Sustainable Mobility

Age9-11
ValueEthical & Social
LocationIndoor
TopicFlexibility
OverviewThe children critically question their own mobility behaviour with regards to the environment and develop alternative behavioural strategies that help save nature.
Learning objectivesDeveloping basic characteristics of one’s own and others’ use of means of transport Reflecting on own and others’ mobility patterns Recognise environmental problems caused by excessive use of private cars Develop flexibility with regard to alternative, sustainable mobility strategies (> Find an alternative to cars)
Skills developedArgumentation and reasoning Self-reflection Critical thinking Reading skills and expertise
MethodProblem identification, discussion, group work
MaterialsLocal city or street map (printed to pin on blackboard; alternative: Google Maps printout in at least A3 size), printed handouts of the city map from Google Maps (should match the local city map; for group work), blackboard, texts & pictures (printed; see additional materials), coloured pencils, crayons or markers (for marking places on the city map)
Guidelines
Step 1: Problem identification
Show the children a picture (or several) of a congested road. You can use the pictures we have provided or the picture gallery (https://www.umwelt-im-unterricht.de/medien/bilder/verkehrsentwicklung-probleme-und-loesungen/). Let the children list the negative aspects of the picture(s) (e.g., exhaust fumes, traffic noise, too many cars, hardly any public transport). You can write all answers on the blackboard and reflect together if they are familiar with similar situations in traffic, for example, on their way to school.
Example questions:
● Can you think of places on your way to school where you have to be especially careful?
● Why do you have to be careful there?
Aspects/impulses that you can name in addition:
● Are there bicycle lanes?
● Is there a lot of congestion?
● Do you have to cross streets with a lot of traffic?
● Is the pavement blocked because of parked cars?
● Does the bus run infrequently? Too full? Long journey?
Have them name specific places and routes that you or the children mark in different colours on the printed city or street map which you can pin on the blackboard.
Step 2: Discussion
In the next step, let the children name means of transport they know and ask them to evaluate them. Write their answers on the blackboard. You can give the following impulses:
● Which ones are not environmentally friendly and why?
● What constitutes an environmentally friendly means of transport and why?
● How do means of transport affect health and the environment?
● Which ones take up the most space?
● Which ones move quickly?
● Which ones can carry many people at once?
You can add the following issues:
● All means of transport offer advantages and disadvantages
● List the disadvantages of private cars: Emissions of greenhouse gases and harmful exhaust fumes that damage the environment and health in the long term, noise, enormous space requirements, large amounts of energy and materials needed in manufacturing.
● Emphasise the positive environmental balance of public transport
● Combination of means of transport, e.g. bus and bicycle
Step 3: Group work
Hand out the printed Google maps of the city. The children should work in groups of max. 4 or 5 to find possible solutions for the places and routes marked on the city map. The goal is to find routes to school using alternative means of transport.
Using informational texts with pictures (see materials), they should debate, analyze, and decide in groups about possible alternatives that would allow them to get around without a car. Assign each group a different route.
They can draw the suggested alternatives on the city map themselves. Afterwards, each group presents its solution, followed by a discussion of which solutions would be feasible.
Step 4: Reflection
The children reflect on how flexible they would be to change themselves if, for example, there were more environmentally friendly alternatives on their way to school.
They should recognise how their own behaviour can contribute to a more sustainable mobility, to more environmental and health protection.
TipsAdditional materialsHow to apply online?What to do at home?
What you need to know about the topic before you start:
https://wwf.panda.org/projects/one_planet_cities/Schülertainable_mobility/
https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2017/07/10/sustainable-mobility-for-the-21st-century
What to do at home?
Alternative: children can prepare problematic aspects of their way to school as homework.
At home and online: the children ask their family and friends how traffic used to be (how did grandparents and parents get around? Traffic volume? Mobility in everyday life or on holiday?) and how it has changed until today; they should work out overlaps, characteristics and advantages and disadvantages (what effects does this have on the environment and society?); the results can be presented online and discussed afterwards.
AuthorKatrin Christl, Jennifer Skurka, based on an idea by www.umwelt-im-unterricht.de (CC-BY-SA)
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