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National Bike Month

· Keep 'em Reading ·

by | Rebecca Hogue Wojahn

May is National Bike Month, so take out your bicycle, tune it up and get a breath of fresh air. Bike-to-Work Week is May 15­19 and Bike-to-Work Day is Friday, May 19. Visit the Bike League's Web pages at for all sorts of promotional materials on things like the "2006 National Bike Month Organizer's Kit," "Sample Bike Month Proclamation," "Bike to Work Commuter's Booklet," "BikeEd" brochure, "Bicycle Friendly Communities" brochure, Web banners and "National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety." With more and more students suffering from poor eating habits and lack of exercise, May is the perfect month to team up with your classroom teachers and physical education staff to get kids moving, dust off their research skills one last time before summer and promote exercise with a cost-efficient and energy-efficient way to travel.

A Biking Bibliography

Pull together a bike-themed book display. Nonfiction titles are easy. Some suggested recent fiction titles are: Picture Books and Chapter Books Aylesworth, Jim. My Sister's Rusty Bike: A Novel. Atheneum, 1996. Beardshaw, Rosalind. Grandpa's Surprise. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004. Best, Cari. Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. Bourgeois, Paulette. Franklin Rides a Bike. Kids Can Press, 1997. Brown, Marc Tolon. D. W. Rides Again. Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Goldin, David. GO-GO-GO! H. N. Abrams, 2000. Harder, Dan. Colliding with Chris. Hyperion, 1998. Mills, Claudia. Gus and Grandpa and the TwoWheeled Bike. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. Mollel, Tololwa M. My Rows and Piles of Coins. Clarion Books, 1999. Montanari, Eva. Dino Bikes. North-South Books, 2004. Olayleye, Isaac. Bikes For Rent. Orchard Books, 2001.

May/June 2006 Web Resources · LibrarySparks · 1

Keep 'em Reading

Rosenberry, Vera. Vera Rides a Bike. Henry Holt & Company, 2004. Shannon, David. Duck on a Bike. Blue Sky Press, 2002. Silverman, Erica. Mrs. Peachtree's Bicycle. Simon & Schuster, 1996. Willis, Jeanne. Don't Let Go. Putnam, 2002. Wood, Audrey. Red Racer. Simon & Schuster, 1996. Wormell, Christopher. Blue Rabbit and the Runaway Wheel. Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2001. Zullo, Germano. Marta and the Bicycle. Kane/ Miller, 2002. Middle Grade Fiction Titles Bunting, Eve. Summer Wheels. Harcourt, 1992. Kurtz, Jane. Bicycle Madness. Henry Holt & Company, 2003. Langton, Jane. The Time Bike. HarperTrophy, 2002. Shull, Megan. Skye's the Limit. American Girl, 2003.

at, including posting a map of Sweden and having students take turns riding an exercise bike until they've gone as far as Gustaf did. · Contact a nursing home and have students find their own "supergrandpa" in a new reading partner. · Have older students plan a bicycling trip of their own. Plan a virtual cross-country trip using atlases, almanacs and the Web. Have them keep track of things like food, clothing, costs, lodging and routes they would need and use. · Have students use one of the following bike trip Webquests. - In "Is There a Better Place to Live? Discovering America on Your Bicycle" at, teams of students choose a state to research and tour on their virtual bikes. - "Bike Across America Webquest" at www. has groups of students research and plan a trip across the United States, stopping in to visit National Parks on their way, in their roles of Mapmaker, Geologist, Photographer and Trip Coordinator. Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist Activities Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist by Lesa ClineRansome (Atheneum, 2003) is a picture book biography of Marshall Taylor, an African American who became the 1899 World Cycling champion. This book not only traces Taylor's life from his beginnings as a bicycle stunt rider through to his international fame, but it also encourages discussion and examination of the segregation of the sports and of the racism that Taylor encountered throughout his career. Extensions · The Major Taylor Association has more information on Marshall Taylor, as well as a book discussion guide on their Web site at www. · Have your students learn more about the sport of cycling in general by exploring a Web

Bicycling Books and Activities

If you'd rather focus on a title or two, here are three great reads that bring up important issues in cycling. Supergrandpa Activities Supergrandpa by David M. Schwartz (HarperCollins, 1991) is the true story of how, in 1951, sixty-six-year-old Gustaf Hakansson applied to enter a 1,0000-mile bike race across Sweden. However, the race officials declined his application because of his age. Not to be deterred, he biked 600 miles to the start, completed the race anyway--and won. Despite not being awarded the trophy (because of his unofficial status), Hakansson won over the race's spectators, who call him "Supergrandpa." Extensions · Bella Online has some suggested discussion questions and activity ideas for Supergrandpa

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Keep 'em Reading

site created by kids their own age. "Propelled by Pedals" at teaches kids about how to choose a bike, facts about six different bikes, famous cyclists, nutrition, history, safety, laws, accessories, how bikes work, trails you can find and stunts and tricks, including a quiz, crossword puzzle, a maze and other fun things to do. · In bicycle racing, design is everything and can be the difference between winning and losing a race. Let students explore the mathematics behind bicycle design at PBS's "Industrial Design: The Geometry of Bicycle Designs" at designandmath/activity1.shtm. · Work with the physical education staff and the community to design a bicycle rodeo. These are usually designed to promote bicycle safety, but a fun, friendly competitive spirit can be included, too, as specific riding skills are tested. You can get ideas and useful information at sites like Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute's "Ride Safe Take Home Bicycle Rodeo Guide" at, the National Crime Prevention Council's "Checklist for Planning a Bicycle Rodeo" at permanent. 4chklst4.htm or Bicycling Life's "Bicycle Rodeo Equipment Checklist" at www.bicyclinglife. com/SafetySkills/BicycleRodeoChecklist.htm. Mick Harte Was Here Activities In Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park (Knopf, 1995), seventh grader Phoebe reminisces about her brother Mick and his crazy antics after he dies in a biking accident. This slim volume makes for a great read aloud. It is at times hilarious, at times poignant, but also a very effective launch pad for discussion on bike safety, as Phoebe comes to terms with the fact that her brother's death might have been prevented if he had been wearing his bike helmet.

Extensions · The California Department of Health Services has discussion guides and activities for using this novel with students. Their "Ideas for Using Mick Harte Was Here as a Promotional Tool" can be found at cdic/epic/bike/documents/MickHarteFlyer. pdf and their "Teacher's Guide for using Mick Harte Was Here in the Classroom" is found at MickHarteTeachersGuide.pdf. · After reading this book, students can research and learn about the bike laws and safety issues in their own communities. Invite a law enforcement officer in to talk about it with groups. · Have students complete the "Bicycle Safety Webquest" at webquest/alswebquest/webquest.htm. In this Webquest, students create charts and write articles in an effort to convince a friend about bicycle safety. · Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute's "Bicycle Helmet Materials for Teachers and Future Teachers" at includes lesson plans, quizzes, coloring pages, pamphlets, poster contests and more. · Washington Area Bicyclist Association's "Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety Program's Resources and Publications Page" at www.waba. org/bikesafety/resources.php?pageselector=resou rces also includes a teachers' guide, lesson plans and form letters to parents. · The Peel Public Health's "Rules of the Road" at injprev/pdfs/lesson-plan3.pdf also includes ideas on teaching bike safety to students. ******** Rebecca Hogue Wojahn, a former teacher and middle school library media specialist, is the education reference librarian at the University of WisconsinEau Claire.

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