Use Your Melon

K, 1, 2

In this lesson learners will review and utilize the knowledge of bicycle safety procedures through their service-learning activity of informing students and community about bicycle safety and constructing a bicycle safety course.

Lesson Rating 
PrintFive Thirty- to Forty-Minute Class Periods; One Class period is to occur one week after completion of the service project as an evaluation of effective service.

The learner will:

  • identify significant geometric shapes as related to signage.
  • demonstrate knowledge of bicycle safety procedure through completion of a graphic aid.
  • conduct and analyze a follow-up survey to evaluate the success of his/her plan.
  • demonstrate bicycle safety procedures while negotiating a bicycle safety course.
  • participate in an activity demonstrating application of philanthropy themes of the individual and philanthropy, definitions of philanthropy and volunteering and service to the community as learned in this lesson and two previous lessons.
  • write business letters, asking for donations of equipment for the bicycle safety course.
  • Adult-size bicycle helmet
  • Child-size helmets
  • Paper
  • Posterboard
  • Art supplies (markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.)
  • Masking tape
  • Copies of the Follow-up Survey
  • Bicycles
  • Road signs for the Safety Course
    • 2 Stop signs
    • 1 Yield sign
    • 1 Pedestrian Crossing sign
    • 1 Loose Gravel or Hazard sign
    • 5 Traffic cones
    • Certificates for completion of the program
Home Connection 

Parents will receive a letter asking them to allow their child to receive a bicycle helmet. The letter will also ask parents to volunteer for the safety course.

  • AAA Home Page,
  • National Safe Kids Foundation Home Page,
  • Snell (Sporting Supply Company) Phone: 1-888-SNELL99
  • Bell (Sporting Supply Company) Phone: 1-800-369-3949


  1. Anticipatory Set: Show learners your adult-sized helmet and a child-sized helmet. Ask learners which helmet would be the right helmet for them. Try the helmet on several different and incorrect ways (i.e. backward, tilted, etc.). Ask if anyone can show you the right way to wear a bicycle helmet. Ask learners why it is important to correctly wear a bicycle helmet. Discuss the consequences of incorrect wear.

