Crossing the street safely is an essential lesson that all children must learn. After all, this simple behavior can actually be a matter of life and death. Therefore, school teachers for at least the lower grades should make sure to include street crossing safety lesson plans in their curriculum.
At the end of the lesson, the students should be able to:
- Identify the steps in crossing the street safely.
- Give some tips on how to cross the street safely.
- Describe the importance of knowing how to cross the street safely.
Before you present the lesson proper, get the kids excited about this particular topic. Hand out printed copies of a picture of a street as well as coloring materials. Let your entire class form a circle on the floor. If there are too many students, you may opt to make two or three circles instead.
Tell the children that in this activity, they have to listen carefully to your instructions and follow them. Here are the instructions:
- Write your name on the paper.
- Draw and color two people crossing the street within 5 minutes only.
- Pass the paper to your right.
- Draw and color a traffic light on one side of the street within 3 minutes only.
- Pass the paper four times to your right.
- Draw and color a building, house, or school behind the traffic light. You are given 5 minutes to do this.
- Pass the paper to your left.
- Draw and color three cars on the street. You are given 5 minutes to do this.
- Pass the paper to your left again.
- Draw and color a policeman or a security guard in the middle of the street, in front of the cars. He is holding a stop sign.
- Return the paper to its owner.
First, ask the students what they think the picture they drew represents. Let some volunteers share their experiences about crossing a street such as how they felt, what they did, who was with them, and so forth. Next, let them brainstorm with a partner about what they think are important tips kids must follow when crossing the street. Be sure to process these tips to make the children understand better. Write down the relevant ones on the board along with the tips you have already prepared to share with them.
Here are a few tips you can include in your lesson:
- Be familiar with the traffic signs such as the moving light signal of a man walking, which turns red or green to signify that people can cross the street.
- Always look first to your left and right, and be aware of moving vehicles at all times— even bicycles!
- Know how to walk within the white lines on the road when crossing.
- Try to cross the street with other people.
- If there is a policeman or guard giving a signal, wait for him to motion with his hand indicating that you can cross or to show a placard that says “Go”.
- Avoid dawdling or engaging in other activities while walking such as using a cellphone or looking for something in your bag.
Go over these tips and other safety rules with your students. Teach them about jay walking, specifically, what it means and what the consequences are. Afterward, put on a pretend traffic policeman’s vest and act out the part. Let the students stand on one side in groups, and ask them to cross the street properly. It would be good if you can prepare props such as a traffic light and white lines on the floor prior to this activity.
As an enrichment activity, you may want to divide your students into groups to prepare for a role-play. Give each group a specific situation in which they need to act out crossing the street. Have the audience ask questions and give comments on each skit.
Street crossing safety lesson plans are essential for these children, so do not forget to summarize the lesson. Recall the different tips with the students and emphasize the importance of knowing how to cross a street properly.
Evaluate the students’ learning by asking them to check given statements which they think will help children cross a street safely. Let them draw and explain three more tips. You may also describe specific situations, and give choices on the best thing to do.
Author’s own experience