- Conduct research for PSAs
- Brainstorm plot points for PSAs
- Draft a short story to be turned into a PSA
- Share Your Seat Belt Smarts sheet
- Family resource sheet
- Contest entry materials
Step 1. Ask students to imagine that they are riding in a vehicle with friends or family. Generate a list of the ways that seat belts can help protect them and their loved ones from road hazards.
Step 2. Present the class with these statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- In 2017, seat belt use saved an estimated 14,995 lives.
- An additional 2,549 lives could have been saved in 2017 if everyone had buckled up.
Ask students what conclusion they draw from these statistics. As a class, discuss why it’s essential to always wear a seat belt, regardless of whether you’re a passenger, driver, in the back seat, or just going for a short ride.
Step 3. Divide the class into small groups of 3 to 4 students. Present various scenarios on cards for group discussion.
- What would you do if:
■ You get into a friend’s vehicle and no one is wearing a seat belt?
■ Your parent doesn’t buckle up when you’re driving to the store because it’s only a few blocks away?
■ Your older brother says you don’t need to wear a seat belt because the car has airbags?
Then ask each group to present its response to the different scenarios.
Step 4. Assign topics related to the hazards of not wearing seat belts or using them incorrectly. Some topics may include:
- Wearing a lap belt but not the shoulder belt
- Assuming that you won’t get in a crash when you’re just driving a short distance, etc.
- Thinking you’ll be fine because you’re in the back seat
- Being in a hurry
- Worrying that you would be trapped by the seat belt in a crash
- Thinking you’re a good driver and therefore you’re safe
Have groups research their assigned topic and present their findings to the class. (For students under 13 or if internet access isn't available, consider skipping this step or printing the article at https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/car-safety.html and the family resource sheet for students to draw conclusions. You may also share the brief safety videos at http://www.nrsf.org/programs/occupant-protection.)
Step 5. Introduce the Drive2Life PSA Contest and show past winning PSAs on scholastic.com/drive2life. Discuss how the directors of the PSAs used different shot angles to create mood and tone. (E.g., a long shot can set the scene, a handheld camera can simulate a bumpy ride, a close-up shot can create tension, etc.)
Step 6. Hand out the Create Your PSA! activity sheet and guide students to brainstorm for their PSA entry.
- Have students read their PSAs over the loudspeaker or during morning announcements.
- Create a seat belt safety awareness display in your school.
- Invite local traffic safety officers or school resource officers into your school to talk to students.
- Use the seat belt safety pledge for students, teachers, and parents to sign.
- Work with your school’s AV club or a local cable access station to broadcast students’ PSAs.
Supporting All Learners
- To increase the challenge: Have students write a blurb to be read during the morning announcements or a school football game.
- To decrease the challenge: Provide PSA concepts for students to choose from, perhaps using the scenarios provided in the lesson as a reference.
- To support English language learners: Design a poster conveying the overall message included in the PSA script. Use the cut and grow technique to help students generate a statement for the poster.
Common Core ELA
Read closely to make inferences and conclusions
Write arguments to support claims
Use technology to write and collaborate