LENDING A HAND – Community Helpers

Students create a print of their hand and draw five of their favourite community helpers at the tip the thumb and each finger.

Required Time

90 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 3


Art Techniques
Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


career community helper crossing guard dentist doctor firefighter job nurse police officer teacher


Crayola Watercolour and Marker Paper Crayola Construction Paper Crayola Tempera Paint Scissors Styrofoam Trays or Plastic Mats Coloured Pencils

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LENDING A HAND – Community Helpers - Step One

Step One

Choose your favourite paint colour and spread a thin layer of it evenly over a styrofoam tray. Spread the fingers of your hand and carefully place it, palm down, into the paint. Make sure that the palm of your hand is completely covered in paint.

LENDING A HAND – Community Helpers - Step Two

Step Two

Create a print on white paper by carefully placing your hand (paint side down) onto it. Be careful not to move your hand, or your image will be blurry.

LENDING A HAND – Community Helpers - Step Three

Step Three

Set your hand print aside to dry.

LENDING A HAND – Community Helpers - Step Four

Step Four

Brainstorm community helpers you know. First work alone and write your own ideas. Think about what they do. Think about the uniforms they wear. After a few minutes, share your ideas with your group. Choose five community helpers you want to draw.

LENDING A HAND – Community Helpers - Step Five

Step Five

Draw a helper at the end of the thumb and each finger. Make sure you add enough details to show what each helper does.

LENDING A HAND – Community Helpers - Step Six

Step Six

Share your community helpers picture with the class. 

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Identify a minimum of 5 different community helpers and the tools/materials used by each;
  2. Draw appropriate features for each helper so that they are identifiable by others;
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  4. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


  1. Have students make one of their community helpers 3-dimensional by creating it with an empty paper towel roll. Put the community helper into action by creating a 3- dimensional setting, e.g., a firefighter putting out a fire in a burning house.
  2. Invite community helpers into the classroom to share information about the jobs they do.
  3. Have students write a story about the typical workday of one of the helpers they created.


  1. Gather all of the materials that students will need for this project.
  2. Gather books and pictures about community helpers for students to refer to. For example, Community Helpers from A to Z, by Bobbie Kalman, Clothesline Clues: Jobs, by Kathryn Heling, Helpers in My Community (Bobbie Kalman's Leveled Readers: My World: G), by Bobbie Kalman 
  3. Gather pictures of various community helpers.


  1. Use one of the books to introduce the idea of community helpers. Talk about the community helpers the students know. Choose one and help students describe specific details about what the helper does and why it is important. List their ideas on a chart paper using words and drawings.
  2. Make pictures of community helpers available and encourage students to refer to them frequently.
  3. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create 5 different community helpers.
  2. Draw enough details for each helper so that other people can tell what they do.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Have students complete their hand print and then place them into groups of about 5 or 6.
  2. Guide them through the brainstorming process.
  3. Provide time for each student to write down his or her own ideas.
  4. Ask students to share their brainstorming with their group and compare lists.
  5. Have each student choose their five community helpers and list some of the features they will include in order for others to identify each helper.
  6. Guide students through the steps in this project.
  7. Observe students as they work. From time to time ask them to stop and view their work from a bit of a distance so they can see it with 'fresh eyes'.
  8. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students in groups of 5 or 6 and ask them to share their work with each other. Ask students to share the following:
    Why did you choose these helpers?
    - How are your drawings the same and how are they different from others?
    - How do the drawings tell what the helpers do?
  2. As a whole class tally how many community helpers were drawn. Find out if some were more popular than others? Consider why this might be so.


  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience. (Download - HELPERS_tracking.pdf)
  3. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - HELPERS_self-assessment.pdf)