Establish a short simple code of conduct based on showing respect and observing basic safety regulations such as wearing PFD’s. Have parents and students sign off on this and keep it on file. Include a description of the discipline procedures for students.
Lecture: Personal flotation devices (or PFDs for short) are the most important piece of safety equipment you can have on a boat. Most boats are required to have a wearable PFD on board for each passenger, but PFDs are like seatbelts in a car: “It won’t work if you don’t wear it.” PFDs are very important because in the event that you fall overboard, a personal flotation device will help to prevent you from drowning. One of our favorite sayings about PFDs is: “They float-you don’t!” Everyone on a boat must have a wearable PFD on board that is US Coast Guard approved, in good condition, and is the correct size for the person it is intended for. Children age 12 and under must wear their PFD on all boats 20 feet and under and on all canoes and kayaks. In addition, one type 4 throwable PFD is required on all boats 16 feet and over.
Hands On: Have the teens each pick out and put on a PFD. Check the fit by raising his or her arms while someone else is pulling up on the PFD--if the PFD is properly fitted, it will not slip over their head.
A description of PFDs can be found on our page called The Right PFD for You and a description of how to put one on can be found on the River Safety page. You can download a poster from Wear it Right.
Lecture/Demonstration: Provide a brief description of the parts of the canoe: bow (front), stern (rear), and gunwales (also called gunnels- the upper edges of the canoe's sides). Provide a brief description of the parts of the paddle--grip (where your top hand goes), shaft (pole part where your bottom hand goes), and blade (part that goes in the water). Demonstrate the proper steps of getting into a canoe (this can initially be done on dry land).
Please remember that no one is permitted to tip his or her canoe today. If you remember to follow the steps outlined above, NEVER to stand in a canoe, and to always keep your weight centered, you will NOT tip.
An overview of canoeing can be found on our website on the Canoe Safety page.
Hands On: Each teen should get to complete a short canoe ride. (Note: putting inexperienced kids on moving water is not advisable. A pond with still water and no current is safer. Put two kids per canoe or three if they’re very small. One adult in each canoe with kids is optional but a good idea, depending on the policy of sponsoring club/facility, amount of help available, and number of safety boats in the water.) Remember- always have a spare boat on the side of the pond for a safety boat.
Create icon cards using the material provided on the Jigsaw Icon page.
Students will create a sticker to support a safety message.
Core subject integration: Health and safety, art, social studies.
This lesson can be used following an individual River Safety lesson.
Students can wear their stickers, use them to decorate notebooks, or distribute them to other students, teachers, or family members.
Invite a parent in the advertising field to visit the classroom to share the process of developing an advertising campaign and, in particular, the use of stickers in promoting messages.
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