A Day at the Races

by Vonnie Powell

Books to Share

  • At the Races: Funtime Rhymes by Ray Bryant.
  • Field Day by Melanie Davis Jones.
  • Gotcha! by Gail Jorgensen.
  • Ima and the Great Texas Ostrich Race by Margaret McManis.
  • Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • Busytown Race Day: The Busy World of Richard Scarry by Richard Scarry.
  • Go Bluey Go! by Will McClean.
  • Great Race by Kerry Milliron.
  • Race Car by Meg Parsont.
  • Travis and Scoop’s Big Race by Sarah Willson.


Racing Horses

Provide die cut running horses for nametags.


Haystack Cookies


  • One 12-ounce package of butterscotch chips
  • One12-ounce jar of peanut butter
  • One 9-ounce can of chow mein noodles
  • Wax paper
  • Microwave and microwave-safe bowl


Melt the butterscotch chips in a bowl in the microwave for approximately two minutes, stirring after one minute. When the chips have melted, add the peanut butter. Stir well. Pour in the chow mein noodles. Mix thoroughly. Drop the mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. These will form "haystacks.” Let the haystacks harden for about one hour. Makes 3 dozen cookies. Many alternate recipes are available for this no-bake treat, so if you want to include marshmallows, coconut, or other ingredients search Cooks.com at www.cooks.com for ideas. Be sure to check that no child is allergic to peanuts before serving and substitute other ingredients if necessary. Another version of this cookie recipe is also included in the Elementary Chapter of this manual.


Piggies at the Races

(Adapted by Vonne Powell.)

This little piggie runs the mile. (Point to thumb and run in place)

This little piggie swims the relay. (Point to index finger, then move arms as if swimming)

This little piggie goes cross country. (Point to middle finger, then run in place in slow motion)

This little piggie rides a bike. (Point to ring finger and mime riding a bike)

And this little piggie sits and cheers, “hurray” all day! (Point to little finger, then shout, “Hurray!”)

Rhymes and Poetry

Hey Diddle, Diddle


Hey diddle, diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon;

The little dog laughed

To see such sport,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Jack Be Nimble


Jack be nimble,

Jack be quick,

Jack jump over

The candlestick.

Audio Recordings

“Camptown Races” on Best of Children's Favorites: Pooh's Top 40 Tunes by Various Artists.

Games and Activities

Race the Clock

After reading Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins, recreate Rosie’s barnyard and let the children follow her path. Set up the room with a yard stick to represent the rake, a table for the pond, a small chair, to represent the haystack, to step over, another chair or table for the mill, two chairs set apart for the fence, and a table to crawl under for the beehives. Each child will start at the “rake” and walk across the room, around the table, over the chair, past the “mill,” through the two chairs, under the table, and back to the rake. A circular path will work best, and an adult should model the “race” before sending the children through the course.

Guest Speakers

Invite someone from the local high school, either a coach or a student athlete, to show the children how they warm up before a race.


If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs, or segments of them, to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use.

  • Go, Dog, Go. (10 minutes)
  • Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. (13 minutes)
  • Rosie’s Walk. (4 minutes)

Professional Resources

  • Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins.
  • Cooks.com www.cooks.com

    An extensive database of recipes.


Texas Reading Club 2006 Programming Manual / Reading: The Sport of Champions!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: October 31, 2018