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Cost-Benefit Analysis, Design Thinking, Life Literacies and Key Skills


6th, 7th, 8th


Social Studies, Economics, Computer Science, Career Skills


55 minutes

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Electric Bikes or Electric Cars?

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 20, 2024
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In this lesson, students conduct research on electric bicycles and electric cars, choose one of these technologies, and create a video promoting its use as a climate solution. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students view a series of images related to bicycles and cars and discuss their emotional reactions with a partner.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students investigate the benefits and drawbacks of electric bicycles and electric cars.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students create a video advertisement advocating for electric bicycles or electric cars.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students must use hard data to promote either electric bicycles or electric cars.
  • Students record quick, informative videos as their assessment in this lesson plan.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of climate change. They should know that burning fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases and that greenhouse gases are heating up the planet.
  • There are fourteen total images in the Inquire section. Feel free to disregard some of them based on your needs.
  • Many students assume that electric cars do not create emissions at all. Students will learn:
    • There are embedded emissions from the manufacturing of electric cars.
    • Electric cars that use electricity generated by fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) are still creating emissions.
  • Your students will need access to devices to record their advertisements. Students can record themselves on iPods, iPads, laptops, or other school devices. Depending on your school's phone policy, you can have your students use their own devices.


  • Be sensitive to the socioeconomic situation of your students. Some students' families may not own bicycles or cars or be able to afford electric bicycles or electric cars.
  • Creating the advertisement can be done as a homework assignment.
  • Students may want to include drawings, puppets, props, or other creative items in their advertisements. Encourage their creative expression!
Scientist Notes

Over the course of their use, electric cars are far more environmentally friendly than conventional automobiles. This lesson examines those benefits as well as how to make cities friendlier to bikes and other commuting options. The external resources in this lesson have passed our scientific review process.


Note On Standards:

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

Discover more on the New Jersey Climate Education Hub.
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