Introducing safety in the classroom is vital to children’s learning. As early as their age, they need to develop a sense of responsibility for their physical well-being. Since they live in a community, walk along pathways, cross the street and take a bus, they must be aware of visual reminders that keep them away from vehicular accidents and other untoward incidents.
Although safety is a serious topic, the concept can be made more interactive, fun and meaningful for children. By showing safety signs to them, you can do one of the following activities:
- Classify signs based on color and figure out what each color conveys. As they sort them out, they will realize that red means prohibition, yellow suggests caution and blue implies mandatory obligations.
- Categorize signs based on their shape. What does a red circle with a diagonal line tell them? How about blue circles? What message do they get from yellow triangles and green rectangles?
- Group the signs that contain only words, only pictures and both words and pictures. With proper and enthusiastic guidance, preschoolers would love to try identifying the letters, reading the words and interpreting the symbols.
Safety signs need not be taught at one time in the classroom. They can be simply integrated in a context where children will understand why they have to be placed here or there.
- Traffic signs can be taught before the class goes on a field trip. This way, they’d understand why their bus has to stop at red and go at green lights.
- Emergency signs can be introduced as you bring the entire class to the gym for their PE class. You can intentionally pass along the hallway with the exit or fire extinguisher sign so they’d know what it is for.
- When you introduce different means of transportation, you can prepare a parking lot with helpful signs, and let the children identify where the bus should stop, where the vehicles must enter and where the bicycles should be.
To sum up your safety lesson in the classroom, let the kids remember the simple procedure, “Stop, look, listen and think.” The best illustration for this is when they cross the street. They need to stop at one end of the pedestrian lane, take a look at the vehicles and cues around, listen to sound engines, and think of the right thing to do.