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Authors

Project Look Sharp, Joanne Church & Sox Sperry

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Economics, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 15-30 minutes
  • Lesson Plans
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Europe

Format

PDF

Green Transportation: Electric Cars vs. Bicycles

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Synopsis
  • In this media literacy activity, students analyze two articles about electric vehicles, their economic costs, and their environmental benefits. 
  • This resource includes a lesson plan and a student handout. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The lesson plan offers discussion questions for several academic subjects.
  • The media literacy questions help students to think critically about the information they encounter.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers must create a free account to access the materials.
  • Teachers should research the sources ahead of time to understand the viewpoints and biases.
  • This handout will help students determine if the sources are reliable. 

Differentiation

  • Students could respond to the questions individually or in small groups before they discuss the answers as a class.
  • The reading for this activity is dense, so a structured reading process may help some students.
  • Students could research how local electric charging stations source their electricity.
  • Other resources on this topic include this TED-Ed video on the best fuel for cars, this Hot Mess video on the best cars for the environment, and this video on creating car-free cycling cities.

Scientist Notes

This is a good resource about transitioning to a cleaner and greener transportation system. There is no contradiction in the reports provided by the Union of Concerned Scientists to cut emissions from gas and subscribe to electric cars which are pollution-free, environmentally friendly, and affordable. This resource is recommended for teaching.

Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • 6-8.RST.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
      • 6-8.RST.6 Analyze the author's purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 6.ESS3.5 Ask clarifying questions based on evidence about the factors that have caused climate change over the past century.
      • 8.ESS3.4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS.ESS3.4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS.ETS1.3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • Social Sciences
    • Economics (K-8)
      • 6.8 Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for historically marginalized groups and individuals in early major western and non-western civilizations.
    • Geography (K-12)
      • 7.16 Explain how changes in transportation and communication technology affect the spatial connections among human settlements and the diffusion of ideas and cultural practices.
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