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Lesson Plans

In School

Lessons and classroom activities teach students about transportation options, traffic safety, and climate change. The lessons can be incorporated into health, environment, social science, math, and physics curricula. Many Safe Routes to School Programs in the Bay Area, the state of California, and nationally have developed lesson plans to engage students about safety, transportation options, and climate change.

Bike and Pedestrian Safety Lesson Plans from the Bay Area:

  • The K-5 Educator Guide: Activities for Creating Safe and Healthy Communities is produced by Alameda County’s Safe Routes to School program and includes a variety of activities and evaluation strategies.
  • Marin County Safe Routes to Schools has a number of resources for Green Teams, including assistance setting up a team, suggested activities and curriculum, and evaluation. Their Safety Curriculum includes step-by-step instructions for Pedestrian Safety (2nd grade), Bicycle Safety (4th Grade), and Advanced Bicycle Safety (6th grade). The Teens Go Green Education Series has lesson plans for middle and high school students, including transit education and lessons that integrate transportation choices with other subjects.
  • San Francisco Safe Routes to School’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curricula includes similar resources for Pedestrian Safety (2nd grade) and Bicycle Safety (4th Grade), including instructions for how to conduct a bicycle safety rodeo.
  • Bikeology is a ready-to-use bicycle-safety curriculum for physical education teachers and recreation specialists working with students in grades 6-12.
  • Safe Moves offers traffic safety education for teens, including traffic and driver awareness Programs. The “Safe Moves City” is a miniature city where elementary school students can learn about walking and bicycling safety.
  • Cycles of Change offers bicycle safety training for 4th through 8th grade students in Alameda County as part of the SR2S program.

Transportation and Climate Change Lesson Plans from the Bay Area:

  • The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Protect Your Climate Curriculum is the first comprehensive climate change curriculum in California. The 16 lessons for 4th and 5th grade students focus on air pollution, energy, waste reduction, and transportation. The curriculum addresses state standards for life, earth, and physical science; mathematical reasoning, investigation and experimentation; visual and language arts; reading comprehension; and history and social science.
  • Marin County Safe Routes to Schools’ Teens Go Green Education Series includes bicycle, transit, and science-based lessons plans for middle and high school students.Their History and Politics of Transportation in the United States teaches how politics affects transportation as well as how transportation shapes development patterns. The resource is also available in Spanish.
  • The ECO2school Lesson Plans include guides for teaching students about climate change and the impact of changing transportation modes, including how to calculate school trip emissions.
  • The BayMobile offers Activity Guides to further explore climate change with students.

Great Lesson Plans from Outside the Bay Area:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Safe Routes to School Classroom Activities include lesson plans on Pedestrian Safety Training (for 1st and 2nd graders), Bicycle Safety Training (for 3rd through 5th graders), and ideas for incorporating Safe Routes concepts into math and social science, geography, English, history, and science classes.
  • Moving Beyond the Automobile is a ten part video series by StreetFilms which explores solutions to the problem of automobile dependency.  The accompanying handbook helps guide policy makers, advocacy organizations, teachers, students, and others into a world that values pedestrian plazas over parking lots and train tracks over highways.
  • The California Environmental Protection Agency has an Education and the Environment Initiative curriculum with 85 units that cover selected academic content standards in both Science and History-Social Science.
  • The California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board Climate Curriculum Resources list a variety of climate change-related curricula for a variety of age levels.