Teaching students about school bus safety is essential so that they avoid getting injured. Accidents occur when children are standing behind buses, near buses and riding them. Teaching students how to act and behave on buses makes it easier for bus drivers to do their jobs and keep children safer. Although Nation School Bus Safety Week is in October, school bus safety is so important that teachers should reinforce safety rules and help students understand the importance of following them throughout the year.
Brainstorm bus safety rules with the class. Prompt the children by asking them to think about rules that would be appropriate while waiting for the bus, while on the bus and when getting off the bus. Tell children to create posters about bus safety that will be displayed in the school. Students can present their posters to their own class or another class before they are displayed. Children can also participate in a schoolwide or national poster contest, like the one sponsored by the National Association for Pupil Transportation.
Bus Safety Play
This is a nice activity for third, fourth, or fifth graders who may enjoy teaching younger children about bus safety. The teacher should briefly discuss school bus safety rules and then call students up to help her act out scenarios that demonstrate appropriate or inappropriate bus behavior. Only those children acting will be told the specific scenario. The rest of the class or audience will be told to put their thumbs up if the behavior is acceptable and thumbs down if it is unsafe behavior. Children will then have the opportunity to conduct the scenarios for younger children who will indicate whether the behavior is safe or unsafe. A brief discussion can follow the class decisions.
Reviewing safety rules to music can help children remember them. List school bus safety rules on chart paper. Choose a tune the class knows and make up different words that remind children about various bus safety rules. Practice singing the song so the children can get used to remembering the rules. Once children know them well, they are more likely to follow them.
Non-Fiction Picture Book
Divide children into pairs. Invite each pair of children to select one rule and create a picture book that identifies the rule, why it is important and what can happen if the rule is not followed. After all the books are created, invite parents to come to the class and let students share their books with their families. Books can also be placed in the school library so other students can enjoy them.