Most schools require that kindergarten students learn about safety rules, signs and symbols. Usually, these are included in thematic units about neighbourhoods and community helpers. Hopefully, most kids will be familiar with some commonly used signs when they begin the school year. The rest you can teach using games and other activities.
- Skill level:
Display easily recognisable signs and symbols on the wall at the beginning of the school year. Go over them briefly when showing kids the classroom. Ask the children to tell you what the signs and symbols mean. Clarify any misunderstanding. Manythings.org has pictures of most traffic signs and many other safety symbols you can print for free.
Teach signs and symbols explicitly and directly as part of thematic units on safety. Safety is usually included in units on community helpers, health and transportation. The internet has vast resources for teachers on many sites. DLTK-Kids and KinderPlans as well as Building Blocks have printable activities and teaching suggestions to use in class.
Try role-play scenarios in which students have to demonstrate knowledge of safety rules. Have kids come to the front of the class and pretend to be playing in a park. Hold up a "No Playing" sign and ask kids to show what they would do if they see the sign. Emphasise that even if they do not know the words, the picture will give them a clue about what to do. For example, a "No Playing" sign likely will be represented by a picture of children chasing a ball that's been crossed out with an "X."
Take students on a walking tour of the school and neighbourhood. Get kids to look for stop signs and signs with symbols that indicate "Men Are Working" or "No Bicycle On Sidewalk." Take pictures of signs with a digital camera so you can print them and display them in the classroom.
Play online games. Kindergarten children will enjoy the interactive activities available on the internet. They can take a quiz on traffic signs at New York's Kids Safety Site. DLTK-Kids has games children can play to increase awareness of fire, bike and car safety.
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