Imagine if you asked Sweet Suzie to be the line leader everyday of the school year. It would not take long for you to hear the cries, “That’s not fair!" from your students. Use this Social Studies lesson plan to show your students why rules and laws are used to create a safe and fair environment. Included are activities and a printable worksheet.
1. Students will identify purposes for having rules and ways that they provide order, fairness, security, and safety in the home, school, and community.
Materials and Preparation:
- Book: Signs in Our World by John Searcy
- Worksheet: Download the printable worksheet and provide a copy for each child.
- Sidewalk chalk or masking tape: On the playground, in the multi-purpose room or the classroom create a simple street scene. Include an intersection and a stop sign or traffic light. It does not need to be fancy just an outline on which the students can move.
Gather your children close to the street scene that you have created. Assign a few children to pretend to be driving cars on the street. Tell them to follow the rules and laws by driving on the correct side of the street and stopping at the stop sign. Then introduce a few students into the scene who are not following the laws. They can drive on the wrong side of the road and ignore the stop sign and speed limit.
Stop the scene after a few minutes and ask these questions:
1. Even though it seemed like fun to break the rules on our little roadway, what would happen with real cars on a real street?
2. Why are laws important when driving? To keep us safe and orderly.
3. Would it be fair to the drivers on one road if the drivers on the other road never stopped at the traffic light or the stop sign?
4. If you were a pedestrian on our street what rules would you need to follow?
Next divide the students into small groups and assign each group a topic: bus, playground, home, classroom or cafeteria. Instruct each group to think of two rules or laws that are specific to their topic. For this age group allow 5-10 minutes maximum.
Then gather the students together and ask each group to tell the rest of the class the rules that they discussed for their topic. Emphasize the fact in each case that the rules keep the situation safe, orderly and fair.
Use parts of the book Signs in Our World to show the children samples of all of the signs in our world. There’s even a kangaroo crossing sign!
Worksheet: The children will write one rule for each topic: bus, playground, home and classroom.
- Searcy, John. Signs in Our World. DK Publishing, 2006.