Please feel free to share it with others.
by Karen Caroe
Units page sponsors a Funschooling E-mail Discussion loop. This unit was
designed by the loop in response to one mother's search for information on
NASCAR. A great big thanks to all the Funschoolers who submitted ideas for this
To participate in the Funschooling Discussion loop:
Send a blank e-mail to:
Regardless of how one feels about car racing, NASCAR is
becoming a household word. Everywhere you look, NASCAR drivers are on soda
machines, billboards, television and --more than likely--visiting somewhere near
your hometown. The goal of this unit is to learn a little more about NASCAR in
general while using it as a "jumping off point" for more in-depth
studies in other areas.
The following books are by Dorling Kindersley
and you can't beat them for doing a unit study with any age group.
CARS & HOW THEY WORK
EYEWITNESS VISUAL DICTIONARY: CARS
LOOK INSIDE CROSS SECTIONS: CARS
ULTIMATE STICKER BOOK OF CARS
DK POCKET BOOK OF CARS
DK STICKER FUN PACK OF CARS
MIGHTY MACHINES: RACE CAR
Check your local library for titles available about cars and car racing.
Obviously car racing is not a Biblical topic but I think it
is critical to use the Bible to help us make life applications for our studies
and to give us a foundation by which to measure that which we learn. There are
several approaches you may take.
1) Look up references to chariots (the Biblical equivalent of a race car). Read
excerpts from Exodus showing God prevailed over the power and speed of Pharaoh's
chariots as they pursued the Israelites who were on foot.
2) Read the Proverbs and discuss "risk-taking" and personal
responsibility. Is car racing something that anyone can just get in a car and
3) Apply the Bible to science studies, showing God's laws of physics and their
application(s) to car-racing. Think of the various "God-variables"
that apply to racing. (ie, weather conditions, wind velocity, wind direction,
centrifugal force, speed.) Racers must take all of these God-created conditions
and consider them prior to racing.
1) Read a biography of a
Nascar driver--or find out what you can and write a biography.
2) Make a list of vocabulary words that apply to car racing. Use them for
spelling, dictionary and writing skills. Find them in your reading.
3) NASCAR is an anagram. What does it stand for? Can you think of other common
4) Write a description of the ideal car or an imagined race car. Take time to
use your vocabulary words, reinforce parts of speech--especially adjectives. Use
good sentence structure.
*Additional activity. Read the descriptive paper to someone else and see if they
can draw the car based on your description.
5) Write a letter to Nascar headquarters to request information. This could be
considered a business letter, a friendly letter, or a request for information
letter. Learn correct form.
1) Learn how to figure gas mileages. Years ago when speed
limits were dropped to conserve energy, it was clear that speed related to
gasoline consumption. Why? (This is also science)
Figure how fast 10 gallons of gasoline would be used up at 55 mph, 80 mph,
2) How far around is a track? Practice multiplying how many miles it would be to
go x times around a track.
3) What is the average amount of prize money a driver can win?
4) If x number of people paid x amount of dollars to get in to a race, how much
would the track take in?
1) Try building a small engine or motor (see Internet site
on Beakman's motor)
2) Build a model.
3) Chemistry: Study the different kinds of fuels.
4) Physics: Centrifugal force. Speed. Impact.
5) Study the differences between a race car engine and the family car engine.
6) Race hot wheels on a track. Hypothesize as to which will win and why. Note
the results. What changes can be made.
7) Study alternative energy sources: solar powered cars, electric cars, etc.
1) What is the history of car racing?
2) Who invented the car?
3) Make a time line of car racing--or just Nascar. Put on winners, etc. (DK
stickers are great for this project! Children love them.)
1) Locate all the racetracks in the US and mark them on a
2) Do other cars have car racing? Locate those on a map.
3) Locate the hometowns of various Nascar drivers.
1) Hot Dog Hot Rod
One hot dog
Insert the toothpicks all the way through the hot dog in the front and the back.
Cut four round slices from the carrot. Insert the carrots onto the toothpicks
Wagon Wheel Cookies
One package of round, sturdy oatmeal cookies
One can of icing
One package of licorice whips
Ice the cookies. Cut the licorice into pieces with scissors and press into
place like the spokes of a wheel.
1) Do a collage of car pictures or drivers.
2) Build and paint a model.
3) Try doing a race car out of ceramics.
4) Build a legos or K'Nex race car
5) Make race flags for your hot wheels.
6) Draw/paint/design a futuristic car.
1) Why are people fascinated by car racing or speed?
2) What are the meanings of the different flags? Who thought of b/w check and
3) Delve into other kinds of transportation.
4) What character traits are common among Nascar drivers?
5) Are those good qualities?
6) What could be the "tragic flaw" of a driver?
7) Discuss safety. Why shouldn't people race on regular roads.
8) Go to a car race.
9) Go see a Nascar car and/or driver. They tour to midsize towns all across the
10) Go to a hot rod show.
I hope this Summer Fun unit will be fun for the whole family
no matter when you do it. I firmly believe we can find great learning
opportunities in every aspect of life--even such diversions as NASCAR!
All schooling should be FUNSCHOOLING!