I read the book: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. Throughout the story, the students and I discussed the various behavioral choices the characters made and the consequences of their choices. These consequences usually involved accidents, disasters, and the brief loss of a valued friend. During this discussion, I can remember being so impressed by the connections the students were making.
After the story, we brainstormed "safety rules" to write on stars. These "safety rules" followed this format: If I _____, then _____.
Here are some examples of rules that were created:
- If I talk in class, then I will not learn.
- If I push a friend, then he/she may get hurt.
- If I don't let someone play, then he/she will feel sad.
- If I finish my homework, then I will learn more and my teacher will be proud of me.
Over the holidays, I found the life-sized paintings of Officer Buckle and Gloria that I had made years ago! I couldn't believe that the heat and cold in the attic didn't ruin them!! I can remember making these -- a labor of love --complete with faux fur on Gloria's tail and faux hair on Officer Buckle.
So, before the students returned for the next week's small group session, I created a bulletin board for their star safety rules.
This lesson could be easily adapted to other grade levels and for use in classrooms. While I focused on consequences, just plain ol' safety rules (home, school, neighborhood) could also be the objective of a lesson.