Continue Walking After the Big Day
Have you used the Get Outdoors PA as a resource for outdoor recreation activities and events? Take a look at their website — you will find ways to continue your walk after the big day!
Created for students who live within walking distance of their school, a Walking School Bus is simply a group of students who walk to school along a set route making “bus stops” to pick up more students along the way. The “bus” includes a trained adult supervisor who acts as the “bus driver.” Not only is a Walking School Bus good for the environment, it’s a great way for children to enjoy fresh air and physical activity while walking and talking with their neighbors.
For a step-by-step guide to how you can start a Walking School Bus in your community, visit:
Need a route? Map it out using online tools such as Google Maps, a desktop and mobile web mapping service application providing satellite imagery, street maps and street view perspectives. Google Maps makes it easy to plan a route and share it with others.
Classroom Activities and Curricula
Math class is a perfect opportunity to calculate mileage and art class perfect for students to develop safety slogans and posters while learning about better safety practices. Their artwork can then be used as signs or banners as part of a community-wide walk and safety campaign. For additional classroom activities visit:
Students walk on the school playground, perimeter or a pre-determined path several times each week or during recess. Mile marker cards are checked every time a child completes a lap on the course. When the walking session ends, the students calculate their distance traveled and for each five miles a child walks, the child is rewarded. Toe Tokens (bright colored plastic feet designed to be worn on shoe laces), certificates and a school display posters can be used for awards. All awards are designed to provide children with a sense of accomplishment, recognition and a source of positive image building.
Frequent Rider Miles
Children are issued tally cards to win points for walking, biking, carpooling and busing. Every time they walk or bike to school they earn two points. Every time they carpool or take the bus they earn one point. When they earn twenty points students turn in their card for a small prize and get another card. At the end of the contest, hold a raffle drawing of all of the completed tally cards.
Another option for tracking walking/biking to (or at) is to create a classroom game board. Every time the majority of the class walked or biked to (or at) school, they stamped a square on the board. When the whole board was completed, the class qualifies for a class prize. Walking at school can occur during recess, after lunch time or an organized classroom time.
Walk and Bike Across America
Students keep track of the distance that they walk and bike to school by calculating how far they live from school and multiplying that by the number of one-way biking and walking trips. If children are dropped off at staging areas near school they calculate the distance they travel from there. Similar counts are made from home to the bus stop. Each week the students add up the distance that the whole class traveled during that week and plot it on a map. Then they “travel” to a destination chosen by the class within those miles. Additional idea, lesson plans and materials can be found at Walk Across America (PDF)
One way to include all students — even those who don’t have a safe route to school — is to have students log the miles that they walk or bike outside school. There are many ways to track the walking and biking trips that students make.
Providing a way for students to track the miles that they have walked is a tangible way to chart progress toward a walking goal and to build excitement and cooperation among students. Different classes or different grades can compete to accumulate the most miles.
Walking Trails and Natural Resources
Once your students have begun walking to and from school and in your community, it is great to also visit other locations to walk. Pennsylvania has many excellent opportunities for walking on trails and in state parks.