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Lesson Plan #: AELP-SFY0008
Author: Kim-Scott Miller, Washington, D.C. Date: 1994

Grade Level(s): 2, 3, 4


  • Health/Safety

Overview: Children are accustomed to hearing parents and teachers warn, Don’t touch that!, Be careful!, Watch your step!, Look where you’re going! But how can adults be assured of children’s safety when they are not there to forewarn? One way is through education.

Children need to learn safety skills. They need to practice recognizing unsafe conditions and selecting behavioral responses that avoid the potential dangers. Helping children acquire good judgment and good safety habits allows them to grow in independence without jeopardizing their welfare.

Purpose: Knowledge about safety is as important as knowledge about reading, writing and arithmetic. Adults can’t always be with children to guide and direct them. There are going to be times when they don’t have the benefit of a caring, watchful adult at home, at school or at play. It’s imperative that children are taught some safety fundamentals so that they can take a degree of responsibility for their own safety and well-being.


1. To raise children’s awareness of safety and help them recognize that safety involves taking responsibility for oneself.
2. To encourage children to take measures at home, at school and at play to foster safety.
3. To make safety a priority at home by encouraging parents and children to discuss safety and emergency procedures.
4. To provide practice in anticipating potentially dangerous situations and in identifying positive steps to avert them.


Activity One

Goal: To help students recognize that their homes can be made safer if some preventive measures are taken. Introduce this activity by discussing the various rooms in a typical home: how much time is spent at home; and the variety of activities that a family engages in at home. Discuss the fact that many accidents occur at home but that these can be prevented if precautions are taken and good sense is exercised.

Follow-up: Make a classroom scrapbook. Have students collect newspaper clippings and pictures about accidents that have occurred in people’s homes. Discuss ways in which these accidents might have been avoided.

Activity Two

Goal: To help students acquire habits of caution and a sense of responsibility for their own safety. To develop the understanding that these skills contribute to a school-safe environment. Introduce this activity by discussing how much time is spent going to and from school; playing on the school grounds; learning in the school classrooms; and moving through the school building. Discuss how a school can be a safe place or a dangerous place depending on the actions and reactions of its students.

Follow-up: Establish committees with one group of children for each school area; i.e. cafeteria, auditorium, hallways, classroom, etc. Have each committee prepare a list of safety rules for their assigned area. Then post these listing in appropriate place throughout the school building.

Activity Three

Goal: To help students recognize that proper clothing for recreational activities can foster safety. Introduce this activity by discussing how different seasons and different activities call for certain kinds of clothing. Discuss how proper clothing fosters safety and improper clothing can cause accidents.

Follow-up: Have students generate a list of specific kinds of clothing and accessories required for extremes in temperature. Discuss how these items offer protection. Examples include gloves for safe play outdoors in winter, worn to avoid frostbite; sun hats for safe play in summer, worn to avoid sunstroke. Then have students generate a list of specific kinds of clothing and accessories required for various sports. Discuss how these items help avoid accidents. Examples include helmets for football, worn to prevent head injuries; knee pads for roller skating, worn to protect knees from scratches and bruises due to falls. Prepare a classroom display of these various articles that foster safe play.

Activity Four

Goal: To help students recognize that unsafe conditions are not irreversible and that when responsible and positive steps are taken, safety can be achieved. Introduce this activity by discussing the various types of homes that animals build or find. Mention how the location of an animal’s home is, in part, meant to keep their young safe from predators. Direct the discussion to the homes of people. Talk about the ways a person’s home, though meant to be a safe and sheltering haven from the elements, can be made unsafe by our own carelessness.

Follow-up: Practice having children make observations and judgments about the condition of things. Give each child four 3×5 index cards. Ask them to write the word Excellent on one of the cards. Do the same for the words Good, Fair and Poor. Then, take a walk around the school and its grounds. Stop at various points along the way. Ask the children to look at the condition of various things, such as the playground equipment, the walkway, the bleachers, etc. At each location, have students rate the safety conditions by holding up the card that best describes their opinion.

Tying It All Together:

1. Invite a doctor, nurse or dentist to your classroom. Ask one of these community workers to speak on the subject of safety.
2. Arrange for a field trip to your local fire department or police department.