Bike Safety Education Series: Lesson 7 – Right of Way

This is the seventh lesson in our Safe Routes for Kids Curriculum Series.

Lesson 7 – Right of Way

Timing: 20 minutes in class, 35 – 40 minutes on bikes

Techniques: Use think, pair, share for the most in-class involvement; Use the team oath for outside classroom management (see Lesson 3). Use Right of Way overhead.

Before class:  Set up drill on playground.

  1. Review Lesson 6.
  2. Right of way, what does that mean?
  3. Right of way discussion.  Use Overhead: Right of Way rules.
    • First to stop, first to go.
    • Furthest to the right goes first.
    • Turning left goes last.
    • Don’t Get Hit No Matter What
  4. Review Team Oath (see Lesson 3).
  5. Go outside. Pass out bikes. Do Bike Safety Check and Personal Safety Check (see Lesson 3).
  6. Conduct Chaos Square Drill.


  • Ride wherever you want “on the street.”
  • No passing.
  • Obey stop signs and right of way rules.

Feel free to play with “block sizes,” “stop sign” locations, and “roundabouts” once you’ve tried the traditional layout a few times.


  • Minimum: you (supervising/policing either from the sidelines or while riding the drill)
  • While it is possible to do this drill alone while the classroom teacher helps, for instance, a student learn to ride a bike within sight of the drill, it is best if they participate in the drill by riding it.


  • If at all possible, use existing lines painted on the playground. Basketball and foursquare courts can work well.
  • Keep the lanes narrow, particularly around the outside. This will keep speeds down.
  • At the first obvious infraction you see (blown stop signs, passing, going off “the street”) give the offender a short time out. Some instructors make a “jail.” Others have found that this can make going to jail too much fun.
  • The Chaos Square starts out crowded and a little scary (kids not figuring out that they should keep to the right…), gets more orderly and safe, and then gets crazy again once kids figure it out and start riding fast. As soon as that last stage sets in, it’s time to stop the drill.
  • Leave time after the drill to sit down and ask for observations (“Was it a problem when people rode on the left

This is a brief overview of one lesson in the Safe Routes for Kids Curriculum as taught by BTA educators at schools in Portland Public, David Douglas, and Parkrose School Districts.

This curriculum is also used to teach 4th-7th graders across the state by partners in Eugene, Ashland, Albany, Corvallis, Klamath Falls and Bend!



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