Global Learning London

Transport – Teacher Ideas

Activities: lesson plans, schemes of work and projects

Transport and schooling – case studies and research led learning
Improvements in roads and transport services generally have significant positive effects on school attendance.  In Morocco in the early 1990’s a paved road in the community more than doubled girls’ school attendance rates from 21% to 48% and raised boys attendance rates from 58% to 76%.  Share this example with students and set a research project to find more recent examples of improved transportation links leading to increased school attendance.  Debate the implication of this development and explore the consequences for communities in different parts of the world.  Encourage critical engagement with the findings of the research projects and inquiring and questioning minds in your students – for example, what might be the benefits and disadvantages of such developments?

Bicycles around the world – Transport by Bicycle
Powerpoint: Transport by bicycle 

The bicycle (and pedal power) is a universal transportation method which is quick, convenient, often cheap to purchase and maintain and has a variety of different uses around the world.  It does not release carbon dioxide and helps to relieve road congestion.  The presentation ‘Transport by bicycle’ looks at uses of pedal power around the world and some of the ways in which bicycles are used.  It focuses on:

  • Wooden Bikes, simple to build and maintain in Tanzania and Rwanda
  • Bicycles for health workers in Uganda
  • Recycled Bikes – all around the world but a focus on women and farmers in Uganda
  • Bicycle ambulances and paramedics in the UK

Most of the pictures are accompanied by a simple explanation as to how they are used which can be used as a discussion point and some have links to websites with further information.  You could use the following ideas to extend this work:

  • Investigate health care bicycles further – pupils could write their own newspaper article on how the bicycles are used, write a diary piece as though they are a pedal powered health care worker in Uganda or compare the health care volunteers on bikes in Uganda with the UK’s pedal powered paramedics.
  • Recycled Bikes:  Do they have a bike that is not used?  Could you organise a ‘swap shop’ at school for bikes that have been outgrown?  Could they organise a ‘bike care’ workshop for adults in the community or organise a bicycle collection for overseas?
  • Take any of the people in the photographs and create a piece of drama or diary for them.  Imagine they were a woman, child, farmer who has a bike, how has it affected their life, how has it affected others around them?
  • For each case look at the advantages and disadvantages of the pedal power both socially and environmentally.
  • Use the photographs and experimentation to try and build their own model or full size wooden bike using wood or construction kits.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of this both here in the UK and in other countries.

Bicycles around the world – Meet Don Pepe
Powerpoint: Meet Don Pepe

This activity explores the issues of recycling and one of the methods to do this in Monterey, Mexico.  Use the powerpoint to meet Don Pepe and introduce the basic structure of his work transporting recycling materials using a bicycle and cart.  Or just show the pictures from the presentation before any of the text, using photo literacy techniques to encourage learners to question and analyse the photos in different ways e.g. what do they think is happening?  Where is it taken?  What is happening outside the picture?  The resulting discussions can be used to explore the complicated nature of change, for example, whilst Don Pepe’s work may seem not ideal to some, what would happen to him if Monterey introduced civic collections?

Travelling to school in Peru – transport design challenge
Ask your learners to consider the following questions about Peru:

  • In which continent is Peru found?
  • What is the weather like in Peru?
  • Describe some of the landscapes and natural features found in Peru.

Then ask them to imagine they are a pupil at a school in Peru.  The task is to design a mode of transport suitable for their journey to school, but also to make the mode of transport as environmentally-friendly as possible, they will need to consider the following:

  • What materials your vehicle will be made from?
  • What form of energy will power your vehicle?
  • How many people will your vehicle carry?
  • In what ways will your vehicle be suitable for the local weather conditions?
  • How will you ensure that your vehicle is affordable for the people of Peru?

Share the photos below of Peru to encourage ideas.


Bio-fuel – Climate Saviour or Global Menace? 
Powerpoint: Bio-fuels Introduction

Share the power-point presentation with learners and then ask them to research the topic further in small groups.  Once everyone has had the opportunity to form informed opinions and to identify the challenges and issues, hold a class debate about the advantages and disadvantages of Bio-fuels.