Roadrunner Relay Race

2nd Grade Activity – Teacher Directions


Students run a relay race as roadrunners (predators) and rattlesnakes (prey).


The roadrunner is found in brush-filled desert areas. Their feathers are mostly brown with a crest of feathers sticking up on the top of their heads. They are capable of flight for only a few moments because of their large bodies. They usually travel on the ground and are known as very fast runners. They mostly eat insects and small rodents. Amazingly, they are fast enough to even catch and eat a rattlesnake! Learn more about roadrunners and other birds in Learn About Texas Birds (PDF 4.3 MB), free to download and use for personal and classroom use.


Heavy paper or card stock for roadrunner feather headbands for half of class
Heavy paper or card stock for rattlesnake headband for other half of class
Crayons or markers
Sentence strips or other card stock paper strips for making a headband for each student


  1. Have half the class draw and color feathers and the other half make snake heads.
  2. Cut out the headbands.
  3. Staple the feathers to the front of a sentence strip headband stapled to the size of each child’s head.
  4. Staple the snake head to the front of a sentence strip headband. Staple to the size of each child’s head. Staple the rattler tail to the back of the headband.

 Relay Race

  1. Take class outside to the playground wearing their headbands.
  2. The snakes make one line and the roadrunners make another line.
  3. Set a chair 50 feet (distance may vary according to the age of the child) in front of the first child in each line.
  4. Give the first child in each line a wooden stick or dowel to use as the baton or simply have the student who returns from touching the chair tap the out stretched hand of the next student in line.
  5. Blow a whistle to begin relay race!

Who will win? In real life, the roadrunners usually win. Roadrunners are fast enough to catch a rattlesnake. Will this be the outcome of this race?
Continue the race two or more times. Play again another day!

 Learn About Texas Birds Activity Book (PDF)