The Price of Driving while Distracted

Role play and critical thinking contribute to a deeper understanding of what contributes to driving while distracted. Students then create a poster encouraging ways to be less distracted while on the road.

Grade Level: Grades 9 – 12

Subject: English

Time Required: 75 Minutes

Overall Expectations:

  • Understanding media texts: Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts.
  • Speaking to communicate: Use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Introduction/Minds On:
(5 minutes)

Using Appendix 1: Creating a Healthy School, Value Line Exemplar as a guide, create a Value Line with the class.

  • Put a strip of paper along the length of the wall in the classroom.
  • In the centre of the paper, write the prompt, “Using a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk.”
  • On one end of the paper, write “Strongly Agree.”
  • On the other end of the paper, write “Strongly Disagree.”
  • In the middle of the paper, write “Neutral.”
  • Have students stand on the value line and, using a marker, sign their names to represent where they stand on the issue.

(60 minutes)

Driver Distraction, Profile and Reasons For Actions (15 minutes)

  • Using Appendix 2: Examples of Driver Distractions as a guide, and a Call Out strategy, have students brainstorm examples of Driver Distraction Action. Record answers and ideas on chart paper.
  • Have students work in groups of four to six.
  • Using Appendix 3: Driver Distractions, Actions and Reasons as a guide, give each group a sheet of chart paper with the T-chart headings, “Driver Distraction Actions”, “Profile/Reasons For Actions”.
  • Model the example, Grooming – “putting on lipstick.” Use the Think Aloud strategy to demonstrate higher order thinking and to challenge students to extend their thinking and make connections to real people. Record Think Alouds on chart paper. (When doing the Think Aloud Profiles, exercise caution in terms of stereotypes and assumptions).
  • Have each group select one driver distraction from the brainstorming list and create a profile/reasons for the actions.
  • Have each group present their chart. Using Appendix 4: Six Corners as a guide, post the charts in the classroom.

Four, Five or Six Corners Role Play (20 minutes)

  • Using Appendix 4: Six Corners as a guide, do a Four, Five or Six Corners (depending on number of students in class) activity.
  • To group students, use the Numbered Heads strategy (assigning numbers 1 to 4, 5 or 6 in groups). This will allow for more collaboration with different students and facilitate critical literacy.
  • Assign each group a Driver Distraction Action from the charts posted in the corners of the room (for example, group 1 will role play the driver distraction posted in that corner).
  • Post chart paper in the corners for the groups to write monologues.
  • Have students work in groups in their assigned corners and write a short monologue reflecting the profile of a person committing the action and the reasons stated.
  • Model this output for students. For example, if the driver distraction action is “putting on lipstick while driving,” the teacher then assumes the role of the mother who woke up late and is in a rush to get her kids to school and to work, and is putting on lipstick while driving. In the speech, the mother will justify her distracted driving action.
  • Encourage students to be creative in their monologues.
  • Have one member from each group read the monologue to the whole group.

Debriefing: Critical Literacy –Is my Voice Evident? (10 minutes)

  • Review the concept of Critical Literacy with students. Critically literate students adopt a critical stance, asking what view of the world the monologues advance and whether they find these views acceptable.
  • Select one of the monologues to read and ask students to respond to the following prompts:
    • Whose voice and interest is represented in the monologues?
    • Is my age group, gender and/or culture represented in the monologue?
    • Whose views are excluded or privileged in the monologue?
    • Whose social reality is portrayed in the monologue? Is it my reality?
    • How would the monologue be different if it were composed by the victim of distracted driving?
    • What view of the world and values does the composer of the monologue reveal? Are these my views/ beliefs?

Agents of Social Change (15 minutes)

(10 minutes)

  • Have students revisit the Value Line after the lesson to reassess their stance, based on the evidence, discussion and dialogue provided in the lesson. If their position on the value line changes, have them rewrite their names indicating the shift using a different colour marker).
  • Have students complete Appendix 7: 3-2-1 Exit Slip.
  • Collect the 3-2-1 Exit Slips as students leave.

Teacher Assessment

Learning Outcomes

Oral: Communicate orally for a range of purposes, using language appropriate for the intended audience.

Writing: Communicate in a clear, coherent manner, using a structure and style effective for the purpose, subject matter and intended audience.

Media: Identify the perspectives and/or biases evident in media texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, and comment on any questions they may raise about beliefs, values, identity and power.