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Freedom Summer Webquest

Freedom Summer Webquest

Are you excited that summer is almost here?

Do you want to be free to explore the creek like Huck Finn or look for mischief at the Plaza like Eloise? Imagine, for a moment, what you and your best friend will do with the whole summer waiting for you… there are so many possibilities!




     We have a lot of great things to do today! First, please go to the bookshelf and find the book Freedom Summer. Now that you have the book, your job as super readers is to complete the tasks listed below as a group.  When you have finished all four tasks, make sure you complete the self-assessment rubric.  You will then put all of your work in the wire basket.  I have given you a great challenge and know that you, my awesome students, can do it!  I have prepared you well and have spent the year getting you ready by teaching you to be excellent thinkers…


Task 1


Task 2



You will be working in groups with 2 other students.  Everyone works during a web quest!  Each student will perform a different job.  Your group may choose to keep the same job for  the whole quest or switch jobs for each task: 

Person 1:  Reader
It is this person's job to read to the group.

Person 2: Webmaster
It is this person's job to make sure the group has the materials (paper, pencils, printouts, etc.) necessary to perform the task and to manage tasks on the computer.

Person 3:  Scribe/Reporter 
It is this person's job to make any notes or fill out any graphic organizers as the group talks and discuss findings with the teacher or class.



  • Meet Deborah Wiles...  
  • To learn more about this book and the author, explore the following website:


TASK 1:  Vocabulary


Part of understanding a story is making sure you understand the special words the author chooses to use in that story. 
This task will help you make connections between the story, these special words, and what you already know.  


1.  Webmaster:  Print out  userfiles/1029/vocabulary organizer(2).doc. You will need three copies of each page for
this task. The second page for is blank for your group to record words from the story that you are unsure of that are
not listed on the first page. 
Every member should complete their own page to turn in.  Make sure your name is on the top
of your paper also. 

2.  Reader: read the graphic organizer headings to the group so that each person knows what each box on the graphic organizer is for. 

3. The group will use the online dictionary link to search for definitions for the vocabulary words. 
Webmaster: c
lick here
http://www.merriam-webster.com/   to access the online dictionary.  Type the vocabulary word
in the blue search box, then click on the red magnifying glass.  The web page will list several definitions for you.  On 
the graphic organizer, each person should r
ecord or re-word and write the definition of the word in the first box
under the word. In the second box, use your artistic ability to create (draw) a picture to help you recall (remember)
the definition.  Then in the third box, write a sentence about the picture you just drew to make the picture come to
life in your mind. Make sure to use the vocabulary word in the sentence.  Be descriptive; make a cool sentence that
 shows you understand the word.


4.  Re-read your work together to make sure you finished each part completely.  Here are some questions to ask your
group members: Does each sentence start with a capital letter and end with a period? Is the vocabulary word included
in each sentence?  Did I use good handwriting? Do my picture and my sentence go with the definition of the word?  

5. When your work on task 1 is completed, you are ready for task 2.  Good work!   


Task 2:  Picture Walk


I need you to put your thinking caps on!  I have some questions for you to consider... When you read a book, do you
start with a picture walk?  Do you look at the pictures and notice things that you understand?  Are there things
in the pictures that make you see how your life is like the character's life?  Do you notice how your life is different? 
What do you see in the pictures that helps you make sense of the story and helps you remember and understand
the story in a better way? Sometimes books remind us of our own lives. We understand stories
better when we can relate to the characters' lives.

1.  Reader:  lead your group on a picture walk of the book and ask them these questions again as your group looks
at the pictures in the story.  Do not read the words. Look at the details in the pictures and notice how the things
in the pictures are similar and different from your life.  Discuss these similarities and differences as a group. 


2.  Webmaster: print out one copy of the graphic organizer.  
www.marshall.k12.ky.us/Thoughtful%20Ed/ThoughtfulEdtemplates.htm   select the graphic organizer titled LIST,
click on the link, print it out and give it and a pencil to the Scribe.  

3. Now that you have taken a picture walk and have some idea of what the story is about, your group will visit the
links below and find out what the real Freedom Summer of 1964 was like in the state of Mississippi. 


4. Webmaster:  click on each link, one at a time.
Reader:  lead your group through each site, discussing the pictures, text, and other things you see that are interesting
to you.  
Scribe: record the groups findings on one graphic organizer as you discuss each site.  Write down at least one or
two things that your group discovered from each website about the summer of 1964.  

5.  Great work... Start task 3.


Task 3:  Reading For Meaning


Now that you have an idea about what the story is about, here is what I want you to think about next:  When good
readers begin a book, they use many strategies to understand the story.  They visualize, they make connections to
what they already know, they ask questions, and they know the author's purpose for writing the story. When we read, we don't just read words but read to get meaning from those words so that we can learn something new.  In this activity, your group will be challenged to solve the mystery of four statements... are they true?  false? How can you
tell from the facts in the story?   You will find out soon enough as your group begins this quest to read for meaning... 
1. Webmaster: will need to print off three copies of the graphic organizer  
 userfiles//Reading for Meaning.doc for
this activity.  Pass out one copy of the graphic organizer to each group member.  

