Children are often rowdy on the school bus, which can lead to a dangerous situation. At the end of these lesson plans for school bus safety, children should not only know the rules that they need to follow while riding the school bus, but they should also understand the reasoning behind those rules.
With the class, brainstorm a list of safety rules that students should follow while on the bus. Allow students to come up with as many of their own ideas as possible, and add a few of your own to make sure that their list is comprehensive. The following are some rules that you might want to make sure to include:
- Wait for a bus at a safe location (not in the street).
- Hold onto the rail when going on and off the bus.
- Sit down as soon as you find a seat.
- Listen to whatever the bus driver says.
- Stay seated throughout the entire trip, whether the bus is moving or not.
- Keep all of your body parts – including arms and head – inside the bus.
- Don't eat or drink on the bus (if this rule exists in your area).
- Do not cross in front of the bus until the bus driver signals to you to do so.
- Look both ways when crossing in front of the bus, instead of relying on the bus driver completely.
Read through the list as a class and check off the rules you think are most important, and discuss why each one is so important. For example, students should understand that standing up during the trip could distract the driver, which could cause an accident. Rewrite the most important rules in another list that you will use in the following activity.
Whole Class Practice
Let students role play each rule – both what it says they should do, and what it says they shouldn't do. To do this, line up chairs in two rows of two to represent the seats on a bus. Place one larger chair in the front for the bus driver. Then let students role play getting on and off the bus at different stops while you go through each of the rules. For example, if you are trying to role play the rule "Keep all of your body parts inside of the bus," students might see someone pretending to reach out the window for something and call out, "No! Don't do that!" Afterwards, give students the signal to show what not to do, and students will enjoy sticking their arms and heads out of the pretend windows and pretending that they are getting hit by trees and such as the bus rushes down a narrow street. This will also help students to understand the rationale behind each of the rules.
Instruct pairs or small groups of students to each create a poster illustrating one of the rules they learned from this lesson plan for school bus safety. Students should include a catchy phrase that explains what the rule is and why students should follow it.
After each group of students present their poster, ask the listening students to restate what the rule is and explain why it is so important. You should be able to see from their responses whether students have successfully understood the concepts presented. You also might ask them for tips about how to stick to the rules, such as activities they can use to keep busy on the school bus in a safe way.