Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey Activities

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

If you're teaching elementary students about the events of September 11, you may be interested in the book 'Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey.' These activities will help you get the most out of this important book.

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey

Maira Kalman's book Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey is a beautifully told, exquisitely illustrated tale of bravery in the face of the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001. Kalman sensitively tells just enough of the events of September 11 to ground the story in the historical event, while focusing her tale on the history and heroic actions of the fireboat named the John J. Harvey. This book carries a wide range of teaching possibilities for your upper elementary students. Here are a number of activities to get you started.

Activity: More about Fireboats

Objective: Research fireboats.

Materials: Chart paper, research resources

  • Preparation: Gather resources with information about fireboats.
  • As a class, create a KWL (Know, Want to know, Learned) chart about fireboats. Fill out the ''know'' and ''want to know'' sections.
  • Distribute different resources about fireboats to students or groups of students.
  • Students read the resources and take notes, paying particular attention to the answers to any questions the class asked on the KWL chart.
  • Complete the ''learned'' section of the chart as a class.

Activity: Journal Prompts

Objective: Write journal entries related to the book Fireboat. (Specific parameters and expectations for journal entries will be determined by your class's current needs.)

Materials: Journal and pencil

Suggested journal prompts:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account