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Car Wars

Secondary, Middle

Description

Car wars is an activity based resource which aims to educate students about the increasing production of carbon dioxide and its impact on the climate. Using a board game format, students examine solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars. Students are presented with information on alternative energy sources for cars, such as electric, hydrogen fuel cell and biodiesel. While playing the game, students identify the pros and cons of each energy source and attempt to gather enough evidence to decide which alternative energy source is the best solution to the problem. Using this information, they evaluate solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions and justify their choice of car by presenting the benefits of their chosen solution. 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • inquiry skills
  • active listening
  • communicating ideas
  • express and support a point of view
  • oral communication
  • drawing conclusions supported by evidence

Strengths

  • The resource allows teacher to meet curriculum expectations through an engaging and fun activity.  
  • The resource contains background information for the teacher and students.
  • Wide range of learning styles incorporated into the lessons.
  • The resource is well organized and easy to use.
  • Classroom support is offered to teachers through resources on the web.

Weaknesses

  • Needs to include some assessment tools as well as accommodations for students with learning difficulties.
  • No action project suggested

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Energy (1)

    • Alternative Energy
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Transportation

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Students evaluate evidence and solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars and make their own informed decision based on the information. They present and support the benefits of their chosen solution to justify their choice.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The resource effectively addresses problems and solutions. They discuss social, economic and environmental implications; and make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and argument.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

Students are exploring a possible solution instead of a problem. They evaluate solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars to be able to justify their choice.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

Students are asked to explore the benefits and drawbacks of their chosen topic and justify their choice.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good

Students discuss the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Satisfactory

Learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners. They become informed about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

Students discuss the environmental implications of production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on the climate. They evaluate solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars. 

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Students are encouraged to deliberate and develop their own thoughts and opinions, while evaluating solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars.  They present and support the benefits of which energy source for cars they think is best.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

Primarily a science resource, incorporates language arts skills such as justifying, inquiry skills and making decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and argument

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students evaluate solutions to the problems of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars and justify opinions.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The game board format connects to a variety of student learning styles, it addresses the needs of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

Students are presented with a simulation of imagining it is 2020 and they are about to get their first car. Increased carbon dioxide emissions have led to huge financial incentives to buy alternatives to petrol engines – but which car should they purchase. They examine the evidence and come to a decision.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good

Students are encouraged to deliberate and evaluate the data and present reasoned explanations.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Students are encouraged to deliberate and develop their own opinions, while evaluating solutions to the problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from cars.  They present and support the benefits of which energy source for cars they think is best.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Satisfactory

In the introduction students watch a BMW video outlining innovations in car energy sources. 

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Poor/Not considered

Not considered in this resource, but could easily be developed by the students and teacher.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.