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Database Provider


Design Thinking


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Engineering


90 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Take a Ride! (Let's Move! Green Transportation #4)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 24, 2024
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In this lesson, students explore the engineering design process, transportation types, and energy use.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students play the digital game Ari's Wonderful Ideas.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students explore the steps of the engineering design process.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students use the engineering design process to design and build a transportation vehicle.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students use critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity as they learn about the engineering design process. 

  • Students engage in the scientific process to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

  • Students have opportunities to collaborate with classmates and share their feelings as they design new transportation vehicles.

  • This lesson supports the understanding that all humans can make a difference.

  • This lesson features excellent vocabulary development. Vocabulary Cards are provided in the lesson.
  • The lesson can be paused after the Investigate section and completed in two parts.
  • Students will use what they learned throughout the unit concerning clean energy, locations around the world, transportation modes, and human choices as they build their transportation vehicles.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 4 of 4 in our K-2nd grade Let’s Move! Green Transportation unit.

  • Prepare a recycled materials supply area that includes a variety of boxes, plastic bottles, juice boxes, cardboard tubes, straws, paper, adhesives, and a variety of art materials for embellishment. These can be items that are donated to your classroom by students and their families.

  • If you are teaching this as a stand-alone lesson, you can use the Modes of Transportation activity in the Investigate section of Lesson #1 in the Let’s Move! Green Transportation Unit to teach students about modes of transportation.


  • Students can share their feelings, including any natural frustration, after playing Ari’s Wonderful Ideas. This helps prepare them for the frustration people sometimes experience during the engineering design process.

  • Students have several opportunities to share feelings and ask questions about the topic.

  • Students can work in pairs or small groups to create their vehicles.

  • Students can use an index card to record facts about their vehicles as you might see on a new car or truck.

  • More advanced learners can create a stop-motion short film of their new vehicle in action.

Scientist Notes

Scaling up environmentally friendly transportation in schools is crucial for reducing global warming. This lesson helps students to develop ideas for a just transition to clean transportation by allowing them to investigate energy-efficient and low-carbon-intensive forms of transportation. It is advised to teach this lesson because it has all the necessary resources and has undergone fact-checking.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.2.GeoGI.1: Explain why and how people, goods, and ideas move from place to place.
  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
      • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.


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