Activity 4: Transport

Teacher and Learning Activities

This activity allows students to think about and discuss the various modes of transport and how they are utilised in various freight tasks.

ACTIVITY 4a: DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRANSPORT

Write the word 'transport' on the board. Recap some of the definitions offered in Activity 1.

Using a Think, Pair Share strategy, ask the class to brainstorm what the word means to them and compare responses. Ask the class to vote for how important they think transport is in their lives: very important, quite important, or not important.

Challenge students to list as many forms of transport as they can in three minutes. They might be forms of transport used today, in the past, in their area or in another part of the world. Challenge them to think of some unusual forms of transport as well as the obvious!

Compare lists within share groups and feed back to class.

KEY QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

  • Did anyone think of a form of transport no-one else had?
  • What was it?
  • Why it is unusual or obscure?
  • Which examples come from another part of the world?
  • Which examples come from another period in history?
  • Do these perform a function that is either not needed any more or not needed in the local area, or that has been replaced by another form of transport?
  • What different functions does their range of transport type perform? (Move goods, people, leisure.)

Introduce the term 'Freight' (Definition: Freight). Ask students to categorise their forms of transport into freight, passenger and leisure using the table Categories of Transport. Discuss how some of these may overlap.

Discuss how transport is designed to meet the needs of the freight. Look at the Vocabulary Box. Ask students to select products and discuss the type and range of vehicles that would be needed to transport these items.

Establish that various forms of transport have been designed to do specific jobs within particular environments and over varying distances and time frames. Brainstorm the variables that different forms of transport need to accommodate. For example:

  • long or short distance;
  • direct or indirect routes;
  • large or small quantities;
  • solid, liquid, or gas freight;
  • local, regional, national or international destinations.

ACTIVITY 4b: BALLOON DEBATE: THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

This activity encourages students to think about how important transport is to their way of life and how much they depend on a wide range of transport types across all four modes.

Explain that forms of transport are categorised into four modes: air, sea, road and rail. Most of the things they own have been transported using at least one, if not all four modes of transport.

Challenge students to conduct a balloon debate. The premise of any balloon debate is that the speakers representing each side in the debate are passengers in a hot air balloon that cannot stay aloft. To survive, each speaker must argue their case to remain in the balloon. All but one must be sacrificed. The audience must vote, after listening to the arguments, who should be thrown overboard and who should be saved.

Divide the class into four groups and assign each a mode of transport: air, sea, road or rail. Each group must work together to formulate the arguments that will save their mode of transport to be the only mode of transport in the world!

Provide each group with Things to Think About and allow time for the groups to generate their arguments. Each group should elect two or three speakers.

The debate runs as follows:

ROUND ONE:

The first speaker representing each mode argues the benefits of their mode.

The audience votes and one mode is thrown out.

ROUND TWO:

The second speaker argues why their mode is better than the other remaining two modes of transport.

The audience votes and one mode is thrown out.

ROUND THREE:

The final two speakers offer a rebuttal and summarise why their mode should be saved rather than the other.

The audience takes the deciding vote.

KEY QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

Discuss how students would feel about being restricted to one mode of transport.

  • How would their lives change?
  • What might they have to go without?

Take another vote: How important is transport in their lives?

  • Has anyone changed their mind about how important transport is in their lives?
  • Why?

Student Materials

4a DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRANSPORT

Definition: Freight

Freight transport is the name given to transport designed to carry goods from place to place. Goods that are being transported are called freight or cargo. Passenger transport carries people from place to place.

Categories of Transport
Vocabulary Box

4b BALLOON DEBATE - THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

WHAT DO YOU NEED?
  • Which commodities or consumer items are a) essential b) desired c) a luxury? How well would your mode of transport be able to facilitate the supply of these?
  • What commodities can you source from your local area or region?
  • What commodities would you need to transport a) interstate b) internationally?
WHAT OPTIONS DOES YOUR MODE GIVE YOU?
  • What forms of transport are included in your mode?
  • Where would it be able to travel/transport things to and from?
  • Where wouldn't you be able to travel/transport things?
  • How time-efficient is the mode?
  • How cost-efficient is the mode?
  • How efficient and effective is your mode at transporting large quantities?
  • How efficient and effective is your mode at transporting small quantities?
  • How efficient and effective is your mode at travelling short distances?
  • How efficient and effective is your mode at travelling long distances?
  • How versatile is your mode?
  • What infrastructure is required for your mode of transport to operate effectively? (Ports, rail lines, roads etc.)
WHAT IMPLICATIONS WOULD THERE BE OF ONLY USING ONE MODE?
  • How would only using that one mode of transport affect where people live and shop?
  • How well could your mode of transport compensate for the limitations caused by not having the other modes?
  • How does your chosen mode of transport compare with the others?