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Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.

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Activity

Learn About Staying Safe

 

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Learn About Staying Safe

Grades K – 2
Activity Time 30 to 45 minutes
Publisher International Reading Association
 

What You Need

Here’s What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

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Here’s What To Do

1. Read aloud Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. Stop as you are reading to allow the child to make comments or ask questions. This is a funny book, so make sure you take time to enjoy it together.

2. When you are finished, go back through the book to look at the many safety tips throughout the pages and on the front and inside covers. The child will find some of the tips very entertaining, especially the ones with drawings of Gloria. Discuss the safety tips during this time, asking if the child has heard of any of the tips before, where he or she has heard them, and why the tips are important to know.

3. Go over the safety problems listed in the chart at the top of the Safety Problems, Solutions, and Topics sheet. Have the child explain why each is a problem and think about possible solutions for each one. Some possible responses are listed, in case the child is having trouble.

4. Encourage the child to think of other safety problems, why they could be dangerous, and how to avoid them. The list at the bottom of the Safety Problems, Solutions, and Topics sheet offers some ideas. Have the child write or draw these safety problems on the sheet, assisting with spelling as necessary. 

5. Look at the list together and talk about which topics are most important in your community. For example, if one problem is that “People drive too fast,” ask if there is any place in your town where this has been seen happening. Ask what could be done to solve the problem, encouraging the child to write down the possible solutions, such as “put in more speed bumps” or “have more police officers out in the community.”

6. Talk about the fact that one thing you can do to solve a problem is to write a formal letter to a person who might be able to help. Work with the child to decide who that person might be. The mayor? The chief of police? Or is this something that the entire community needs to be aware of so that everyone can help with a solution? In that case, you may want to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper where it can be published for the entire community to see.

Note: You may want to let the child know that the newspaper might not publish the letter and that a letter sent to a public official may not receive a response. 

7.

Have the child use the interactive Letter Generator tool to write a letter about the safety topic. This letter can explain why the child thinks the safety topic is a problem, what a possible solution might be, and what the person he or she is writing to can do about it.

  • For an older, more advanced writer, have the child write the sentences by hand before typing the words into the tool. Encourage the child to sound out the words when writing. Spelling errors are fine at this drafting stage—take time at the end to review the sentences and write the correct spellings underneath misspelled words.

  • For a younger child with limited writing ability, type the letter as the child dictates it, having him or her help with spellings of words if possible.
Visit the Letter Generator page for more information about this tool.

8. When you are finished, help the child print the letter, address an envelope, and mail it.

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More Ideas To Try

  • Look at the Safety Related Books and Websites for ideas for more reading. You might visit one of the websites listed there with the child, especially if it relates to the topic for the letter.

  • Have the child make a poster that illustrates the safety problem he or she has written about, including a safety tip and a picture.

  • Visit a local fire or police station together to learn more about what the adults there do.

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Glossary

Discuss

 

Discussion is a natural way for children and teens to express or explain what they already know or what they are learning. When possible, let children and teens lead the direction of a discussion. Ask questions that lead to an extended response (“What do you think about…?” or “Why do you think…?”) rather than questions that might result in a yes or no or a simple answer.

Formal letter

 

A form of written communication, usually between two people who don’t know each other well, that follows strict format and style guidelines. Examples include business letters, private communication between companies and their customers; letters to the editor, public communication between a single reader and the larger readership; and persuasive letters, or letters that aim to convince the reader to feel, believe, or act in ways the writer recommends.

Purpose

 

The reason or goal someone has for writing a particular text. Common reasons for writing include to express feelings or ideas, to convince someone to believe something, and to provide someone information or instructions. The purpose will often determine the choices the writer makes about how and what to write.

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