Which car is clearer – Ford F150, Toyota RAV4 or Honda Civic?

Grade level:  5th grades

Skills:  Multiplication and division (decimals)

Related environmental issues: Air / Climate change / Energy

Area level: National, State, Regional, Household

Burning gasoline in motor vehicles is one of the biggest causes of air pollution in the United States. How much gasoline your car uses is strongly connected to how dirty the air in your area is. The table below shows how many miles three cars can run on one gallon of gasoline. Those three cars are the top-8 best-selling vehicles during the first half of 2018 in the United States.

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1. Which car can go half as far as Honda Civic on one gallon of gasoline?

2. An average American drives 280 miles a week. How much gasoline does an owner of each car use on average?

3. Which car among the three is more environmentally friendly? Why? Explain.

4. If the price of gasoline today is $3 a gallon, how much money does an owner of each car need to spend for gasoline in a week on average?

5. Which car among the three would you like to by? Why? Explain.

Source: 1) Business Insider, 2018 2) fuel economy.gov, 2018 3) U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2018

Note: Average Annual Miles per Driver: 13,476 miles (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2018)

Answer Key

  1. Ford F150
  2. Ford F150: 280 ÷ 16 = 17.5 (gallons)   Toyota Rav 4: 280 ÷ 25 = 11.2 (gallons)   Honda Civic:  280 ÷ 32 = 8.75 (gallons)
  3. Honda Civic: It uses less gasoline and emits less air pollutants into the air.
  4. Ford F150: 17.5 x 3 = $52.5  Toyota Rav 4: 11.2 x 3 = $33.6  Honda Civic:  8.75 x 3 = $26.25
  5. Answers may vary


Was it warm in the first half of November 2015 in Chicago?

Grade level:  4th – 5th grades

Skills:  Line graph

Related environmental issues: Climate 

Area level: Community

The line graph below compares max temperatures during the first half of November in 2015 (between November 1 and 15, 2015) in Chicago and the average max temperatures in Chicago.

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  1. How many days did Chicago have max temperatures lower than the average during the first half of November?
  2. About how many degrees was the max temperature in Chicago on November 2 higher than the average max temperature?  a) 25 b) 15 c) 5
  3. From this graph, what can you tell about the temperatures in Chicago during the first half of November in 2015?

Source: Weather underground


Answer keys

  1. 1 day
  2. b
  3. Most of the days during the first half of November in Chicago were warmer than the average.  There were  5-6 days when the max temperatures were about 15 degrees warmer than the average.