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Database Provider


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Social Studies, Geography


70 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

How Do We Get There From Here? (Let's Move! Green Transportation #1)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Nov 30, 2023
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This lesson explores modes of transportation and the energy they use.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students view or read the storybook Bearly Over the Mountain to learn about different energy sources that power trains.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students generate a list of modes of transportation and make suppositions about what forms of energy each uses.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students create and answer transportation riddles to demonstrate their understanding of this introductory lesson.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students are introduced to green energy use via this first lesson in the Let’s Move! Green Transportation Unit, building the foundation for the lessons to follow.

  • Students explore different types of transportation used globally and in their own local communities.

  • Students have opportunities to create, write, and share transportation riddles in school and at home.

  • This lesson supports collaboration with peers.

  • Students will learn that all humans can make a difference.

  • You can easily integrate this lesson into an existing lesson or unit focused on transportation.

  • This lesson features excellent vocabulary development.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 1 of 4 in our K-2nd grade Let’s Move! Green Transportation unit.

  • If you plan to use either of the worksheets in the Student Document, you will need to print them before teaching the class.


  • You can split the lesson into two sessions, completing the Transportation Riddles on the second day.

  • Students can share their “Wow” feelings after viewing the story.

  • There are a variety of options for differentiation to support students’ comprehension of the book. Choose the method (read-aloud, view the video, partner reading) based on the literacy development levels of your students.

    • Students in Kindergarten can listen as the story is read aloud by the teacher or view the video of the story being read.  

    • In 1st grade, the teacher can read the story aloud or share the video but may pause to ask students to help read words or phrases on some pages, based on the students’ literacy levels.  

    • In 2nd grade, students can read the story in pairs, or the teacher may primarily read portions aloud or share the video read aloud.  

  • You may show students the following videos of different train engines to help them understand different types of energy:

  • As an optional extension activity, students can draw a picture or write a note about transportation choices to share with someone to illustrate what they have learned.

  • You can survey the school community to request guest speakers who work in transportation, energy, or similar fields.

  • Optional activity: students can survey their families to collect data regarding the types of transportation family members use daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.

  • You can use the Cut and Paste Modes of Transportation worksheet in the Student Document in place of the Transportation Riddles activity.

  • You can use the Flippity word-matching game to strengthen literacy skills.

Scientist Notes

Determining the carbon footprint from transportation modes is important, and this lesson provides an elementary foundation for students to understand the carbon intensities of air, land, and water transportation modes. The riddle, classroom activity, images, and additional materials in the lesson were verified, and this lesson has passed our science review process.


Primary Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.7.K-2 Explain why and how people, goods, and ideas move from place to place.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.


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