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Curriculum

Special icon2Take advantage of GEF's lesson sets for Middle School students about sustainable transportation.  These lessons make a great addition to any National Green Week curriculum!  To find many more lessons related to I Ride Green, other GEF programs, or sustainability education topics, please search the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse.

Browse these lessons and use one or all of them to create a fun sustainable transportation curriculum set!

Rail Riders
In this lesson, students discover how trains provide eco-friendly transportation. They compare the amount of energy used by trains to other modes of transportation, and create geographic “snapshots” of train routes in order to gain a first-hand insight into the wide variety of travel opportunities trains offer.

Walking My Neighborhood
In this lesson, students use the online resource, Walk Score® to evaluate their neighborhoods by their walk-ability. They identify the variety of destinations within walking distance and develop a personal walking plan with a month-long goal.

Creating a CO2 Monster (Part 1)
In this lesson, students learn about the effects of vehicle exhaust resulting from the millions of miles driven by Americans each year. Students calculate weekly figures to understand the amount of carbon dioxide their vehicles put into the atmosphere and write creative stories about the “monster” effects of these emissions.

Creating a CO2 Monster (Part 2)
In this lesson, students learn about the positive steps they can take to reduce their CO2 emissions. They will use an emissions calculator to quantify the impact of their transportation choices and write a poem or rap song about the solutions available to them.

Trekking into the West
In this lesson, students look at the history of some of the original modes of transportation in this country before the Industrial Revolution. Students “experience” the realities of traveling by covered wagon, single-rider horse, and paddle-wheel steamboats by playing a game in which they use their mode of transportation to “race” the Oregon Trail.

Hybrid Engines: What Makes Them So Cool
In this lesson, students are introduced to the subject of hybrid engines. After viewing an animation on how these engines work, students create their own demonstration of a hybrid vehicle using sounds and motions.

Bike Psych
In this lesson, students will focus on the benefits of bicycles as a form of sustainable transportation. After examining how much energy is used by the vehicles that typically transport us from one place to another, students learn about the way they can use their own pedal power to ease demand on fossil fuels and combat climate change. Students will map out safe bicycling routes to and from school to serve as a resource for the entire school community.

Saving the Grand Canyon
In this lesson, students explore the vastness of one of this country’s most popular national parks, the Grand Canyon. Students examine the current transportation-related policies have been put in place to preserve this magnificent landscape, paying particular attention to the availability of more sustainable alternatives.

Biomimicry: The Genius of Nature
In this lesson, students are introduced to the cutting edge field of biomimicry, which is the practice of imitating nature in order to better human life. After learning about real-life examples of biomimicry in action, students choose an animal or ability from nature to develop and design their own sustainable transportation inventions.
Explore the animated portion of the lesson now! 

The Future of Getting Around
In this lesson, students take a peek into the future of transportation by visiting “The Future is Now” museum exhibit to learn about innovations already in use around the country. Students then imagine their own futures, creating a vision of how they see themselves getting around in thirty years.


BTYB Amtrak