Virginia Department of Health
Virginia Department of Health. (n.d). A Perfectly Fitted Bicycle Helmet [Brochure]. Publisher: Reprographic and Design.
This text is a informational pamphlet that was created by the Virginia Department of Health specifically for helmet safety. I received it when I was learning how to teach bicycling in the classroom. It is very inviting due to it’s colorfulness. The pamphlet describes the parts of a helmet, provides safety tips for bicycles, scooters and skates, and also describes how to properly fit a helmet. This is important for the content area because it is one of the first and basic safety considerations that needs to be reviewed. The audience of the pamphlet is directed toward first time helmet users who are in the middle school age range (potentially geared towards elementary students as well), due to the young children who are modeling the helmets throughout the pamphlet. This pamphlet was made for the state of Virginia, so if you are located in a different state please refer to your state’s department of health to see if they have a similar guide. This text will engage students who are more visual learners due to the step-by-step instructions on how to properly fit a helmet. This will also help those students who have a reading ability that is lower than the seventh grade.
The text has some bold words for easy reading. Some facts are in a bullet point form to identify key information. Certain words are decodeable due to the provided pictures. The section that provides the steps on how to fit a helmet is labeled step by step; which includes a picture of a child performing the step and a written description of the picture for every step. Most middle school students will feel very comfortable with reading this text, especially those who have a lower reading ability. The concepts of the pamphlet are appropriate for the grade level due to the children’s demonstration of proper helmet fit. The writer has assumed that it will be the reader’s first time learning how to proper fit a bike helmet because of the step-by-step demonstration. There is both a boy and a girl on the pamphlet, so gender bias is absent. The boy looks to be of Caucasian decent and the girl of Asian decent, so that includes cultural diversity by not having just one dominant minority group.
Use in Class
I would use this pamphlet in a class where most students have had no knowledge of how to properly fit a helmet. Helmet safety will be taught before the bikes are introduced to the students. Each student will have their own copy to keep and refer back to when necessary. The students will be paired up with a partner. They will read the pamphlet together and then attempt to fit a helmet to their heads. Students will go one at a time in their pairs. This will allow for their partner to check and reassure that they have followed each step correctly while giving positive feedback. Students will have a check off list as a form of assessment. As the teacher, I will be walking around observing the students to assure that everyone is on the right track. When they are finished I will review the steps with them again, along with additional safety tips that are included with the pamphlet.
Submitted by Christine Curtis