High-Speed Rail Lesson Plans

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High-Speed Rail Lesson Plans

High-speed rail (HSR) is finding its place as an efficient, safe, and sustainable transportation solution in California and the United States as a whole. HSR has a long, successful history since the first bullet train zipped through Japan in 1964. HSR is not only good for the environment but for our communities, too. HSR systems around the world service 1.6 billion passengers per year, and the developing California HSR system will connect 6 of the 10 largest cities in the state. In these lessons, students will learn about the history and current state of high-speed rail and how this speedy mode of transport will help California achieve its long-term climate goals by reducing transportation emissions and paving the way for HSR around the nation.
 
Lesson Plan   Description
     

Why is High-Speed Rail a Good Transit Option to Build in Central Valley, California?

 

 View presentation slides for 1st-3rd grades

 View presentation slides for 4th & 5th grades

 View presentation slides for 6th grade

 

The Golden State has a long history as a center of technological innovation, and in recent decades California has paved the way as a leader in sustainable transportation. California has the wide open space, the community and financial support, and the need for high-speed rail. This presentation empowers students in 1st-6th grades to learn why California and high-speed rail go hand-in-hand in an accessible, visually interesting format. Students will also learn about the numerous environmental benefits of high-speed rail and its history of success in other countries.

Additional Resource

In honor of Earth Day 2022, the California High-Speed Rail Authority launched an interactive carbon footprint calculator to show the environmental benefits of the nation’s first electrified high-speed rail project. Students can use the calculator to see their potential carbon emissions savings from traveling by electrified high-speed rail compared to by car and plane roundtrips along the planned high-speed rail system.

     

Train Safety vs. Car Safety

 

 View lesson plan materials for 1st-3rd grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 1st-3rd grades as a PDF

 View lesson plan materials for 4-6th grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 4-6th grades as a PDF

 

In this lesson, students will learn about train and car safety while practicing scientific research through data collection. Students will survey their peers and then record and discuss the data they collected and any implications about transportation in their community.

     

Calculating Time Spent on Different Modes

Calculating Time Spent on Different Modes

 

 View lesson plan materials for 1st & 2nd grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 1st & 2nd grades as a PDF

 View lesson plan materials for 3rd & 4th grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 3rd & 4th grades as a PDF

 View lesson plan materials for 5th & 6th grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 5th & 6th grades as a PDF

 

How much CO2 is produced on a road trip to Disneyland? What a trip on a plane or train? Students will solve a mathematical word problem and complete a bar graph in this lesson about the sustainability of different transportation modes.

     

Writing letters to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg about HSR

Writing letters to Secretary of Transportation about HSR

 

 View lesson plan materials for 1st-3rd grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 1st-3rd grades as a PDF

 View lesson plan materials for 4-6th grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 4-6th grades as a PDF

 

It’s important to communicate our community needs with elected officials. In this lesson, students will write a letter about high-speed rail and format it to send to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

     

Academic Poster Presentation

Academic Poster Presentation

 

 View lesson plan materials for 1st & 2nd grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 1st & 2nd grades as a PDF

 View lesson plan materials for 3rd & 4th grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 3rd & 4th grades as a PDF

 View lesson plan materials for 5th & 6th grades on Google Docs

 View lesson plan materials for 5th & 6th grades as a PDF

 

In this culminating lesson, students will use what they have learned in the slides to create a compelling visual poster about sustainable transportation.

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