Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.
As an educator, you have the unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the children you teach and the communities you serve. Active Transportation Alliance’s resources can be used in the classroom, in before- and after-school programs and within the community to promote physical health and protect the environment through sustainable transportation.
Our resources provide opportunities for children to engage in healthy and safe physical activities and to learn how to make transportation choices that are both environmentally sustainable and economically smart. Our free or low-cost programs, advocacy tools and lesson plans all align with Illinois Learning Standards and/or Common Core Standards.
Below are links to sample lessons from our educational resources. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about receiving the complete versions.
Transportation Safety: Lesson Book for Young Children
Teach children ages 3-5 how to safely walk, cycle and use the bus or train. These five transportation safety lessons span a variety of subject areas, including language arts, math, fine arts and physical development.
This sample lesson uses story, song and skills practice to teach students safe street-crossing procedures. Excerpt also includes table of contents and introduction to help you learn more about the curriculum’s structure.
Afterschool Challenge Program
Encourage students to achieve their goals by using this flexible and fun literacy and physical activity program. In “Brain Challenges,” students read and learn about inspirational athletes. In “Body Challenges,” students participate in physical activities related to the athletes featured in the lessons. Educators may use some or all of the 40 lesson pairs, flexibly structured into seven character trait-themed units.
In these sample lessons, students learn about Wilma Rudolph, a three-time Olympic gold medalist who was once told she would never be able to walk again. Using art, writing and relay races, the lessons focus on the character trait of determination.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Lesson Books
These classroom and physical education lesson books promote physical activity and bicycle and pedestrian safety skills. These stand-alone lessons can be used at any time, in any order, and will easily fit into an educator’s busy schedule.
Students participate in 30–50 minute lessons on topics such as transportation options, bicycle and pedestrian safety guidelines and being a safe citizen.
Students learn to avoid hazards, follow traffic signals and use their own signals through a variety of enjoyable physical games and activities.
Walk Across Illinois Physical Education Curriculum
Energize students with a curriculum that connects physical activity and skill development with biking, walking and public transportation. The curriculum is divided into sections focusing on fall, winter and spring sports skills, with lessons designed to fit class periods as short as 30 minutes while keeping students actively moving over 50 percent of the class time. Teachers may use some or all of the lessons.
Sample lessons feature soccer and basketball skills in visits to Chicago and Bloomington-Normal. Read the introductory lesson and learn about the curriculum’s structure and options.
Help students explore academic subject areas while they learn about active, safe and environmentally friendly transportation. Lessons can be easily incorporated into existing curricula or used as enrichment activities.
Students engage in the writing process by reading and writing a short story about a fictional bike ride.
Students collect and graph statistical data through various pictorial representations.
Students analyze school transportation data to examine relationships between modes of transportation, distance and age to determine possible financial savings of choosing alternate forms of transportation.
Unlocking Your Future: Transportation Lessons for Middle School
Engage students in problem-solving and team-building activities as they learn valuable information about sustainability and are introduced to jobs that promote active transportation. This four-unit curriculum includes activities on physical fitness, bicycle and pedestrian safety, health promotion, and skills to help students advocate within their schools and communities.
Sample lessons feature topics on urban planning and map making. Also includes a table of contents and introduction so you can explore more details of the curriculum.
Schools Changing Transportation: Student Guide
Create change by advocating for better active transportation options in your school community. This easy-to-follow guide directs students through the process of selecting and researching an issue, collecting data and lobbying for a cause. Active Transportation Alliance staff may be available to provide speakers, data and general guidance to support your project. Hours spent on this project may qualify as service learning credits for some students.
Read how this guide can be used to foster a service learning project with your students and see the first steps in implementing the program.
Complete Streets for High School Students
Foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills by having students analyze their transportation needs and explore ways to support the needs of all road users. The goal is for students to learn basic transportation planning strategies to create project suggestions that could be brought to professional planners and elected officials for implementation in their community.
View descriptions of each individual lesson as well as the complete version of Lesson 3, which explores the idea of a "complete street."
Driver’s Education Lessons
Enhance driver’s education class with lessons focused on driving safely while sharing the road with pedestrians and bicyclists. These interactive lessons complement traditional curricula and provide in-depth discussions to help students understand proper protocol for drivers when encountering all road users.
This sample lesson focuses on laws related to interaction between motorists and pedestrians and includes student brainstorming about ways motorists and pedestrians should respect one another.