Do you feel the need—the need for speed? Then you’ll love these NASCAR teaching ideas. Build balloon-powered cars, race to read, paint with wheels, and so much more. The race to learn is on!
1. Check out NASCAR Acceleration Nation
NASCAR teamed up with Scholastic to create a series of free STEM lessons, complete with classroom activities and assessments. Build paper race cars and use them to learn about drag, drafting, energy, and more.
Learn more: Acceleration Nation
2. Hold a reading race
Everyone can be a champion with this reading racetrack! Set up a track with goals along the way to tally the number of books each student reads. Bonus: Offer extra points for reading NASCAR driver biographies or books about auto racing.
Learn more: Mrs. Pope’s Peeps
3. Take a virtual field trip
If you’re close to Charlotte, North Carolina, plan a trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. But if you live farther away, no worries! The Hall of Fame offers virtual field trips, plus their SPARK! online education program.
4. Try race car blending
Accelerate reading skills by adding a toy car into the mix. Students will love racing a car along the track as they learn to blend letter sounds into words.
Learn more: Make, Take & Teach
5. Have a scooter race
Kids learn safety and teamwork (and get lots of exercise!) with this fun NASCAR teaching idea for P.E.
6. Propel cars with magnets
Investigate the power of magnetism by adding bar magnets to toy cars, then see if you can move them along the track using only other magnets.
Learn more: The Science Kiddo
7. Practice your scissors skills
Race to the finish with these free printable worksheets, but be sure to stay on track!
Learn more: Look! We’re Learning!
8. Become a NASCAR Crew Chief
Turn middle school students into crew chiefs as they use percentages and equational reasoning to choose the best real-life car for the racetrack.
Learn more: Better Lesson Plans
9. Make cars move without touching them
Race your car down the track, but here’s the catch: You can’t touch it directly. Kids can alter their cars in advance, but once the race starts, they’ll need to find more creative ways to win the race!
Learn more: STEAM Powered Family
10. Turn a pool noodle into a race track
Grab a couple of pool noodles from the dollar store and turn them into race tracks for toy cars. Use math skills to track how often different cars win the race.
Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me
11. Design a balloon-powered car
Explore the laws of motion and encourage creativity when you challenge students to design, build, and test their own balloon-powered cars. Bonus: Use only recycled materials to make this project green!
Learn more: Science Buddies
12. Crash-test egg cars
Rev up the usual egg-drop project with crash-test cars instead! Engineer and test car designs that can protect an egg from cracking on impact.
Learn: LanceMakes on Instructables
13. Craft roadway letters
Paint large wood or cardboard letters black or gray and add some striping to create road letters. Little ones can run cars around the shape for tracing practice, while older kids can practice sounds and spelling.
Learn more: Welke.nl
14. Use matchbox cars to paint
Sure, it’s a mess, but think of how much fun your students will have when you let them use cars as paintbrushes! Discuss colors, patterns, mark-making, and other art concepts along the way.
Learn more: Paint With Cars at Housing a Forest
15. Build your own racetrack
This free printable has endless uses for all your NASCAR teaching ideas. Decorate your classroom walls, create a bulletin board, or laminate the pieces so students can build their own roadway designs.
Learn more: Picklebums
16. All Around the Race-Track Music Lesson
Use this simple racetrack song to learn about syncopation, incorporating percussion instruments, and body movements for more interactive fun.
Learn more: The Yellow Brick Road
17. Put together cars on a sticky wall
Tape a piece of contact paper (sticky side out) to the wall, then let little ones assemble various car parts to make their own racer.
Learn more: Happy Toddler Playtime
18. Draw with marker cars
Such a simple idea: Secure markers (or crayons or pencils) to the backs of toy cars and drive your way to a masterpiece! Experiment with different methods, from “driving” fast or slow to under control or with a push.
Learn more: Drawing With Cars at Housing a Forest
19. Go for a ride in drawer race cars
Add some excitement to your reading nook or story time corner with dresser drawers turned into race cars that kids can “drive” while they read or listen to stories. No drawers available? Use large cardboard boxes instead.
Learn more: Alphabet Academy on Pinterest
20. Eat race car fruit snacks
Assemble these healthy snacks in the shape of cars as you discuss how important nutrition is for race car drivers and students alike.
Learn more: eHow