A safe environment is necessary for students to succeed academically. A space of both physical and emotional safety is key. Safety is different for boys than for girls. Girls have a higher concern for physical safety.
Recently, I had the opportunity to teach a direct instruction lesson to a group of second graders, who have been struggling with behavior on the playground and with each other in the classroom. The objective was to begin the process of teaching how to feel safe and create safety for other students. The title of the lesson was what is safety for boys and what is safety for girls. The students learned that boys experience safety when they receive respect and trust, thus allowing for production of results. The students learned that girls feel safe when they receive positive attention and interest, thus allowing connection.
Here is the lesson plan that I used: