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Name of Activity:

Letter to a Drunk Driver

Purpose of Activity:

This activity will have an impact upon the students as they realize how the irresponsible act of drinking and driving can affect others. Adding a personal impact allows them to internalize the idea.

Suggested Grade Level:

6-8

Materials Needed:

Assignment: Description of Letter, Paper, Pencils and/or Pens

Description of Idea

First the students are given the assignment letter (see below). They will write a letter to the drunk driver.

Each student will read their letter to the class. The teacher, or classmates who are listening, will keep a log of frequently used words or phrases such as stupid, irresponsible, how dare you, etc.

After all letters have been read, common word and phrases are reiterated by the teacher. I always end by telling them if they are ever in a position to choose whether to drive or not after they have been drinking, that they should think back to those words they used in the letter. i.e., "How could you have been so irresponsible?"

Assignment Letter:

What a great day! The sun is shining, but it is not windy on this fall day. You decide to ride you bike for a while. It seems like out of nowhere a car flies up behind you and hits you.

You have to go to the hospital in an ambulance. Both of your legs are broken and one of you arms is broken too. You will have to miss school and will not get to play basketball this year. You will heal and you will be fine, but it will take a long time and will be very painful.

It turns out this driver was drunk. Write this drive a letter and tell him how you feel.

Assessment Ideas:

This can be assessed on length, number of ideas presented to the driver, or sincerity. Students at this age usually expect a number of sentences required for the assignment. I really want the assignment to make an emotional impact on them so that they can view drinking and driving from the victim's side.

Teaching Suggestions:

Consider talking with the English teacher and following the format of letter writing they learn in that class for continuity and structure of the letter.

This could provide a great opportunity to create a cross-curricular lesson with a core class. Please remind all students that this is a serious issue, as some students may have experience with the loss of a family member due to drinking and driving.

Give students a "set" number of sentences to write for the letter, such as "atleast 10 sentences." This helps students to have a goal to work toward.

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Submitted by Bev Davison who teaches at Dora RIII in vanzant, MO. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 9/14/2010.

Viewed 40336 times since 4/28/2010.

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Bev Davison

The assignment letter I use for the students was left out of this page. Here is the assignment letter I use:


What a great day! The sun is shining, but it is not windy on this fall day. You decide to ride you bike for a while. It seems like out of nowhere a car flies up behind you and hits you.

You have to go to the hospital in an ambulance. Both of your legs are broken and one of you arms is broken too. You will have to miss school and will not get to play basketball this year. You will heal and you will be fine, but it will take a long time and will be very painful.

It turns out this driver was drunk. Write this drive a letter and tell him how you feel.