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Using vehicles to create student interest in math and language arts

Posted on May 27, 2014 by Alan Haskvitz

VehicleUsing vehicle information is an excellent way to motivate students and to help ready them for real-life buying decisions. Use these links to research the various manufacturers where students can write for general information, obtain pricing and harvest compare-and-contrast data for Common Core-related essays. provides a list of all DMV offices.  Finding your state’s office can provide information on how old you need to be to drive, as well as the various license fee data that could be used for Common Core math problems. is a federal site where students can select vehicles and find data about their fuel mileage. This data could be used for math lessons and to provide statistics for an essay on the best or worst vehicles in terms of fuel costs.

Auto Manufacturers links to companies selling cars in America. More auto information can be found at Autopedia, a listing of major vehicle websites worldwide.

National Motorists Association is a great source of information on driving and the law. The Car Family reviews (by my family, by the way) make good reading assignments for students who are reluctant readers.

NADA Guides offers a listing of car value prices. It’s a good place to find statistics for math problems about the prices of cars and motorcycles. Use these statistics to create word problems and compare-and-contrast essays. You may also use the information as primary source material. For example, select two vehicles and prove one is the better buy using resources found on this site.

Graphic Representation of What’s Really Made in America shows where cars are made. It’s an excellent way to make geography more meaningful to students as they track where their family's vehicle was made. Students can check on their school buses with this Wikipedia page on school bus manufacturers, too.

Alan Haskvitz teaches at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, California, and makes staff development presentations nationwide. He serves as an educational consultant, curriculum developer and author.

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