I want my students to be able to dig deeper into the content of the novels they read, but I understand their own independent searches can leave them frustrated by online content that is beyond their comprehension, is inappropriate, or that presents inaccurate information. I also realize that for many, the daunting task of reading the book is enough, without the additional burden of combing through online search results or reading webpages that lead in the wrong direction.
Therefore, this hyperlinked PDF, a companion to the book, Riding Freedom, is designed to combat these problems. It incorporates multiple subject areas because I know how difficult it is to fit it all in every day and I paid careful attention to balancing text, videos, bulleted lists, audio, and fun extras so as not to overwhelm students with written material. This diverse media also helps to keep them highly engaged!
Just some of the topics/areas included are:
The women's suffrage movement
The experience of slaves in America
The pony express
The journey gold-seekers made to California
The experience of women in early America
Using the text to support your answers
This project can be used with your whole class if you have one-to-one devices, with small groups at a computer center or individually. You can assign all of it or just part. This is ideal for students who read at different rates and makes it easy for students to keep up when absent. It also works well as a resource for students who are out for an extended period of time. This is an excellent resource for distance learning, and can be easily adapted to a digital notebook format instead of a paper one as described in the directions.
I also included a few extension activities for students who need more. There are two in-depth topics with additional links and project ideas.
In all, there are more than 25 links to articles, videos, and audio—more than enough to keep your students engaged and on task, and to enable them to understand the novel in a deeper, more complex way.