Polite Listeners and Traffic Rules

K, 1, 2
The purpose of this lesson is to teach students about the traffic light and the importance of following traffic rules to and from school, whether anyone is watching or not. To understand that we have rules for a reason. To introduce students to how we will use the traffic light in the classroom to be polite listeners and to make our class run more smoothly and effectively.
Lesson Rating 
PrintSixty minutes
The learnerwill:
  • identify what each color in the traffic light means.
  • learn traffic rules.
  • memorize a poem about the traffic light
  • learn how the traffic light will be used in the classroom for classroom rules.
  • correctly construct a traffic light from construction paper
  • Construction paper (black, red, yellow and green)
  • Scissors
  • Paste or glue
  • Large chart paper with "The Traffic Light" poem printed on it (see Instructional Procedures).


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Hold up traffic light and ask if anyone knows what it is, elicit comments. Explain that we are going to learn a poem about the traffic light and that we will be using the traffic light to help us in the classroom.

  2. Point to the colors on the traffic light and ask children what each color light means. (Example: Ask questions such as, "Who knows what this color on the traffic light means?")
  3. Teach the children a poem about the traffic light, pointing to the words on the large chart.
  4. The Traffic Light"Red light, red light, what do you say?""I say stop and right away.""Yellow light, yellow light, what do you mean?""I mean wait until the light turns green.""Green light, green light, what do you say?""I say go, but look both ways.""Thank you, thank you, red, yellow, green,"Now I know what the traffic light means."
  5. Explain that the students are going to practice following the traffic light rules by pretending they are vehicles driving around the classroom.
  6. Students will pretend to be cars that are driving.
  7. Lead class around the classroom and say the various light colors, and hold up the designated color in order (red, yellow, green) making sure that students follow the cues.
  8. When class has demonstrated that they understand the rules call them back together and have them sit down.
  9. Discuss the importance of traffic rules to keep people safe, stressing the fact that we follow the traffic rules whether anyone is watching or not.
  10. Expand the lesson by telling the students that we will use the traffic light to help us to remember how to be good listeners in the classroom.
  11. Explain that when we are in the classroom the teacher will use the three colors to help keep our class orderly.
  12. When the red light is displayed, it means: Stop talking and stop moving.
  13. When the yellow light is displayed, it means: Look right at the person who is going to speak (the teacher, guest, student, etc).
  14. When the green light is displayed, it means: Listen to the speaker.
  15. Practice the listening cues with the students. (Use the traffic light cues throughout the year to get students' attention and reinforce good listening skills.)
  16. Students will make their own traffic lights.
Teacher observation: teacher will note whether students were able to follow the traffic light cues while pretending to be vehicles. Students will recite poem as group in unison; selected students may perform alone if they wish. Checks if student constructed traffic lights have the colors in the correct order.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.