2.  You have some prior knowledge of the story because you have completed a picture walk and discussed questions with
your group. Now it is time to start digging into the story.  
Reader: read the first statement aloud to the group. Decide if you agree or disagree based on what you know from your picture walk and group discussion of the story so far.  Color in the happy face if you agree or the sad face if you disagree.   Write down your thoughts in the box labeled "I say".  There is not a correct answer for this box, only your thoughts and opinions, so please be honest with what you think. 

3. Continue this process with the rest of the statements until all four "I say" boxes are completed. 

4. Reader: read aloud Freedom Summer to the group.  As the Reader reads, the other members will look for evidence
from the story to support or refute the statements on the handout.  Everyone should write the evidence in the "Text
says" box as it comes up in the story. You may discuss this as a group as you read and decide together what to write. 

5. Reader: complete the read aloud and lead the group in a discussion about what was read.  Decide if the statement is
true or false.  Do not change your prediction from the "I say" box.  Everyone should write what the group decided the statement should say in the "We say" box. 
For example:   If the statement is true, you can say the statement is true.  If the statement is not true, write what your group thinks would need to be written to make it true.  Complete the Reading for Meaning Activity together using the
text and what your group knows. 

6. Webmaster:  click here 
userfiles/1029/Reading for Meaning Answer Key.doc 
Scribe: check everyone's agree/disagree answers to see if they are correct.  Correct mistakes to fix your
understanding of the story.  Make a note on your paper explain your corrections.  

7. Excellent work team!  Go ahead to task 4!

Task 4:  Reflection:  Storybird… Finish the story 

When your group gets to the end of the story, you each will have several emotions rolling around in your bellies. 
What are you feeling?  Why do you think you are feeling that way?  How would you feel if you were Joe?  John
Henry?  Why?  Would you do the same things they did?  Would you act differently?  How would you act?  Why
would you do that?  These are some questions to get your group thinking about an extended ending to the story...
What would happen if the story continued after they entered the store?  Talk about your feelings and these
thoughts with your group for a few minutes before you begin the last task. 

1. Webmaster: log on to
www.storybird.com and look at some of the storybooks that students your age have created
at this site.  Your group will be creating a new ending to the book Freedom Summer and publishing it alongside the
work of other students on this site. 

2. Webmaster: after your group has looked at several stories online,  print out one story map from the following
www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/storymap3.pdf  and give it to the Scribe.

3. Reader:  Lead your group to brainstorm a list of things that might happen to John Henry and Joe inside the
store. Think about what they might do when they leave the store if their trip into the store is a success. What
would happen inside the store if the owner does not want John Henry inside?  How could your group extend the
story? Discuss ideas with the group and write your list of ideas on the back of the story map. 

4. Once you have a brainstormed list, decide on one ending from the list your group would like to write.  Discuss 
this idea as a group.  
Scribe:  write down the group's ideas in paragraph form.  Be sure to include everyone's ideas in a clear, easy to
understand and imaginative paragraph.  Use vocabulary words that go with the words we studied from the story
and check for correct sentence structure and spelling.   

5. Webmaster: log on to Storybird.com 
storybird.com/classes/albany-elementary-school/mr-nates-3rd-grade-class/overview/ to create your new ending to Freedom Summer.   Follow the directions on the website to add the
book to Mr. Nate's storybird page assignment. The directions on the site are clear, but if you need assistance, 
just ask! After you have completed and uploaded your story ending, you may check out other groups' endings...
but only AFTER completing yours.  We do not want anyone taking ideas from other groups... 



Your work is done... way to go team!  Now, time to think back on how hard you worked.  Did you do a good job on all
these tasks?  How do you know?  Take a few minutes and fill out the
Self-Evaluation Rubric for this WebQuest. 
Mark your answers honestly and really look at your work. When you are all finished, put your tasks in order from
one to four and your completed rubric on top.  Staple your papers together and put them in the wire basket.
Remember, the Scribe will be the only one with the graphic organizers for tasks 1 & 4.      


Congratulations!  You and your team completed the challenge. Bravo! Give yourselves and each other a knuckle touch,
high-five, or a gentle pat on the back for great teamwork!  If you thought Freedom Summer was cool, you might like
to read other books about the Civil Rights Movement. Check out these sites:
White Socks Only By Evelyn Coleman     
Through My Eyes By Ruby Bridges  

 teacher page 

             Questions, Comments or Permissions?  Contact the author of this site: 
Nate Pennycuff





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