  2. Divide the class into groups of two-four learners. These groups will be responsible for:

    1. Writing a letter to local traffic-related authority or insurance companies such as AAA for donations/loans of traffic signs and cones, and/or writing friendly letters asking for parent/community volunteers to assist on the day of the service activity.
    2. Distributing the bicycle helmets and student-made posters to the rest of the program participants. (Note: Group sizes will depend on the number of classes participating in your project. If your project is school-wide, you may need to send out smaller groups. If your project is limited to one grade level, you may want to send out groups of four or more to ensure that each child is able to distribute the bicycle helmets and present his/her poster to another classroom. If your project is limited to your classroom you can omit this step and display student posters throughout the hallways of your school.)Please note that the teacher must fit the children prior to ordering the bicycle helmets. If possible, contact the bicycle helmet company and request a sample helmet in each size that they offer. Try the sample helmets on each child to determine the best fit. (Note: Surgical caps are an excellent way to avoid the spread of head lice during this process.) If you are unable to obtain sample helmets, it is also possible to use a head circumference measurement when ordering. (See Bibliographical References.)
    • Distribute helmets to the learners in your classroom.
    • Allow learners to try on their helmets and check to see that helmets fit properly and are being worn correctly.
    • During the following session, conduct a group review and discussion of all the bicycle safety procedures introduced throughout the unit.
    • Discuss the importance of their philanthropy activity to the school and community.
    • Distribute paper and markers, colored pencils or crayons. Ask the learners to create a rough draft of an informational poster that illustrates at least one of the bicycle safety procedures that they have learned. After completing their rough drafts, learners can recreate their poster on a piece of posterboard. When the posters are complete, ask the learners to share their posters with the class.
    • The following session will require a significant amount of teacher preparation. As a culminating activity, learners will have a chance to demonstrate their knowledge of bicycle safety procedures on a bicycle safety course. The teacher will need to organize parent volunteers and contact local organizations such as AAA, Safe Kids, or your local Road Commission, who may be willing to provide services and materials. (See Bibliographical References.)
    • Secure authorization from local and/or district administration to construct a bicycle safety course on school grounds such as play field or paved area.
    • Allow learners to help plot out the safety course that they will use to demonstrate proper helmet wearing and safety.Instructor Note: Construct the course before class begins.
    • The course consists of several signs and objects that will prompt learners to use the bicycle safety procedures that they have learned throughout the unit. Each sign or object can be thought of as a station. Each station will require a parent volunteer who will ask the student what procedure he/she is using at that station.
    • The course may be set up in the school parking lot or a local park. A list of suggested road signs can be found in the materials section of this lesson. Teachers will need to plan the course according to the restrictions of the location and to better meet needs of their learners.
    • At least one week after the disbursement of helmets, conduct a follow-up survey in your classroom. Ask learners if they wear their new helmets. If learners reply no, ask them why they are not wearing the helmets. Sample Follow-Up Survey Form: Follow-Up: BICYCLE SAFETY SURVEY Question Yes No Do you wear your new bicycle helmet? If you said "No," write why you do not wear it under the word, "No."
    • Have learners visit the other classrooms that received helmets and conduct the follow-up survey. Learners should ask for a show of hands and record the responses on a piece of paper.
    • Reflection Activity: Tally the results of the survey as a class and discuss the results of both the survey and the program as a whole. During this process, convey to the learners the importance of reflecting on their accomplishments, ask learners:
      • How has our program helped our school community? Did we make a positive difference? How is our community improved by the work we have done?
      • What were the goals of our program? What would the consequences have been if we had not met our goals? Why is it important to practice philanthropy?
      • What exactly did we do to improve our school community? How did we carry out our plan?
      • (Brainstorm a list of the actions taken throughout the program.)
        • Would our program have worked without all of our cooperation? How did working together help us to reach our goal?
        • Do you feel that all of the hard work and time you put into our project was worth it? Would you do it again?
        • Why do people volunteer their time? Why did you volunteer your time?
        • How did you feel when you gave bicycle helmets to the other learners? How do you think those learners felt? Now that you have had the opportunity to give of yourself to help others, would you like to do more projects like this?
      • Celebration: Upon completion of the course, learners will receive a certificate stating that they have completed a bicycle safety course. Thank learners for their hard work and participation and congratulate them on their act of philanthropy. Have learners give themselves a round of applause and a pat on the back.

Assessment will be based on the teacher's observation of student participation during the group discussion and peer groups. The teacher will also use the student-made posters as a method of assessment. The bicycle safety course will provide a third method of assessing student understanding and progress, and evaluation of friendly letter or business letter. The following rubric can be used to assess the poster assignment: 4 Picture shows a person wearing a helmet and following a safety procedure. 3 Picture shows a person wearing a helmet, but does not contain a safety procedure. 2 Picture shows a person not wearing a helmet, but does contain a safety procedure. 1 Picture is unrelated to the task.. 0 No picture/participation.

Cross Curriculum 

Learners will create posters that illustrate proper bicycle safety procedures. Posters will be distributed and displayed throughout the school and community as a means of educating others about the importance of bicycle safety procedures.Instructor Notes: Parent/Guardian or other community volunteers will be needed to assist on the day learners will demonstrate proficiency on the constructed course. Request participation one week prior to the activity. See the list of materials and obtain traffic signs and cones at least three days prior to the activity. If local authorities cannot provide some or all of the signs, then the instructor will have to have the class use alternatives. Chairs may replace traffic cones. Signs can be made using computer software programs. This may add one extra class period of instruction time. Another source for traffic cones is the local drivers' training schools. If your local high school has a drivers' training class, this may also be a source for you. Remember to reinforce proper hand signals.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      3. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark E.2 Describe a project budget.