PropaneKids has put together a suggested 20- to 30-minute “lesson plan” for you to make the most of your visit with students in your community. This is only a suggested plan of activities, so feel free to present information the best way you see fit.
*IMPORTANT: Although it is important that school-age children know how to identify potential hazards. It’s even more important to emphasize that when they encounter an unsafe situation, they tell a parent or adult immediately and let them handle the situation.
Part 1: Evaluating students’ knowledge of propane and its uses
First begin by asking students if they know what propane is or if they know whether or not anything in their homes use propane. Then, using pictures of the various types of propane storage (small cylinder, large cylinder, and large propane tank) and a diagram of a typical home (or farm, if appropriate), ask your students to help identify where in the house propane can be used (e.g., a grill outside, a bathtub of hot water, etc.) and stored (in the backyard, never indoors). Make sure to emphasize that anywhere propane is stored can be a hazardous area, so they should always stay at least 5 feet away from any propane tank.
Next, in a small container with holes poked in the lid, place a few drops of skunk cover scent, which can be found in any store's hunting section (click here to see a product example). Have each student come up and “take a whiff” and then describe what they smell. Explain to them that in its natural form, propane is actually colorless and odorless.
Part 2: Learn and earn
Now that you hopefully have a better idea of the extent of knowledge your students have about propane and general safety measures, break the class into two teams. Using the list of propane quiz questions that you can download here (as well as any questions you may come up with), take turns asking each team true or false questions about various topics of propane. Mix questions that you are confident the students already know the answer to with questions that they may not answer correctly. If a team answers a question incorrectly, make sure to note the correct answer and explain why it is correct.
Play for as long as time allows and keep track of the number of questions each team answers correctly after you announce the winner, reward the whole class with small prizes, like lollipops or pencils (after all, the whole class did participate!).
Note: This activity can be customized to various age groups, depending on the difficulty of the questions.
Part 3: Pass it on!
Now that you’ve turned a classroom of students into “propane safety rangers,” they should be eager to share what they’ve learned with other students, friends, and their families. Come prepared with printouts of the Student packet (click here to download) that students can continue the fun of learning at home.