Short on time? Want to hit your research standards without veering wildly into Research Paper territory? Unsure how to hook the interest of Snapchatting teenagers with a book about itinerant farmers in 1930s America? (Yikes.) Try this Webquest activity with your class before teaching Steinbeck's classic novel, Of Mice and Men.
*What is a Webquest?*
This Webquest is like a virtual field trip filled with high quality, accurate, well-sourced information. Students will follow a structured set of links to read articles and photo-essays, watch short interviews or videos, and listen to podcasts and songs. Each section is divided into 3 topics:
1. The Great Depression
2. Migrant Workers & The Dust Bowl
3. Jim Crow Laws
*Technology/Materials: You will need at least 1 device with Internet access per group; I suggest doing the first part in a computer lab or with laptop carts, depending on your school’s access to technology.
*What sources are included?*
Articles, photo-essays, videos, interviews, short podcasts, and songs provide a highly structured but engaging learning experience. Students can read, watch, and listen at their own pace, either independently or in groups. All materials are pulled from reliable sources, including the Library of Congress, NPR, and PBS.
*What will students learn?*
Students will gain solid background knowledge about the causes and effects of each topic from primary and secondary sources and be able to apply this information in their novel study. They will need to take quality notes using the Note-Taking sheet I've included, then create a mini-poster summarizing the information (your option to include this step). Finally, students will "teach" their topic to the class, who will then in turn take notes on the other two topics.
Alternatively, if you'd like to spend more time on background info, students can rotate through and research all three topics on their own over the course of 2-3 days, then create a quiz, poster, or Powerpoint to demonstrate their understanding.
*How do I open the files?*
I’ve included both an editable Word document in case you want to make any changes to the directions along with a simple PDF file with clickable links. If you do not have a program that can open ZIP files, just Google "zip file opener". Then double click the folder or right click to extract the files.