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Signals for Safety: Acadia National Park

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Students will demonstrate an understanding of safety signals.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters


Students will demonstrate an understanding of safety signals.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies


  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

Safety signals


  • Text about safety signals or signs and lighthouses
  • Internet
  • Writing tools
  • Related worksheets


  • Print out and copy related worksheets.
  • Choose age-appropriate texts on safety signals and lighthouses.
  • Bookmark related sites such as:

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at

  1. Display and examine the Acadia National Park Quarter design. Locate this site on a class map. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
  2. Read a text on safety signals or signs. Discuss the importance of safety signals. Create a class list of safety signs and signals from the text as well as in your environment.
  3. Tell the students that a lighthouse’s beacon and foghorn are safety signals for boat captains. Explain to the students that one function of a lighthouse is to keep boats safe by signaling that an obstacle is close by or as a guide for boats. Read a text on lighthouses to gain an understanding of their importance.
  4. Introduce the students to the “Show Me the Signs and Signals” worksheet. Explain to them that they are to match the correct sign or signal with the appropriate picture. Have them create a new safety sign or symbol that can be used at school, then illustrate and write a description of the function of their sign or symbol. Have them write a comparative paragraph about a lighthouse and a safety signal of their choice.
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students’ worksheets and projects for understanding of the lesson objectives.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features