Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Pedal It! How Bicycles Are Changing the World

Mulder, Michelle (Author)
Orca 2013. 48 pages
First published: 2013
Series: Orca Footprints
ISBN: 9781459802193 (hardcover)
9781459812154 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 388
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

layout, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

It began in the early 1800s as the “walking machine.” The velocipede (“which means ‘fast foot’”) took off quickly—even weighing in at 68 kilograms—and by the 1860s, everyone wanted a bicycle. Part history, part technological primer, part sociological cri de cœur and part love story, this bicycle book is a fascinating, comprehensive introduction to one of the most accessible modes of transport in the world. The book features chapters on the extensive and inventive history of the bicycle, bicycle technology both required and possible (“Bicycles made from plants”), unusual uses for bikes, and the humanitarian and socio-economic benefits of bicycles. Inset “Bike Facts” offer data on global bike use, alluding also to environmental and health incentives, some of which are further detailed in the text.

The easy narrative addresses the reader and shares personal anecdotes while providing technical and historical information. Images include old photographs and documents, the author’s family and travel photos, labelled drawings of bikes, and images that portray the diverse uses of the bicycle internationally, from a man pedalling a cord of wood home in Malawi to a bicycle ambulance in Namibia; from Montréal’s Bixi bike-share program to a two-wheeled pet store in Vietnam.

The book closes with a list of print, film and online resources, as well as an index.

  •  

    What do you like most about riding a bike? Discuss reasons people ride bikes.

  •  

    Choose a style of bicycle that interests you and do some research to find ways and places it is used.

  •  

    Imagine that you took a modern bicycle with gears, shocks and brakes and went back in time to when the first big wheel bicycles were invented. Write a story that tells how people might have reacted. What conflicts might have arisen?

  •  Write a letter to your librarian explaining why it was a good idea to purchase this book.
  •  Design your own bicycle, showing all of the modifications that you would make. Write a text under an illustration of your invention, explaining its usefulness.
  •  What do you like most about riding a bike? How does it fill your needs?
  •  

    Learn the bike words on page 17.

  •  

    Browse through the illustrations. How are people using bicycles around the world? How is it similar to or different from what you do?

  •  

    Explore the possibilities of creating a green route for you and your schoolmates to get to and from school each day. What facts and ideas from the book might apply? Outline a plan to discuss the idea with your principal and with the school's governing board.

  •  

    Brainstorm the uses for bicycles and their parts. Add new vocabulary to your notebook.

  •  

    Create a KWL chart about bicycles. Complete the K (Know) and W (Want to know) columns prior to reading. Complete the L (Learned) column after reading.

  •  

    Research one of the countries where bicycles are a popular means of transportation. Display your findings on a poster or use a digital presentation tool.

  •  

    Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about why and where there should be more bicycle paths, why cars should learn to share the roads or why cyclists must learn to respect all road signage.

  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Science and Technology