Sweet Car Dreams:

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Introduction | Curricuolum Standards |Process Resources |Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits

Following are suggestions and clarifications to assist instructors in implementing this WebQuest. 


This lesson was developed as part of Montezuma County Adult Education Project-Based Learning Series, federally funded through Integrated Learning and Star Schools grants (www.integratelearning.org, www.starschools.gov). 

The purpose of this study is to provide students enrolled in Adult Education and GED programs an alternative to standard workbook learning and rote/recall lessons, while gaining academic skills that result in a meaningful, tangible outcome.  This lesson offers students the opportunity to research the costs and factors involved in rebuilding cars, use these factors to make decisions, and use creativity in communication and writing.

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This lesson is designed for adult learners of primary math and reading skills (about 3rd grade and up).  The lesson provides a project-based approach for students who have a strong interest in cars and mechanics to study their interest while developing math, reading, writing, and computer skills.  Increased confidence in these academic skills, anchored in a strong personal interestDescribe the grade level and course that the lesson is designed to cover. For example: "This lesson is anchored in seventh grade language arts and involves social studies and math to a lesser extent." If the lesson can easily be extended to additional grades and subjects, mention that briefly here as well.

Describe what the learners will need to know prior to beginning this lesson. Limit this description to the most critical skills that could not be picked up on the fly as the lesson is given.  Back to Top ^

Curriculum Standards

The following standards are taken from Colorado State Department of Education and Adult Basic Education Skills Assessment Standards. 


  Reading and Writing

1.    Students read and understand a variety of materials.

2.    Students read, select, and make use of relevant information from a variety of media, reference, and technological sources.

3.    Students write and speak using conventional grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

4.    Students apply thinking skills to their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing.

Mathematics                                     Back to Top ^

1.   Students use data collection and analysis, statistics, and probability in problem-solving situations and

communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.

2.      Students use a variety of tools and techniques to measure, apply the results in problem-solving situations, and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.

Adult Basic Education Skill Assessment Checklist Standards:

Level One:                                              Back to Top ^

1R1 – Recognize and use the following parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, conjunctions, adjectives and verbs.

1R9 – Interpret and follow basic signs and directories

1W6 – Write basic notes

1M10 – Interpret basic charts (compare and contrast)

1M1 – Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers

1W9 – Write a solution to a functional problem (follow a sequence, summarize)

Level Two:                                                  Back to Top ^

2M13 - Interpret tables and charts

2M1 – Add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and decimals

2M2 – Determine Equivalent fractions, decimals, and percents

2M20 – Demonstrate ability to use a four-function calculator to do basic functions and calculate decimals and percents

2M2 – Determine equivalent fractions, decimals, and percents

2R17 – Read a passage or sample of realia and summarize

2R18 – Recognize and use Standard English parts of a sentence: nouns, pronouns, verbs, conjunctions, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, comparatives, superlatives, direct and indirect objects.

2W10 – Use appropriate punctuation and capitalization

2W8 – Write basic directions for a process or a task (sequence information)

2W9 – Describe a problem-solving strategy for a given situation


Additional Functional Skills:                                Back to Top ^

Students apply a variety of thinking skills in the process of designing their dream cars, restoration business, and garage.  Creative ideas are expressed and communication is developed through reading and writing about personal interests, and creative problem-solving is used in developing ideas about starting a particular business.  Students use observation, categorization, and analysis in researching the cost and options of rebuilding their fantasy car


The following is an abbreviated form of the steps for students to take in researching their dream car and business:


1. Choose two of your favorite car make and model

 Get online at www.NADAguides.com and/or www.hemmings.com.  Use the websites to research car types, cost, car parts, use these websites to fill out your spreadsheet in Excel.  Add up total costs of cars and parts. 


2. Fill out this chart for your dream cars using information that you get from www.nadaguides.com and/or www.hemmings.com.      Back to Top ^


3. Figure your engine size, capacity and horsepower here:


Essay Writing:


1. Taking your data from the chart, describe your dream car! How much will it cost to build it?  How long do you think it would take you? Now that you can see the differences between your two cars, which one would you rebuild?  Write your ideas here in three paragraphs


2. Write about the car business that you would like to start.  Would you work on newer, exotic cars?  Regular mechanics for all cars?  Or just deal in and sell restored cars? Restore vintage (early 1900’s) or classic (1930’s to 1975) cards?  Where would you have your business?


3. OK, here’s where your imagination runs wild!  Describe your fantasy garage!  How big is it? What kinds and brands of tools would you have?  How many cars would it fit?  Music system? Heat?  Write it in a three paragraph essay here.                                         Back to Top ^


Teacher Notes:

This lesson has been designed to be completed by individuals, however, two students could work together if their interests in cars are similar.  The lesson can be completed in about 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Some direction on navigating the auto web sites may be needed.  A brief visit by the teacher to the website may be useful before beginning the lesson.


It is not necessary for the teacher to be proficient in understanding auto mechanics since the lesson assumes some previous knowledge and motivation on the part of the student.   Is it easy enough for a novice teacher? Does it require some experience with directing debates or role plays, for example?                                               Back to Top ^



Once the initial skills of navigating the internet, completing the chart, and expressing ideas in writing are mastered, the student may use the chart to design a spreadsheet or database in MS Excel or MS Access. 


Resources Needed

Resources needed for this lesson are limited to computers with internet capability and word processing programs.  Students will need to navigate auto sites such as www.nadaguides.com and www.hemmings.com.  If the student is familiar with other sites that would be useful in completing the assignment, those may also be used.  Students should print out the worksheet to fill out while looking up their information, and may print out the essay questions to be filled out by hand if preferred.


One instructor should be enough to guide the lesson, however, the lesson may also include a visit or a field trip to a local mechanic that does the kind of work that would interest the students.                  Back to Top ^ 


Refer to the rubric at the end of the student lesson.  You may want to modify the criteria to your classroom type or specific needs. Encourage students to assess themselves.


Many students harbor a dream of rebuilding an old car to their taste and specifications.  The project may also involve other family members.  This lesson gives students a chance to “sink their teeth” into gaining information on a personal interest while practicing academic skills in math, reading, writing, and technology use.  Learning to use the internet in researching project costs can also be a valuable skill in future jobs and business endeavors.                                                Back to Top ^

Credits & References

Tracy Graffis, Redline Sales, 11012 Hwy 666 North. Cortez , CO   81321 .

Dallas Frasier, GED Candidate, Cortez Adult Education Program.

Steve Becher, 11th Street Service, 100 South 11th, Dolores , CO   81323