Grade Levels: K-3

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about safety signs. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Safety Signs. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

Remind your children that rules can help keep people safe. Rules set ways for people to act responsibly and safely. Safety signs remind people about rules and warn them about possible dangers. Your children should be able to recognize different safety signs and understand what they mean. They should understand that signs use a combination of words, symbols, colors, and shapes to share information.

Ask your children to look around them and identify different signs. Some signs share information, such as a store’s hours of operation. They can also give directions, such as signs that use arrows to guide people to a landmark. Signs can also tell where important items or areas are, such as signs that label and direct people to first aid kids, fire extinguishers, or emergency exits. Some signs remind people to do things, such as vote, or tell them to avoid doing certain activities, such as playing loud music. Some signs even forbid activities for safety reasons, such as a “no diving” sign at a public pool. Many signs warn of possible dangers, such as poison, falling rocks, or crossing deer. Signs might use words to give information, or use symbols, which are pictures that stand for something. For example, the symbol for recycling is a set of green arrows in a circle or triangle. Your children should understand the symbols used in common safety signs, such as the symbols for crosswalk, school zone, and poison.

Many signs use shapes to relay information. For example, stop signs are red with eight sides. Yield signs are red and shaped like a triangle. Remind your children that when they see a yield sign they must slow down and watch out for others, especially if they are on their bikes, skateboards, or roller skates. Some signs show a symbol inside a circle with a line through it. These signs show what people are not allowed to do, such as smoking, eating and drinking, or biking. Show different symbols or signs to your children, ask them to explain what they mean, and challenge them to sort and classify the signs.

Signs also use color to communicate. Remind children that when traffic lights are red, people must stop. When they are yellow, they must slow down. When they are green, they may go. Prompt children to realize that these colors appear in other signs as well. Your children should know that blinking red lights also mean to stop, such as those marking a railroad crossing area. Yellow and black signs, such as crosswalk or school zone signs, warn about special areas that might have specific rules. In school zones, people must take extra care and watch for buses and pedestrians, or people on the street. Orange and black signs mark construction zones. People must slow down and use caution, or be careful. Workers might be repairing the road and there may be debris on the road. Green signs with white text usually provide directions and blue signs often give information such as the route to a hospital, telephone, or restrooms.

Remind your children that safety is everyone’s responsibility. We recommend watching the Rights and Responsibilities movie together as a review. Safety signs help people stay safe only if they follow them. Part of being a good citizen is following the rules and watching out for others. Encourage your children to think about what signs they see everyday and how they help people stay safe.

Filed as:  Be Safe, Health, K-3, Safety Signs