How to Prepare Your Students in Case of a School Intruder

Every school now has mandatory drills on how to prepare for a violent intruder. This is a situation we all pray NO ONE will ever have to encounter, but we still must prepare for the possibility. It is an uncomfortable lesson to teach but is incredibly necessary for students of all ages. Students need to be informed and fully aware of the procedures that need to take place in the case a threat comes to the school.

But how do you teach this kind of lesson without causing fear or anxiousness in the students? What’s the best way to effectively prepare them for a dangerous emergency while making them still feel safe at their school?

The ALICE method is a top-rated training system that helps create a clear process for dangerous situations. It is taught in institutions all over the country!

Below is a complete lesson I have created that focuses on the book “I’m not scared… I’m prepared!” by Julia Cook and the ALICE method. I’ll break down this lesson for you here!

This ALICE Lesson is thoroughly planned with notes to help you, a newsletter to send home with parents, posters for the classroom, and more. This was created to give you an easy-to-follow lesson plan that helps teach your students how to be prepared without being scared.

We want our students to feel safe and protected while they are at school ALWAYS. We can go over the many security measures the school has and explain how a lockdown works, but the biggest thing they need to hear is encouragement and constant reassurance of their security.

What is the ALICE method?

The ALICE Training Institute is the source of this specific training method and is responsible for providing training to places of education, government, emergency response personnel, and places of worship. They have provided an easy-to-remember process to help victims of dangerous situations, and violent intruders safely act during the event.

A – Alert

L – Lockdown

I – Inform

C – Counter

E – Evacuate

The graphic below is provided in the lesson I created to show what ALICE stands for in a kid-friendly way!

The Book

One of my favorite children’s authors just happens to be Julia Cook! She has fantastic books you can find in my SEL lessons that help explain complex concepts to children in an understandable way.

This book included in the ALICE lesson reads a story about a teacher at the anthill school who wants her students to be prepared for everything, even violent intruders. The teacher uses the story of the sheep, the wolf, and the shepherd as an example of what to do if a dangerous someone is ever in the building.

The teacher then goes over the ALICE training with her ant students, who learn how to be prepared and confident that they know what to do in any situation. This story not only exemplifies how to be prepared for any situation but also how to be calm. It is a wonderful tool for every classroom!

What materials are included?

This resource is designed just as all of my other SEL lessons are. It is a 15 minutes-a-day lesson stretched over 5 days a week. Students will receive a Home Connection letter to send home to parents and guardians to inform them of what their child is learning about that week and how they can help continue that message at home. (Parents are crucial in education too!)

The lesson plan will lay out the week by giving you instructions, questions to ask, and work prompts. Worksheets are also provided for a mini-book the students can create to keep with them. This lesson plan has many detailed discussions that will help you relay this message as the teacher.

This lesson can definitely be modified to fit your plans, schedule, and grade level! 

Again, I know it is hard and disheartening to discuss this lesson with students, especially when we know why we have to teach it. Let me encourage you by saying, this lesson can be for any situation, whether at home or school. Your students will be able to refer to this when they are in a scary situation, and it can very well save their life. This order of actions can be applied to more instances than just a violent intruder as well.

YOU ARE doing a GREAT job! You are preparing your students for any situation they may come across and giving them valuable knowledge. You are exactly what they need, and you are appreciated by so many for the job you do!

You’ve got this!

I wanted to tag another book below for any teacher, parent, or other who knows a student who has been in a disaster. This book teaches how we can help those students heal and feel safe going back to school again. We can’t always avoid tragic events, but we can be there to pick up the pieces and rebuild security and strength together.

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