Pedestrian Safety Series Part 2: The Rhyme

Now that you’ve read all about our bike safety curriculum, we thought you might be interested in our pedestrian safety curriculum as well! We teach this curriculum to 2nd and 3rd graders through the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Program.

We hope you enjoy this three part series!


Lesson 1 – Introduction to Pedestrian Safety

Timing: 45  minutes in class

Techniques: Use think, pair, share for the most in-class involvement

Before class:   Set up simulated road in designated location

  1. Introduce yourself and set up your rules
  2. Introduce the simulated roadway: define and show crosswalk, intersection, sidewalk, corner. Define pedestrian and safe pedestrian.
  3. Brainstorm things needed to be a safe pedestrian and why: eyes, ears, and brain!
  4. Teach the Rhyme (see above): “Stop every time at the edge of the street; Use you head before your feet; Make sure you hear every sound; Look left, look right, look all around.”
  5. Demonstrate using the simulated roadway: What to do at a pedestrian signal, crosswalk, corner, how to cross between parked cars, driveways/alley.
  6. Have the students practice in pairs crossing the simulated roadway.Have some students cross at the marked crosswalk, corner (unmarked crosswald), between 2 parked cars, and driveway.Optional: you pretend to be a car, sometimes stopping for the students, sometimes not. Talk about how you know if a driver has stopped for you (eye contact, wheels stop moving).
  7. Closing: Do the Rhyme again! Challenge the kids to take their families on a walk and teach them the rhyme.

Learning the Rhyme

You need to stand up to do the rhyme properly. I’ll give you a second…

…alright. Are you standing? Good.

Say: Stop every time at the edge of the street.

(Hold out you hand in front of you like you are asking someone to stop and smile really big!)

Say: Use your head before your feet!

(Put both hands on your head then reach down and touch your feet)

Say: Make sure you hear every sound.

(Cup your hands behind your ears.)

Say: Look left, look right, look all around!

(Because you’re standing up  in front of a group of kids and they will copy you like a mirror image, point to the left when you say right, point to the right when you say left.)

If you do this right, the kids will love it. Start slow, then speed up, repeating it over and over until the can say it really fast. Start quiet and then get loud. They’ll tell you later that they can’t get it out of their heads.

The next step is to take those kids for a walk. Stay tuned!

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