of practicing fire drills in the house

Materials Needed

  • Fire Safety: Vocabulary Words and Definitions

  • Video: NFPA International, "Home Fire Drills: What Every Parent Should Know"*

  • Handout: Make a Home Fire Escape Plan and Agree on a Safe Meeting Place Outside*

  • Brochure: “Fire Safety for Newcomers” (in five languages)*

  • Fire Safety: Comprehension Questions

  • Fire Safety: Detail Questions
  • * See Contact Information to get the video, handout and brochures.

    Lesson Activity Proceedure

    1. Teacher informs students that they will be listening to and watching a Fire Safety Video.
    2. Teacher conducts a lead-in to the video by asking the students how they think they and their families would act if there were a fire in their homes.
    3. Teacher writes some of the responses on the board.
    4. Teacher passes out Vocabulary Words and Definitions and teaches them.
    5. Teacher and students watch the video
    6. Teacher and students discuss the video. Some questions the teacher could ask the students:

    • Were you surprised with the children’s reaction to the first fire drill?
    • Do you think your children would react in a similar manner?
    • Why was the second fire drill successful?
    • What do you think this film suggests/recommends?
    • Why are fire drills so important?
    • What should parents do? (Plan escape routes, install smoke detectors)
    • Why are smoke detectors in the home so important?
    • How often should smoke detectors be tested?
    • How often should families practice fire drills in their homes?
    • What are some steps to take if there is a fire in your house?
    • What have you learned from this film?
    • Other questions:
    Are your children afraid of fire?
    Has anyone had to call 911 for a fire?
    What happens in your country when there is a fire?
    Has anyone volunteered as a fire officer?

    7. Teacher passes out Fire Safety for Newcomers brochure and Make a Home Fire Escape Plan and Agree on a Safe Meeting Place Outside.
    8. Students take turn reading the brochure orally.
    9. Teacher elicits a discussion of the brochure’s suggestions, focusing on the importance of each suggestion.
    10. Teacher and students develop an escape plan for a typical house, designing two escape routes.
    11. Teacher passes out Comprehension Questions worksheet and students take turn answering orally.
    12. Teacher passes out Detail Questions worksheet and students answer orally.
    13. Teacher assigns the students a homework assignment: to develop two fire escape routes for each room in their homes and to establish a meeting area to meet once they leave the house.

    Follow up Parent/Child Interactive Literacy Activity

    Some follow up activities to consider include:

    • Go on a field trip to the local fire station.

    • Have a local firefighter come to the class and put on full equipment, including oxygen mask.  (Children often find this scary and, in a real fire, may hide from the firefighter).

    • Go shopping for smoke detectors.

    • Write a letter to the landlord about fire safety issues.

    Suggested Reflective Practice(s)

    During the next class the teacher should discuss the homework assignment (the escape plan) with the students.

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