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Fire Safety Gross Motor Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The following activities are designed to help your middle school students learn about fire safety while practicing or improving upon their gross motor skills.

Gross Motor Skills and Fire Safety

When working on fire safety with your students, it can be helpful to get them up and moving. By working on gross motor skills, you can help students actively engage with their fire safety curriculum, get their brains working in unique ways, and hopefully build up muscle memory and skills that could be useful in a fire emergency. These activities are designed for middle school students, but can be adapted to other ages with some modifications.

Fire Safety Gross Motor Activities

Fire Escape Yoga

For this activity, you will lead students through an exercise routine designed to practice the physical movements associated with escaping a fire. Sample movements include the stop, drop, and roll, crawling under the smoke, reaching and checking door handles for heat, opening a window and signaling, etcetera. Have students practice these motions, and then lead them through the fire escape yoga routine.

As either an alternative or addition to this, you can divide students into small groups and assign each one of the above physical motions. Students will design a dance move based around this motion, and will then teach that motion to the rest of the class. When everyone is ready, put on some music and have a dance party. Shout out instructions ('Do the door handle check') and students will all do that dance move.

  • Materials: Physical space, yoga mats if desired

Stop-Drop-Roll Tag

Give students a chance to get some energy out with this modified version of tag. Start by designating one student as 'it' and 2-5 students as firefighters. The student who is 'it' will be the fire, and attempt to tag other students. If a student is tagged, they are 'on fire' and must stop, drop, and roll. Tagged students will keep rolling on the ground until either they are patted down/tagged by a firefighter or ten seconds has passed. If ten seconds pass without the tagged student being touched by a firefighter, then that student also becomes fire and can tag other students.

  • Materials: Physical space

Fire Safety Skit

Organize the students into small groups. Each will write and prepare a skit that shows the proper behaviors of fire safety. You can either have students prepare skits on the same topic, or you can assign each group a different topic. For example, one group could act out a family who all hear the smoke alarm go off in different rooms and who all follow fire safety protocol to exit the house and meet at a designated meeting place. Another group could perform a skit of several friends hanging out who recognize that something in the room poses a fire hazard or risk. Give students time to plan their skits, and then let each perform for the class.

  • Materials: Prop supplies if desired

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