• Activity
  • Roads, Vehicles & Traffic

Why do we have road signs?

Learning areas:
  • Maths
  • Health & Physical Education
Year levels:
  • Prep
  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Download and print out pictures of road signs. Alternatively, these could be displayed on an interactive whiteboard.

Ask students to sort the pictures of the signs in different ways. They could be sorted by:

  • Shape, colour, size
  • Traffic or non-traffic (e.g. animals crossing)
  • Road law (e.g. Stop) or warning (e.g. Slow down – Roadworks)
  • Those with words, those that use symbols
  • Those relating to drivers and those for pedestrians and cyclists.

Discuss the various features of the road signs and the messages they are giving us.

Discussion questions

  • What shapes, colours, words and pictures can you see on the road signs?
  • Which road signs are for drivers/pedestrians/cyclists?
  • Which road signs are telling us to do something?
  • Which road signs are warning us about something?
  • What would happen if road signs were ignored?
  • What other ways do we get messages about how to be safe around roads?

Information for Teachers

Signs and markings give information, warn about dangers, keep different vehicles and road users separate (e.g. cars and pedestrians), and help keep all people using the roads safer when everyone obeys them.

Other ways that safety messages are communicated are through sounds from pedestrian signals, textured paint on the edges of roads to warn drivers (tactile edge lines), rumble strips on the road, flashing hazard lights, and road workers or police directing or slowing down traffic.

Victorian Curriculum

Health and PE


Identify people and actions that help keep themselves safe and healthy (VCHPEP059)

Identify actions that promote health, safety and wellbeing (VCHPEP062)

Level 1 & 2

Recognise situations and opportunities to promote their own health, safety and wellbeing (VCHPEP074)



Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications, and copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings (VCMNA076)

Level 1

Recognise and classify familiar two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects using obvious features (VCMMG098)

Level 2

Describe and draw two-dimensional shapes, with and without digital technologies (VCMMG120)