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Travels With Charley Lesson Plan
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Teachers and educators: Take your student's along with Steinbeck, his French standard poodle (Charley), and their trusty truck (Rocinante) on a journey to find the authentic America of the early 1960s. Help students understand the primary themes of the work, including how consumerism has changed America and Americans. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- In Travels With Charley, describe Steinbeck's method for washing his clothes during his trip. He placed the clothes, soap and water into a garbage bucket tied to the closet pole in the back of his truck. The truck's movement juggled the contents for the entire driving day. He rinsed the clothes at the end of the day, and dried them the next day on a line in the truck.
- Why didn't Steinbeck cross the Canadian border? He didn't have a rabies vaccination certificate for Charley. The U.S. would not let him re-enter the country without that certificate.
- Why was coffee considered the great get-together symbol? Having a cup of coffee provided the chance to rest and to have a change from the continuous stretch of highway.
- Why did Texas seek freedom from Mexico? The Texans didn't want to pay taxes. Also, Mexico had abolished slavery and the Texans did not want to free their slaves.
- Where during his trip did Steinbeck's journey end before he returned home? His trip was really finished at Abingdon, Virginia. By the time he got there, he had had enough time on the road, was tired, overloaded with input, and ready to put up his feet in his own home.
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eNotes is pleased to offer Teacher's Pet Publication LitPlans, the most complete literature lesson plans available to teachers and educators everywhere. Since 1989, these lesson plans have undergone extensive development based on the experience and feedback of teachers all over the world. We have more than 115 lesson plans available for download on the most widely-read books and plays, including this lesson plan for John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley: In Search of America.