Be creative about how to bring walking and bicycle-themed concepts into the classroom. The ideas and resources below can help you brainstorm ways to integrate them into most school subjects and activities!
Here are some ideas about how to incorporate walking and biking themes into various school subjects. Remember that student abilities within the classroom are diverse. Before introducing content related to walking or biking to school, work with special education teachers and administrators to anticipate the needs of all students in the classroom.
Art or Computer Class: Create posters promoting Walk or Bike to School Day and safe driving and walking messages.
Geography: Survey and create maps of walking and biking routes to school. Use blogs or e-mail to follow a cross-country or intercontinental biking trip for charity.
Health: Use pedometers to measure steps, or simply measure walking or riding time accumulated by students; study health benefits of physical activity.
Physical Education: Teach physical conditioning. Learn walking warm-ups and stretches and do some progressively longer walks in class to prepare for Walk to School Day or Bike to School Day. Host a bike rodeo (bicycle skills clinic) so that students can learn how to ride a bicycle safely.
Mathematics: Keep logs of walking time or steps; calculate speeds and distances, individual and group averages, trends and statistical analysis (e.g. do boys or girls walk more?)
General Science: Calculate the reduction in carbon impact of walking and biking to school compared to vehicle travel. Learn about clean air initiatives and the effect on public health.
Physics: Study the biomechanics of walking or basic drive mechanics on bikes. For example, measure stride lengths—do they vary with height, weight, age, leg length? How does walking speed relate to your step speed and stride length? Study how gears of a bike work and how different types of brakes function.
Biology: Look for specific plant or animal species, or inventory indigenous species along walking and biking routes. Catalog seasonal changes in the flora and fauna. Keep a log of temperatures related to levels of walking and biking.
English: Write press releases and public service announcements to promote Walk to School Day or Bike to School Day. Write essays or keep a diary about your experiences walking or riding.
History: Study historical locations in your community by walking or biking to them.
Social Sciences: Photograph important things about your community that you notice while walking or riding to school. Anything you'd like to change? What can you do about it? Start a pen-pal project with kids in other countries who walk or bike to school.
Below are the links to several additional classroom resources related to walking and biking to school.
- Demonstrating Bicycle Helmet Effectiveness (NHTSA)
- Paul’s A-Maze-ing Trip (NHTSA)
- Bike Riding Dangers (NHTSA)
- Sara and Her Bike (NHTSA)
- Bike Rap (NHTSA)
- On Top of My Bicycle (NHTSA)
- Message Decoder (NHTSA)
- Choose Safe Routes (NHTSA)
- Pedestrian March (NHTSA)
- ABC Quick Check (NHTSA)
- Word Scramble (NHTSA)
- Coloring Sheet 1 (Active and Safe Routes to School)
- Coloring Sheet: Dress for the Seasons (Active and Safe Routes to School)
- Crossword Puzzle (Active and Safe Routes to School)