Lesson Plans

Pedestrian Safety

A swarm of motorcycle commuters in Jakarta. Image by Kristianto Purnomo. Indonesia, 2013.

Image by Sgt. Ken Scar via Flickr Commons. Afghanistan, 2013.

Cars weave in and out on roads where lanes mean nothing. Image by Ari Daniel. Lebanon, 2014.


By the end of this lesson, students will be able to analyze how authors unfold a series of ideas in order to cite specific ideas and examples from complex articles in the analysis of an author’s point of view.

Introducing the Lesson:

You will be looking at several articles touching on the subject of pedestrian safety from our ongoing project, "Roads Kill." The first article by Pulitzer Center senior editor Tom Hundley covers the deadly effects of overcrowded and unregulated streets in Indonesia. The second article is by grantee Jeffrey E. Stern. It examines the underreported traffic accidents in Afghanistan. The third and final article by grantee Ari Daniel explores the "rules of the road" in Lebanon.

Introducing the Resources:

After reading each article, answer the accompanying comprehension questions and the following summary questions.

  1. How does the author introduce the subject of pedestrian safety?
  2. How does pedestrian safety connect with the rest of the article?
  3. What is the author's point of view or purpose?

Extension Activity:

Imagine you are writing to a politician in a country where pedestrian safety is an issue. Using valid reasoning and citing specific examples from the text, create a list of suggestions on how that country's roads and sidewalks can be safer for pedestrians. How would you suggest that he/she makes these changes (public policy, stricter law enforcement, PSAs, etc.)? Create a presentation that articulates your suggestions.

Educator Notes: 

In this lesson plan, in line with common core standards, students will investigate educational resources and write about the safety of pedestrians in developing countries, where many times pedestrian injury and fatality is not reported and occasionally even considered normal. Students will independently read global news articles and design a mock letter to a politician in charge of roads in a developing country.


Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.


Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.


Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

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