The goal of the Billy Brings his Buddies lesson is to teach students the importance of always having another individual, a Buddy, accompany them when they are going places. Research has shown that children who go places alone are at a greater risk of victimization. Through the lesson, students will begin to learn about the important safety habit of always bringing a Buddy along (known as the Buddy System), whether they are walking to and from school, going to the store, or having fun on the playground.
The Billy Brings his Buddies lesson begins by introducing the larger topic of personal safety, helping to activate students’ prior knowledge. The lesson then goes on to help educators teach students in both an engaging and age-appropriate way about the importance of using the Buddy System. The lesson allows for a number of opportunities for behavioural rehearsal so that students can slowly integrate this important safety habit into their everyday lives. The classroom lesson then scaffolds into online games and activities that can be done either in a school computer lab or on a classroom Smartboard, that help students further rehearse behaviours associated with this important safety habit. The Buddy System should be revisited throughout the school year — for example if a student has an errand encouraging them to bring a Buddy along — so that they can turn this important personal safety strategy into a safety habit.