CNN Presents Classroom Edition Educator Guide
IN THE LINE OF FIRE
May 2, 2003
Web posted at: 5:24 PM EDT (2124 GMT)
1. Help students to brainstorm a list of different makes and models of cars. Then, have each student choose a car from the list and conduct research to learn about the vehicle, including its safety features. Direct students to create charts that illustrate their findings. After students present their research, ask: What types of cars would you recommend for novice drivers? If money were no object, in what type of car would you prefer to drive and ride? Why?
2. Send students on an online scavenger hunt to find out:
• what laws govern auto safety in the United States,
• how these laws are enforced,
• how auto safety laws get enacted,
• how driving laws in the U.S. compare with those in other countries (http://www.drive-alive.co.uk/driving_tips.htm).
After students share their information, ask: Do you think these U.S. auto safety laws are necessary? Why or why not? Which laws, if any, would you change? If so, how would you change them? Discuss.
3. Remind students that, in the program, CNN's Susan Candiotti asks: What is there to keep a police officer safe when stopped along a highway today? Have students consult online resources and their local police departments to find out what factors pose the greatest threat to the safety of police officers when they are stopped along the highway, and the protocol that officers follow to protect themselves during these situations. After students present their information, ask: What can civilian drivers do to minimize the risk for police officers when the officers are stopped along a highway?
4. Challenge students to list different types of groups that promote public safety. Then, ask students: What are the specific missions of these groups? What strategies do they use to get their points across? How is legislative action the end result? Have student groups find examples of local, state or federal laws that were the result of lobbying efforts of different safety groups. Instruct students to find out what these laws say and whether they had, or are having, the intended impact.
5. Ask students: In your opinion, what is the role of the journalist in investigative reporting? Should he or she draw conclusions or present multiple sides of the story and let the audience decide? Following the discussion, direct students to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html) to identify a list of products that have recently been recalled. Next, divide your class into small groups. Have each group select a recalled product from the list and prepare an investigative report on the product for a print, online or television program. Pose the following questions to guide students' research:
• Why was the product recalled?
• What parties were involved in the recall?
• Who did the recall impact and how were they affected?
• Who would you need to interview to obtain an accurate and balanced report?
• What questions would you need to ask?
• Are your questions unbiased?
Have groups present their reports to the class and discuss.
6. Ask your students: Have you or anyone you know been in a car accident? If so, share your experience. Could anything have been done to prevent the accident? In your opinion, what knowledge and skills should a good driver possess? Do you think driver education classes are effective? Why or why not? Do you think most teens are safe drivers? State your rationale. After the discussion, inform students that, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, "teen drivers (in the U.S.) have very high rates of both fatal and nonfatal crashes compared with drivers of other ages." Have students consult online resources, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (http://search.hwysafety.org/safety_facts/teens/teenager.htm) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/), to learn why teenage crash involvement is so high and to research the legislative action that is being taken to remedy this problem. After students present their information, have them discuss the pros and cons of the different legislative measures. Then, have students work in groups to develop a multimedia campaign to educate their peers about the problems associated with teenage drivers. Challenge each group to present its information in such a way that it promotes responsible attitudes and safe driving behavior. Have students disseminate their information throughout the school.
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