K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Learn more

Related pages

  • A brochure of safety tips: The students summarize information they have read and learned in school to create a brochure of important safety tips. They work in teams, each on a specific area of safety, to create a multimedia presentation on the computer using HyperStudio, or other publishing or presentation software, for text, graphics, and sound.
  • Catawba Firefighter's Museum: This museum has exhibits showing the history of firefighting in Catawba County with examples of firefighting equipment from earlier times.
  • Tuning in to good nutrition: Advertisers use a number of strategies to get us to buy the foods they are selling. This lesson plan, from the Food for Thought nutrition curriculum, asks students to think about these strategies, how they work, and how by understanding these strategies, they can make informed decisions when they make food purchases.

Related topics


Please read our disclaimer for lesson plans.


The text of this page is copyright ©2008. See terms of use. Images and other media may be licensed separately; see captions for more information and read the fine print.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • describe swimming safety tips.
  • describe bike safety rules.
  • name harmful insects and plants.
  • learn safety procedures and what to do while on vacation with their family.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

4 days


  • Collection of pictures showing summer activities
  • Chart paper
  • Newsprint
  • Crayons
  • Bike helmets (borrow from a sporting goods store or from the kids)
  • Picture file including spiders, ticks, poison Ivy, snakes, cute baby woodland animals (bunnies, raccoons, squirrels, etc.)
  • Neighborhood map showing streets, shopping areas, and a park
  • Television and VCR
  • Longfellow’s WHALE Tales or Waddles Presents Aquacktic both from the American Red Cross
  • Safety representative to teach the children this water safety program (contact Red Cross)
  • Police department representative to teach the children seat belt safety (They have a car seat with belts for the children to use for this demonstration.)

Technology resources

Computer with internet access is recommended to access the site listed in the sidebar.


The children should be familiar with how to use the 911 service. They should know their full names and where they live.


Day 1

  1. The teacher will introduce this lesson to the students by asking open-ended questions: What do you like best about summer vacation? Is there anything bad you know that happens in the summer? (Give the students time to answer the first question. List their suggestions on the board or chart paper. Do the same for the second question.)
  2. Teacher input: Share several pictures of summer activities with the students. (swimming, hiking, sunbathing, camping, playing games, bike riding, etc.) Ask:
    • What are the people doing in this picture?
    • How many of you like doing this?
    • Are there any dangers in doing this? (Discuss)
  3. State objective and essential question for today’s lesson, “Today we will learn to recognize unsafe situations you see and hear about in a story.”
  4. Share the story, Dinosaurs, Beware! A Safety Guide.
  5. Discuss the story and what was learned. List students’ responses on a diagram that can be referred to later.
  6. At their seats, students draw a picture of something learned today about safety.

Day 2

  1. Teacher should review with the students what was done on the previous day.
  2. Go back and highlight what activities you listed as being dangerous.
  3. State objective for today, “Today we will learn about staying safe while riding bikes.”
  4. Make a simple web for the students to help give information on needs of bike riders. See attached GIF file on Bike Rider Needs.
  5. After completing the web with the students, present them with bike helmets you have obtained. Discuss what the item is and how it should be worn.
  6. Do a quick check with hands raised to see how many students have helmets like the different ones presented.
  7. Demonstrate with volunteers the correct way to wear a helmet. (Make sure to wipe the insides with an alcohol wipe between each student trying the helmet on.)
  8. Using the large neighborhood maps, have different students point out safe places to ride a bike.
  9. After pointing out the safe places to ride, use your computer to show the students the NHTSA Bike Safety Video page, which covers bike safety and what to wear.

Day 3

  1. Today will be the day to focus on pool and water safety. Invite a Red Cross volunteer to present the Longfellow’s WHALE Tales program to your students. This program will teach the students about staying safe around the water. Time will be given in the presentation for discussion and evaluation to take place. You will need to schedule this ahead of time. A VCR is needed for the video.
  2. The Red Cross has a new program called Waddles Presents Aquacktic Safety for pre-school through Kindergarten.

Day 4

  1. Review with the students all they have learned about staying safe over the summer.
  2. Introduce today’s lesson by having the students tell you places they like to go during the summer.
  3. Make a class graph showing which place is their favorite.
  4. Tell students that today you want to share with them some dangerous creatures and plants they may see or even find on themselves while out at the park, playing a baseball game, or hiking. Show pictures of a tick, a snake, poison ivy, and maybe even a harmful spider.
  5. Label each and tell the effects of coming into contact with each.
  6. Have students identify each picture as the teacher reads a riddle. Have fun making up your own riddles. Riddle examples:
    • I’m thinking about an animal that likes to suck blood. It is small and likes to stick his head into your skin or into your pet.
    • I’m thinking about a beautiful three-leafed plant that makes you itch, itch, itch.
    • I’m thinking about an eight-legged creature that’s shiny and black. It lives around your house. I can find them under rocks or close to the sidewalk or garage.
  7. After the students have matched the names of each harmful animal or plant, show them pictures of cute little squirrels, raccoons, and bunnies. Discuss with them the dangers of playing with wild animals they find in the woods. Tell them what rabies is and how animals may carry this disease.


  • The teacher may elect to have an oral discussion with the entire class and discuss the various safety issues that have been addressed during that class. Teacher observation of how well a student responds to questions and contributes to the discussion will give you a good idea if the student understands.
  • Role-play situations will help students to practice a reaction to a situation in which safety is an issue.
  • Have the students draw pictures showing an unsafe situation. Have them explain what they would do if they were in that picture.
  • Write letters to the police and fire departments, recreation director, rescue squad, or parents telling each organization or person what they have learned to stay safe.

Supplemental information

Relevant literature:

Music resource:

Kidding Around “Safety Break” (Rap) by Greg & Steve


I wanted to give teachers of young children a lesson that would help them to teach the kindergarteners they are letting go for the summer some important skills for staying safe while away on vacation. I know that many, many accidents occur during these months and that we can’t prevent all of them, but we can help the kids to be smarter. The outdoors is fun, but also dangerous. Young children are eager to collect items and investigate creatures and objects. They need to know what is harmful and harmless.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Healthful Living (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • K.PCH.2 Understand necessary steps to prevent and respond to unintentional injury. K.PCH.2.1 Recognize the meanings of traffic signs and signals. K.PCH.2.2 Explain the benefits of wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets. K.PCH.2.3 Illustrate how to get help...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Healthful Living Education (2006)


  • Goal 2: The learner will develop knowledge and skills to enhance personal and consumer health.
    • Objective 2.05: Evaluate the benefits of wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets.