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Safety First!

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - Kindergarten
Standard 2 Objective 2

Group Size

Large Groups


Rebecca Moffat
Lindsey Romero
Stephanie Seely
Connie Sorensen


Students will learn to recognize safety signs.



  • Red, Yellow, Green: What Do Signs Mean?, by Joan Holub
  • I See a Sign, by Lars Klove
  • I Read Signs, by Tana Hoban
  • City Signs, by Zoran Milich
  • I Read Symbols, by Tana Hoban

Other Materials:

  • Red, Yellow, and Green Construction Paper
  • Stop Light Print Out (Attached)
  • Glue
  • Pictures of Safety Signs

Background for Teachers

Teachers should gather a variety of safety signs, research their meanings and be able to explain their meaning and purpose.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. Decode, read, and comprehend written text and symbols.

2. Observe, sort, and classify objects.

3. Function positively as a member of a family, class, school, and community.

Instructional Procedures

Teacher Preparation

The teacher will need to make a stop light out of construction paper or cardstock (with colored cellophane (red, yellow, green) to represent the lights. Laminate the stop light for durability.

Find, copy, and laminate color pictures of common signs seen in their environment that they should be familiar with. (Check at local school supply stores for picture sets with these signs.)

Lesson Activities

Begin by teaching the students the following poem using the teacher made stop light to reinforce the color words used in the poem. As you recite the poem shine a flashlight through the colors you are saying.

Stop Light

Red on top, green below.

Red means stop, green means go!

Yellow means wait, even if you're late.

**Note: This poem can be incorporated into part of a daily routine to reinforce safety sign colors.

Sorting Activity

Read the story Red, Yellow, Green: What Do Signs Mean?. Talk about the importance of the colors of the sign. After reading show the students pictures of the different signs they will see in their environment. Ask them to tell you about the signs physical characteristics (i.e.: What colors are the signs? What shapes are the signs? Are any similar? Are any different?, etc.). After talking about the differences and similarities, talk with the students about how the color of the sign is associated with it's use.

  • Red: used for STOP and YIELD signs, multiway supplemental plates, DO NOT ENTER and WRONG WAY signs, for legend or symbols on some regulatory signs, and as part of interstate and some state markers.
  • Fluorescent Pink: used as background color for incident management signs.
  • Orange: used as background color for temporary traffic control signs.
  • Yellow: used as a background color for warning signs (except temporary signs) and school signs.
  • Green: used as a background color for information signs, and for legend on permissive regulation and parking signs.
  • Blue: used as a background color for traveler services, information signs, emergency evacuation route signs, and as part of interstate and some state route markers.
  • Brown: used as background color for guide and information signs related to points of recreational or cultural interest.
  • Black: used as a background color for ONE WAY, night speed limit, and truck regulatory signs, and as legend color on signs with white, yellow, orange, and pink backgrounds.
  • White: used as background color for most regulatory signs and some route markers, and as legend color on signs with red, green, blue, brown, and black backgrounds.

**Note: Information on colors of signs taken from**

After looking at and observing the similarities, and differences of the different safety signs seen in our environment, have the students to work together to sort the signs into groups based on their color, shape, and size (This is an informal assessment to check for understanding of shapes, as well as color recognition, as well as their basic understanding of safety signs.).

The shapes of signs include:

  • Circle
  • Octagon
  • Crossbuck
  • Pentagon
  • Diamond
  • Rectangle
  • Trapezoid
  • Triangle

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Make sure you use several different visual representations of the different safety signs for ELL students so they can see and learn about the signs in different contexts.




  1. Teach the students the importance on knowing their safety information (full name, address, phone number, birthdate, and parent/guardian's name). You can use the telephone keypad template (attached on DLTK's Website) to reinforce learning the students phone number.
  2. Send home a letter (attached) asking the families to work with their child at home on learning their safety information. Make sure to make a copy to keep at school so you can work with students who may finish another assignment early.

Assessment Plan


Give each child a 3x3 square piece of red, yellow, and green construction paper. Have they draw a circle on each piece of paper, and cut them out. After their pieces are cut out, instruct them to glue the green circle on the top of the stop light, the red circle on the bottom of the stoplight, and the yellow circle in the middle. This assesses their color recognition, as well as positional words top, bottom, and middle.

Created: 06/18/2010
Updated: 02/05/2018