Montessori school students wanted to create awareness about prevention and how easily you can save your life following rules and simple actions. They developed a road security festival with ludic activities to teach and enjoy.
Colegio Montessori follows the principles of the renowned Maria Montessori method. Keeping to these principles, our main question was ‘How can we touch our students’ hearts so they are aware of the risks they can face on the street as pedestrians or drivers, and convince them to have an active role in road safety?’ To achieve this, we asked ourselves, ‘How can we motivate them through arts and games?’ With this in mind, several academic teams such as French, arts, music and sports worked together in their classes towards developing a school-wide Road Safety Festival.
The festival received feedback from both the developers and the participants. The former felt very happy with the outcome, and thought that the festival was the best idea to socialize the work they did in class. The activities and the logistics were excellent and students’ commitment was the key to success. Participating students enjoyed all the activities and were fully engaged. In the classes that ensued, participants expressed their satisfaction with the Festival and made valuable metacognitive reflections on it. At the end, all students were invited to talk about road safety policies and actions with their friends and parents.
This year, our high school students’ challenge was to organize a massive road safety game festival. All along the first school term, students came up with recreational activities and challenges for the event. As the project was taking place, in France the terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo occurred; it was decided to add a workshop about caricature, and an exposition called “Laughing to Prevent,” was set up. This exposition included cartoons drawn by students and was displayed at the school’s new “Knowledge Centre”.
To organize the “Road Safety Festival,” 11th grade students were split into several teams. Each team had to create a road safety game. The following are the ideas which were generated: a team devised a game to create awareness of the risks of alcohol while driving, another one designed a matching game with road signs, there was also a driving circuit using remote control cars to reflect upon reflexes and appropriate driving behaviour, another team generated a great quiz show using clickers, and some other students were in charge of organizing a game about the equipment required to ride a motorcycle or bicycle. The school nurse had a presentation on first aid and what to do in case of a traffic accident or emergency.
The festival, which was called “La Kermesse,” was held on March 20th. It took all afternoon; 11th grade students set up their activities all around the school (the cafeteria, knowledge centre, soccer and volleyball fields, etc.). Some middle school students and all of the high school students were invited to the event. Students were assigned to groups; each group chose a t-shirt color and was accompanied by a teacher. Groups were announced during the formal presentation of the activity in a general assembly at the coliseum. During the same assembly, students were able to listen to the road safety anthem and watch its video created by 10th grade students. Each team was given a list describing the order in which they were doing the activities. Each team moved around the school and did the corresponding activity lead by the 11th grade students who awarded points to each group. Each activity was timed and, at the end, the group with the most points was announced as the winner.
The festival information was made public through a Facebook page especially set up for the event.