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Lesson Plans
Teaching Child Safety

The classroom is a safe place to help young children think about staying safe. Discussing child safety doesn’t have to be scary. Before you start, though, make sure the children know that you don’t expect anything bad will happen to them; you just want them to know how to be safe.

Purpose

To identify and guide student understanding of safe and unsafe behaviors.

Materials

Stop/Go Handouts

Preparation

Make copies of the two-page handout for each student. For young students, you may want to cut out the octagon and the circle.

Procedure

In a large group, ask students what safety rules they know. These might include rules for play in the classroom and schoolyard as well as away from school.

  • Always let your parent or the person in charge help you cross the street.
  • Only go to the park with your parents, grandparents, or the person in charge.
  • Stay with a friend when you go outside to play.
  • Stay with your family when you go shopping in a store or when you go to the park or the zoo.
  • Tell your parents or your teacher anytime someone makes you feel scared or confused.

Now, distribute the “Stop/Go” student handouts (PDF) and a paper plate, crayons, and glue to each student. Have them color their handouts appropriately—red for the “stop” sign and green for the “go” signal. Then, have them cut out the shapes and glue one to each side of the paper plate.

Next, present safety scenarios to the class and have students show their signs and say “stop” or “go” to let you know what they should do. For example:

  • You’re at the park and you see a balloon floating away from where your family is picnicking. You want to follow it. (STOP)
  • You see a balloon floating away. You ask your Dad to go with you to catch the balloon. (GO)
  • You hear the doorbell and the babysitter doesn’t answer it. You think you should open the door. (STOP)
  • The doorbell rings and you know the babysitter doesn’t hear it. You run to get the babysitter. (GO)
  • It’s time for carpool. You don’t see your Mom, but you do see a neighbor. You run over to his car. (STOP)

Continue to present different scenarios to the students. Talk about why it’s important to “stop” or “go” in each situation.

Teaching Note: You may ask children to present their own scenarios as well. Or, as situations come up in the classroom, pull out the “stop” and “go” signs.

Related Family Article: Kids' Safety Tips


Resources

  • Time Magazine has some excellent parenting advice about keeping children safe. For example, tell children that if a police officer, security guard, or salesperson isn't around, and they're lost and scared, find a Mom. A woman with a stroller or young children is probably a person who will try to help a child who's lost.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has an excellent guide to get families talking. "Talk With Your Child About Sensitive Issues" provides conversation starters about safety and other hard-to-talk-about issues.
  • The FBI's "Safety Tips: Child Abduction" provides simple rules and suggestions.

Please note—to view documents in PDF format, you must have Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader software. If you do not already have this software installed on your computer, please download it from Adobe's Web site.

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Updated on 4/5/2013