Get Them Out of Their Seats
Creative chaos. These activities get students out of their seats and engaged in discussion, adaptations of the text, and exploring the world around themselves. Teachers can stick with low tech activities or encourage students to engage in high tech creations.
A four-corners debate requires students to show their position on a specific statement (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree) by standing in a particular corner of the room (signs will be posted) or by responding to four choices to one question. This activity gets everyone involved and requires full participation by taking a position.
Travels with Charley is about a journey across the United States, but more particularly it is about a journey across the United States in 1960. In Part Two of the book Steinbeck makes references to the Cold War, giving the reader a look into Steinbeck’s impression of how the United States was thinking about and affected by the Cold War. This lesson allows for students to creatively interpret the Cold War and Cold War propaganda by allowing them to script and perform their own “educational video” (or skit).
Reader’s theater is an effective, fun, and different (“out-of-the-box”) way to help students understand problems that characters experience throughout Travels with Charley. Groups of students are assigned a small portion of the text to present to their class. Unlike the presentation of traditional plot skits, reader’s theater asks students to create a performance that reveals a message, theme, or conflict represented by the text they have chosen.
Travels with Charley is an episodic picture of life in the United States during the early 1960s. Students can learn the art of adaptation of genres, a valuable lesson, by selecting scenes from the book to adapt into short one act plays.