Community Helpers

K, 1, 2

Students will brainstorm jobs that make up any community. Students are introduced to the concepts of “profit” and “not-for-profit” in their own community.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • name community helpers.
  • define the terms “for-profit” and “not-for-profit.”
  • Give examples of non-profit jobs.
  • Children's literature that talks about careers and community helpers. See Bibliographical References for some suggested books.
  • Coloring pages of community helpers (coloring books available at teacher supply stores or browse on the Internet—see Bibliographical References )
  • Pictures of community helpers
  • Paper and crayons, markers or colored pencils
  • student copies of Handout One: Volunteering in the Community (in Spanish, Handout Two)
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework: Send home Handout One: Volunteering in the Community . Have students talk with their families about volunteering and community helpers. They should bring their homework in the following day. Extension: Talk about the difference between goods and services. Community helpers are often seen as those who provide services such as mail carriers, police officers and fire fighters. It may be confusing that these are not volunteer positions (although there are volunteer fire fighters). Community helpers are paid for their work. Play BINGO or Lotto with illustrations of community helpers on cards. On the board, you can either put pictures of their tools, the buildings where they work or a label of the job for students to match.


Caseley, Judith. On the Town: A Community Adventure. Greenwillow, 2002. ISBN: 0060295848

First—Preschool Activities and Crafts: Community Helpers and Careers coloring pages May 26, 2004

Kalman, Bobbie. Community Helpers from A to Z. Crabtree Pub., 1997. ISBN: 0865054045

Kalman, Bobbie. What is a Community from A to Z. Crabtree Pub., 2000. ISBN: 0865054142

Pellegrino, Marjorie White. My Grandma's the Mayor: A Story for Children about Community Spirit and Pride. Magination, 1999. ISBN: 1557986088

Rockwell, Anne. Career Day . HarperCollins, 2000. ISBN: 0060275650


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Read aloud some books about careers and community helpers (see Bibliographical References or read your favorites). As you read, lead the students to recognize that communities have needs that are met by a large variety of jobs and people who work. For example, we have the need to eat so farmers/grocery stores provide food. Allow students to express connections to the jobs of the people they know.

  2. After reading, have students add to the chart paper list started in the previous lesson about jobs that are necessary in a community. Encourage the students to think of all of their needs and how they are met by community jobs.

  3. Tell the students that some of these jobs/people produce money for a business owner. Others of these jobs are “not-for-profit.” Define profit as money earned after the expenses and costs are covered. Give the example of a lemonade stand. Once they pay back Mom for the costs of the ingredients and cups, the rest of the money that they keep is profit. Define “not-for-profit” as something done for the common good that does not produce a profit. Give the example of a museum that provides a service for the common good. The museum takes your money to cover the costs of the art exhibits and the pay of the employees (those that are not volunteers, which is in the next lesson) but it doesn't earn a profit.

  4. Display the list so all students can see all the pages. If you have small pictures to affix next to each job in the list, it will help students with the rereading. With the help of the students, indicate which community jobs are for profit and which are “not-for-profit.” There may be some gray areas, but some are clearly non-profit: fire fighters, mail carriers, librarians and teachers.

  5. Tell each student to choose one job from the list. The students should illustrate the job using crayons, markers or colored pencils. The illustration should indicate the “uniform” and tools required of the job. Labels should indicate whether the job is for profit or not-for-profit. Additional information may include related interests, education and personal information.


Use the following rubric to assess student understanding of the chosen career.


4 Appropriate illustration of helper, materials or uniform of helper, and correct label of profit or not-for-profit status of the worker.

3 Appropriate illustration of helper, materials or uniform of helper, but incorrect label of profit or not-for-profit status of the worker

2 Two of the three elements are missing.

1 Illustration not pertaining to the topic discussed.

0 No illustration, no tools, no label.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Define the terms "profit" and "not-for-profit."
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Define each of the sectors: business, government, civil society, and family.
    3. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name and recognize the civil society sector as a separate part of the community.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define and give examples of civil society sector corporations.
      2. Benchmark E.10 Identify local people who have jobs in the civil society sector.
    2. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name examples of civil society organizations in the community.