Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, is a novel for upper elementary and middle school kids about a girl who goes on a life-changing journey with her grandparents. So for related texts to use in paired passage language arts activities, I began looking for writings related to travel and journeys. There was so much to choose from!
Three types of writings stood out – articles about spectacular locations mentioned in the novel, articles with travel tips, and creative writings about journeys. Locations were especially easy to find, since the places that Sal and her grandparents visited in the story were often national parks. Travel tip articles are plentiful too but took a little more searching since they tended to be on more commercial sites. For creative journey writings, I settled on poetry since short poems make a nice contrast to the longer format of a novel.
OK, this one was obvious. I looked up Yellowstone National Park, and right away I found a great article from National Geographic. The wonderful photos that are always featured in Nat Geo stories make it a really versatile resource that you could use for either non-fiction reading or as picture prompts for student writing. There is also a nice short video. One activity using this article and the novel together could be to compare Sal’s description of Old Faithful and the park (in the chapter “Old Faithful”) with National Geographic’s description in their article.
There is an article called “Road Trip Tips” on the Travel Channel website that is divided into sections like packing, car prep, traveling with kids, eating on the road, and so on. Clearly with a section like “traveling with kids” this one is written for parents, not kids, but that just provides a good opportunity to talk about audience. Have the kids figure out who the intended audience is. As a follow-up activity, kids could work on their own article about travel tips for kids!
Journey poems were easy to find on free poetry sites by searching for the topic “journeys.” There are good free poetry sites available, but often the poems are for all ages, not just for kids, so once you find a selection of poems, the challenge is to find one or two that will suit your group of kids. Two choices that I like are “Provisions” by Margaret Atwood and “A Journey” by Nikki Giovanni.
I found both of these poems at PoemHunter. “Provisions” is a short poem that begins with the lines, “What should we have taken / with us? We never could decide.” “A Journey” is also short and begins “It’s a journey . . . that I propose . . . I am not the guide . . .”
On a just slightly different topic, “Walk Two Moons – Secret Notes, Postcards, and Journals” is a free printable resource that I created for Walk Two Moons. It includes three fun activity sheets that follow up on some of the writings in the story – Mrs. Partridge’s secret notes, Sal’s mother’s postcards, and the journals that caused such an uproar in Mr. Ridgeway’s class. You can download a copy here.
And finally,here are the links to my Walk Two Moons Novel Study in case you would like to take a look.