Information for the Intermediate Division (Grades 7-8)
The following information should be used to inform all of the lesson plans provided for the Grade 7 to Grade 8 level.
a) General Information
Research indicates that school based education programs and resources are key elements in an integrated approach to reduce road fatalities, casualties and trauma.1 Thus, the need for meaningful and purposeful road safety education, including road safety, driving distractions, and prevention. To be successful in changing attitudes and behaviour, road safety education for students must be relevant and applicable to their stage in life.
"In 2006, the young drivers (16 to 19) fatal collision involvement rate was 65 per cent higher than the general population fatal collision involvement rate (2.28 vs.1.38)".2 As students are on the cusp of entering high school, they are getting ever closer to the day when they will be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Making them aware of statistics like this can only help to make students more conscious of road safety and the critical need for prevention of risks.
Injuries to children riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are on the rise nationally, spurring a new debate on creating federal legislation to manage the problem. The factors in these mishaps are well-known and boys aged 15 to 19 are most at risk. Speed, inexperience, inadequate protective equipment, non-use of helmets and alcohol are common factors.3
The lessons in this resource address road safety education - safety recognition, unsafe behaviours related to roadways, driving distractions and ways to prevent future crashes. Literacy is integrated within each lesson, although it is not just about reading and writing. Rather, it is about how we communicate in society, social practices, relationships, knowledge, language and culture.
Literacy instruction has moved beyond seeking functional literacy for all. We now appreciate that "critical literacy" may be more important. Critical literacy is the ability to take functional skills towards the ability to mount a personal critique of the issues around us, to help us understand, comment on and, ultimately, control the direction of our lives. Road safety is very much an integral component of this as the healthy schools approach is included in all subjects across the curriculum.
b) Teaching and Learning Strategies
The overall teaching and learning strategy will:
Include a range of cooperative and collaborative learning strategies addressing differentiated instruction and multiple intelligences;
Ensure a flexible approach, in allowing for co-construction of meaning and exploration of a variety of perspectives;
Address adolescent literacy development and challenges;
Reflect thoughtful and coherent use of literacy and learning strategies - explicit, systematic understanding of the conditions for effective strategy instruction, modeling, and application;
Focus on open-ended questions that engage all learners in higher-order thinking and that prompt learners to explore various ways of thinking, such as describing, analyzing, integrating, comparing, and explaining;
Provide scaffold support to help each student grow beyond his or her current level of achievement, while gradually releasing responsibility to the student to help foster individual learning;
Coach and provide descriptive feedback to small groups of students or individual students during guided and independent activities;
Be flexible in terms of instructional approaches, groupings and resources.
The overall teaching and learning strategy will help students to:
Develop conceptual understanding, make connections, reorganize information, think critically, and engage in the stance of critical literacy that compels social action;
Participate in cooperative learning and engage in productive interaction and talk;
Communicate and think through the processes of speaking, listening, reading, writing, viewing, and representing;
Increase focus on problem solving and higher-order thinking;
Help students to reshape and reframe their thinking through collaborative learning activities;
Work in small or whole class activities which will help students to;
build inclusive, collaborative communities,
appreciate and build upon student differences,
develop and use higher order thinking skills,
experience social, emotional and academic success,
develop deep understanding of key teachings.
c) Cross-Curricular Linkages
This teaching resource contains a set of lesson plans to support the delivery of Living Safely through Literacy, while reinforcing key road safety messages. Road safety education is an excellent vehicle for developing general goals and skill sets for literacy and working toward building a safe, realistic and healthy future for Canada's young people.
Below are some suggestions as how to modify the student activities to address expectations from other curricular areas.
Health and Physical Education
Develop an obstacle course using road signs as stations where students perform a certain exercise.
Research the potential speed of each method of transportation, then create a graph comparing the various speeds.
Read, interpret and draw conclusions from primary data presented in charts, tables and graphs.
Collect and organize data to make convincing arguments.
Write a letter to the Member of Parliament in your area requesting stricter penalties for road safety violations.
Compare and contrast the development of the automobile and bicycle industries and linkages to road safety.
Study the development of road safety signs in various continents. Using a graphic organizer, identify the similarities and differences each continent might have.
d) Cross-Sectoral Linkages
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Arrive Alive DRIVER SOBER (OOCID)
Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (PARTY)
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA)
National Safety Council (NSC)
Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP)
Canada Safety Council (CSC)
Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs (OFATV)
Critical Literacy: The capacity to look beyond the literal meaning of texts to observe what is present and what is missing, in order to analyse and evaluate the text's complete meaning and the author's intent. Critical literacy goes beyond conventional critical thinking and focuses on issues related to fairness, equity, and social justice. Critically literate students adopt a critical stance, asking what view of the world the text advances and whether they find this view acceptable.
Critical Thinking: The process of thinking about ideas or situations in order to understand them fully, identify their implications, and/or make a judgement about what is sensible or reasonable to believe or do.
driver distraction: Anything that takes a driver's eyes (visual), mind (cognitive), or hands off the steering wheel (manual).
DUMB: A program to promote awareness of driver distractions and prevention through the DUMB (Distractions Undermining Motorist Behavior) Car which is a driver distraction simulator.
Graphic Organizer: Diagrams to visually analyze and organize information to present findings.
MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a charitable organization that works to prevent impaired driving while supporting victims and their families.
PARTY: The PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program is a one-day, in-hospital, injury awareness and prevention program for youth age 16 and older.
Role Play: A simulated conversation or situation in which students assume character roles. During role play, students learn from and with each other in ways which are mutually beneficial.
Webbing: A teaching technique that helps students learn by making connections with academic disciplines, as well as their personal lives. This technique is especially useful for prevention education because it builds ownership and understanding.
g) Large Group and School-wide Activities
Invite a victim of drunk driving to speak to the school during Road Safety Week.
Conduct a writing contest in which students write an essay on the importance of seat belts or other safe driving behaviours. The author of the best essay receives a prize, or other recognition.
Conduct a walkathon to raise awareness. Students might walk around the school or neighbouring roadways, with assistance from the local police service.
Create road signs to depict that names of school hallways.
Conduct a Karaoke Day, using songs that have words related to roads and trails.
Integrate daily physical activity (DPA) by creating station games using road signs for particular physical activities.
h) Creating Inclusive Health and Physical Education Classes and Activities
"Inclusive Physical Education recognizes the inherent value of each student, the need for independence and self-determination and the right to make choices".4
All students should have an opportunity to participate actively, to the best of their ability. By adapting the nature of the activity, the equipment and the rules, teachers can provide differentiated learning opportunities and create successful experiences for students, with a wide variety of skills and abilities. "Adapting an activity to promote inclusion only requires an open mind, creativity, flexibility and collaboration with those participating"5.
**For a list of tips and aspects to consider when adapting activities suggested in this resource and beyond, click here.