Safety First!


After researching several national sites (such as parks, forests, seashores, and battlefields), students will learn about important safety precautions for outdoor activities. Students will work in small groups to create a series of safety tips for visiting national sites or other outdoor locations. These tips will be in the form of posters and will be assembled into a multimedia presentation used to teach others about outdoor safety.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters


  • Students will explore various national sites through the Internet.
  • Students will understand how to stay safe when participating in outdoor activities.
  • Students will create safety posters in a multimedia presentation.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Technology


  • 2nd
  • 3rd

Class Time

  • Sessions: Four
  • Session Length: 30-45 minutes
  • Total Length: 121-150 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • National site
  • National park
  • National forest
  • National seashore
  • National battlefield
  • National Park Service
  • Safety
  • Multimedia


  • Internet access
  • Images of the five 2011 quarters
  • An age-appropriate text that provides basic information about national sites
  • An age-appropriate text that provides information about outdoor safety for children, such as:
    • Outdoor Safety: Safety Sense Series by Nancy Loewen
    • Safety on the Playground and Outdoors by Lucia Raatma
    • Staying Safe by Adam Schaefer
    • Safety First by Rebecca Weber


  • Print out and copy the worksheet and rubric (below, 1 per student).
  • Limit the number of safety tips from which students may choose or assign each group a specific tip.
  • Create a sample before the lesson or as a class, to serve as an example.
  • Use an Internet search engine to find related Web sites about outdoor safety, using the keywords "kids," "health," and "safety."
  • Bookmark relevant sites, such as National Park Service:


Lesson Steps

  1. Introduce the concept of national sites through age-appropriate texts or Web sites.  Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for background information.  The program is described at  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.
  2. With the students, examine each of the five 2011 quarter designs.  Locate each of the 2011 sites on a class map.  Answer any student questions.
  3. Have the students investigate a variety of national sites on the Internet.  If desired, focus on a small group of sites you select.
  4. Discuss with the students possible safety concerns when participating in outdoor activities.  Create a list of these safety concerns.  Read to the students the chosen text on safety.  Allow students to research safety further using the Internet.  Add to the list of outdoor safety issues.  Attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary words.
  5. Have the students work in small groups to create a safety poster based on the information learned.  After drafting on their "Safety Poster Plan" worksheets, have the students use multimedia software to create the posters so that the posters can be assembled into a slide show and/or printed for display.
  6. Have the students share their final products with others.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs to research the national sites.
  • Provide a template for students to use in creating their posters.
  • Allow students to use a scribe or supportive software for their written components.
  • Model creation of the safety poster.


  • Use the students' class participation, research work, and final products to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.
  • Use the rubric to evaluate the safety posters.

Common Core Standards

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

National Standards

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Creativity and Innovation
Cluster: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
  • Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
  • Identify trends and forecast possibilities

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Personal health
  • Characteristics and changes in populations
  • Types of resources
  • Changes in environments
  • Science and technology in local challenges