Firefighter Challenge! Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will recognize the hard work firefighters do by analyzing the contest they participate in.


Social Studies Focus:

fire safety


ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, writing, diagrams


Page 4 Skill:

text features



challenge, pride, mannequin, baton, championship



RI.2.1 key details; RI.2.2 identify the main topic; RI.2.4 determine meanings of words; RI.2.5 use text features; RI.2.7 diagrams; RI.2.10 read informational texts; W.2.1 writing; SL.2.1 collaborative conversations; SL.2.3 ask and answer questions


Guided Reading Level: 



Lexile Level:


Provide students with some background on firefighters.

Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “Be a Fire Safety Expert.” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following question:

  • What is one thing you can do to be fire safe?

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue and discuss the cover. What else might a firefighter do during this contest?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 2: “Think about the hard work firefighters have to do.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Review vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are challenge, pride, mannequin, baton, and championship.

Assessment: Reading Quiz

Pass out the Reading Quiz to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

  • Students will build vocabulary and recognize the importance of firefighter gear with the “Dress a Firefighter” game.

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here’s how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words pride, mannequin, baton, and championship.

Editor’s Pick: Writing (15 min.)

  • The My Firefighter Challenge skill sheet allows students to illustrate their understanding of the skills needed to be a firefighter by designing their very own challenge.

ELA Focus: Diagrams (15 min.)

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson on firefighters:

  • Firefighter Jobs,” October 2017. Explore different jobs that firefighters do with this issue.
  • Fire Tech Tools,” October 2020. In this issue, students will discover three firefighting tools that provide solutions to problems firefighters face.

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher-Lexile level: 640L
  • Lower-Lexile level: 490L