Authority Figure Activities for Kindergarten

A kindergarten student doing arts and crafts.
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Learning about authority figures can help kindergarten students to better understand how the rules of society work. Bringing lessons about these people to the student's level and making them meaningful can help the kindergartner to get a grip on the content and enjoy the learning process. You can connect the concept of authority with people who your students see often, such as the principal or police officers.

1 Finding Figures

A young girl dressed up as a police officer.
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Young students may not know -- or may not realize that they know -- where to find authority figures. Ask the students something such as, "Where do you think we could find an authority figure?" or get specific and pick one figure to ask about. Doing so will help the kindergartners to connect the person with the job that they do. For example, the principal works at the school. The children may know that they can find some authority figures at multiple places. A police officer works at the police station, but may direct traffic or keep the peace at a town parade. Put up a map of the town or make your own with illustrated landmarks such as the school and fire station. Have the kindergarten students point to or put stickers on the places where each figure is found.

2 Pretend Play

Two young boys in school.
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Role play and pretend play are more than just fun-time activities for the young child. Engaging in pretend play activities allows kids to problem-solve, use their language skills and learn through imitation, according to the article "The Importance of Pretend Play" on the Scholastic Parents website. Ask each student to play an authority figure and act out a scenario. Provide your students with costumes or props. This gives your kindergarten class the chance to identify and show that they know who authority figures are and what they do.

3 In-Class Field Trip

Students on a field trip.
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If your class doesn't have the time, or you don't have the budget, to take the students on a field trip to the fire station or police facility bring the authority figures into the classroom. Invite the local authority figures to come in and talk to your students about what they do on a daily basis and why it's important to follow their instructions. You can also include familiar faces such as the school counselor or principal along with outside authority experts.

4 Bring the Learning Home

An elementary school teacher and her pupils.
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Authority figures aren't just paid employees -- such as the police or the principal. Parents are also authority figures that kindergartners have to follow. Give the students a list of questions to ask their parents about how the family creates rules and who is in charge of enforcing them. This will help your young students to better understand how rules are made. After the kindergartners complete their parent interviews, have them present the information to you in the form of a drawing that illustrates what the words say.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.