I took my first Google Lit Trip about 6 six years ago. Jerome Burg presented the site and concept in a packed session at the annual CUE Conference. After touring Jerome’s Grapes of Wrath unit, I left the session in complete awe of how Google Earth could transform the teaching of literature in ways not possible without the technology.
Once again, I stand back in awe of a new online option for making a the Grapes of Wrath Lit Trip even more compelling and interactive. The National Steinbeck Center (NSC) is inviting students, teachers, and the community at large to join in the 75th anniversary celebration of the publication of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath by following the Joad family’s journey – at the height of the Dust Bowl – along America’s Route 66 through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, on their way to California in hopes of a better life.
Last week, the National Steinbeck Center went live with the Grapes of Wrath blog. From Oct. 4–14, 2013, a team of artists, writers, musicians and others will be interviewing people along the route as part of a collaborative, public exploration of the human experience of struggle and resilience.
How can you bring your students into the journey across Route 66? On the front page of the blog, look for the turtle logo on the
right hand side. You can download the turtle postcards and instructions. If you would like Elizabeth Welden-Smith, Curator of Education and Public Programs, to send you postcards for your classroom, you can contact her via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your teacher name, school name, address and the number of postcards you would like. Your students can fill these in and either send them back to the NSC, or they can scan them and upload them onto the blog.
Kind of like Google Lit Trips on steriods, no?!