Lesson Plans

Roads Kill: The Dangers of Motorcycles

Motorcycles are an increasingly popular—and dangerous—mode of transport throughout Kenya. Image by Beatrice Obwocha. Kenya 2015.

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


Students will analyze several resources in different media formats. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to determine central ideas of text, audio and video, and provide summaries of each resource distinct from personal opinions. Students will also be able to determine an author's point of view or purpose in the text and explain how it is conveyed. 


  1. What do you think is the most dangerous vehicle to drive on the road and why?
  2. What are some precautions a driver should take when on the road?

Introducing the Lesson:

In this lesson, you will learn about the dangers of motorcycles by looking at three different resources. The first resource, an article by Beatrice Obwocha entitled "Number of Fatal Motorcycle Crashes in Kenya on the Rise," talks about the increase in motorcycle accidents in Kenya. The second resource, a video by Steve Sapienza for PBS Newshour, discusses motorcycle drivers' use of helmets in Cambodia. The final resource, an audio piece featuring Tom Hundley (listen from 06:41-11:45), is about Asia's motorcycle boom. 

Introducing the Resources:

As you digest the following resources, answer the accompanying questions and consider the following:

  1. What's the central idea of the resource?
  2. What's the author’s point of view or purpose in the resource?
  3. How does the medium contribute to the point made?


Based on the three resources, write a summary describing the dangers of driving a motorcycle in Southeast Asia. Be sure to include specific facts from each resource.

Extension Activity:

If you were to give road safety suggestions to the Southeast Asian governments, what would you tell them and why? What medium would you use to best convey your point (audio, text, image, video, oral presentation, etc.)?

Educator Notes: 

In this lesson, students will analyze several resources about the dangers of motorcycles in different media formats in order to determine the central ideas of text, audio and video. By the end of the lesson, students will write a summary about the dangers of motorcycles.


Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.


Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

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