Wheeling Around

By Jeanette Larson

Length of Program

90 minutes

Program Description

This program features a demonstration of a wheeled sport, such as cycling, skateboarding, bicycling, and roller-skating. Teens will participate in making a model solar-powered car or model art car, and will make a memory bracelet. Additional activities might include viewing segments of racecar films or watching a skateboard demonstration.


Check around your community to find a guest speaker whose talent may be the focal point for your program. Order supplies and materials for the crafts and activities well in advance. Decorate the program room with a string of checkered flags. A 30-foot string of checkered flags, balloons, banners, and other racing decorations are available from Kipp Toys and Novelties. If you have performance rights, select a segment from Great Moments in The History of NASCAR to show the group.

Books to Display

  • Auto Racing: A History of Fast Cars and Fearless Drivers by Mark Steward.
  • Bicycle Stunt Riding!: Catch Air by Kristine Eck.
  • Indy 500: The Inside Track by Nancy Roe Pimm.
  • Roller Derby to Rollerjam: The Authorized Story of an Unauthorized Sport by Keith Coppage.
  • Trasher Presents: How to Build Skateboard Ramps, Halfpipes, Boxes, Bowls and More by Kevin Thatcher.
  • X Games Xtreme Mysteries: Spiked Snow by Labin Hill.

Books to Booktalk

  • Dropping in with Andy Mac: The Life of a Pro Skateboarder by Andy MacDonald.
  • Love and Sk8 by Nancy Krulik.
  • Olympic Dream by Matt Christopher.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe.


Oriental Trading Company sells “finger skateboards,” complete with miniature tools to change the wheels. Bicycle water bottles, available from Oriental Trading Company, and many other suppliers, would also be nice incentives for teens.


Art Cars


  • Small plastic or metal cars
  • Craft glue or glue guns
  • Small decorative items


Art cars usually begin as older cars in need of attention. The owner decides to decorate the car to spruce it up and make it look nicer, or to show off a special interest or hobby. The result is a car that has been decorated, embellished, and transformed into a rolling work of art. While it would be a lot of fun to design a library art car, it is not likely to happen in most communities. If, by some chance, someone on the library staff or in the community would like to have their car transformed, Roads Scholar Art Car Kit is available from the American Visionary Art Museum at www.avam.org/artcar/artCar.pdf.

Show the teens pictures of art cars printed or displayed on-line from sites such as Art Cars in Cyberspace. Teens can then make model art cars with plastic or metal toy cars, purchased at a toy store or five-and-dime store. If you cannot find inexpensive cars locally, purchase 3-inch die-cast cars from Sherman Specialties. Provide an assortment of small decorative items, such as beads, jewels, charms, stickers, plastic bugs and animals, small shells, and other trinkets. Use a tacky glue, such as Aleene's® Quick Dry Tacky Glue, that dries quickly and does not run. After decorating the car, be sure to allow time for the glue to dry before taking it home.

Games and Activities

Memory Bracelets

Lance Armstrong has used his celebrity to further a cause. His yellow rubber bracelets have raised millions of dollars to fight cancer. As a group, select a local cause and make bracelets. Memory bracelets can be made with memory wire, which is coiled wire that remembers its shape, and colored beads. Both are available at beading shops and crafts stores, such as Michaels.

Solar Power

Purchase a copy of The Solar Car Book: A Complete Build-It-Yourself Solar Car Kit Including All the Parts, Instructions and Pain-Free Science by the editors of Klutz. The inexpensive kit provides all the materials to make a solar-powered racecar. If you cannot afford to buy enough supplies for each teen, purchase a couple and let the teens work in groups and then display the cars in the library.

Web-Based Activities

Pimp My Ride
Don’t be turned off by the title of the MTV show: it’s about transforming cars from hideous to magnificent. This on-line game allows teens to “customize” their wheels. Allow a set amount of time and then let the teens print their work to display.

Word Racer
Up to 8 teens at a time may play an on-line game in which players race to create words.

Guest Speakers

Invite a skateboard group to perform a demonstration at the library. Dr. Skateboard has a calendar of demonstration dates and locations on his web site. If you cannot find a local presenter, check to see if he will be in your area. Alternatively, invite a physics teacher to explain and demonstrate the physics of motion.

Videos/DVDs to Show or Display

  • Drive: My Life in Skateboarding. (55 minutes)
  • Great Moments in The History of NASCAR. (90 minutes)
  • Motocrossed. (88 minutes)
  • Skateboard Kid II. (90 minutes)




  • Bicycling.
  • Motocross Action.
  • Mountain Biking Magazine.
  • Skateboarding.

Web Sites

Art Cars in Cyberspace
Everything about art cars in Houston, including an index of cars, is available.

Bicycling magazine’s web site provides information on training, gear, maintenance, and bike travel.

Candy Stand
Kraft Foods hosts this kid-friendly assortment of on-line games that includes in-line skating through the streets of San Francisco, and stunt bike riding.

Dr. Skateboard
Tricks and tips from a member of a pro stunt team.

Lance Armstrong
The portal for everything related to Lance Armstrong.

Skateboard Science
San Francisco’s premier science museum offers archived videos of skateboarders demonstrating the science of skating, along with information about how tricks are done.

Professional Resources

The Solar Car Book: A Complete Build-It-Yourself Solar Car Kit Including All the Parts, Instructions and Pain-Free Science by the editors of Klutz.
Dr. Skateboard
A pro stunt skater provides a calendar of skateboard events.

Kipp Toys and Novelties
Purchase racing paraphernalia to decorate the library.

In store or on-line, Michaels is a standard supplier of inexpensive craft supplies.

Oriental Trading Company
Purchase incentives from this standard supplier.

Roads Scholar Art Car Kit
The American Visionary Art Museum offers detailed instructions for creating an art car.

Sherman Specialties
Inexpensive toy cars are available by mail order.


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: June 14, 2011