Setting the Stage
Ask students to think about the symbol of "the road." What does a road mean to them? Remind students of some of the most well-known roads in popular culture, literature, and poetry including the "yellow brick road" in The Wizard of Oz, the highways of Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." What does the idea of the "open road" evoke for students? Does the road symbolize and evoke a sense of adventure and potential possibility? Or does it bring out an appreciation for one's home?
Show students a map of the region where your school/community is located, clearly indicating the major highway that transects that area. Do students and their families use this highway? If so, what are some of the main reasons and purposes? Do students travel on this highway to go to school, visit relatives, or run errands, like grocery shopping? What if this highway did not exist? What could be lost? What could be gained?