Teacher takes lesson plan Off the Rails – and wins!

The 2013-14 Off the Rails contest, which launched on October 1, is an exciting and educational opportunity for students from across Canada to submit creative and savvy rail safety messages. They can be in the form of print, video or a comic strip, and should drive home this lifesaving message to their peers:

Stay Off, Stay Away, Stay Alive!

Over the past few weeks we’ve chatted with some of 2012’s Off the Rails contest winning students, but in this entry, we got to sit down and have a chat with one extremely proud teacher, Michèle Guitard, from L’école secondaire publique Mille-Îles in Kingston, Ontario. 

Michèle had five teams enter the contest and three of those teams took home a prize in the French print category. The winning teams were: Barcelone! (1st place), Je suis un chat oui je suis(2nd) and Les Violets (3rd).

She also shared with us how she was able to get her entire grade 7 and 8 students to enter the Off the Rails contest, why she encouraged them to and offered her take on the importance of talking about rail safety.

How did you find out about the Off the Rails contest?

I received a poster and letter on my desk in September.

What made you decide to have your students enter the contest?

Right before Christmas, I wanted to give them something fun, but relevant to do in class. 

How did the teams prepare their entries?

Each of the teams did a lot of research prior to deciding what their project would be.

Why do you think it was important for your students to enter the Off the Rails contest?

Rail safety is a real issue that needs to be addressed. It was excellent that the contest opened up a dialogue about the issue. The kids really enjoyed the presentation during Public-Rail Safety Week. 

What was the students’ reaction to winning?

It was great! The kids were very excited, and it made them share their stories and what they had learned.

Here are the winning entries!


[slideshare id=26329497&doc=project155-130918191549-phpapp02&type=d]

Je suis un chat oui je suis

[slideshare id=26329583&doc=project154-130918192313-phpapp02]

Les Violets

[slideshare id=26329544&doc=project153-130918192021-phpapp01]

It’s the final countdown for the Off the Rails contest as December 20th is the deadline for submissions!  It’s not too late to share some creative and eye-catching rail safety messages!

Please, share this opportunity with your children, students and friends and encourage them to enter. Think of it as a great activity for your students or kids to work on to spread the rail safety message. If they need some extra enticing, just let them know they’ll also be vying to win over $11,000 in prizes. That should do the trick. Visit offtherailscontest.ca for all the details and to enter.