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Roadtrip Nation's content would fit beautifully into a civics class or a curriculum that focuses on life skills and career placement. If your school has an AVID program, Roadtrip Nation has a specific program to fit there as well. Because it's pretty fun (and motivating!), you could end a successful week of class with a Roadtrip Nation video and chat.
If your school doesn't want to commit to the full program, teachers and students can access Leader Profiles (including videos and activities) on PBS Learning Media; search for "roadtrip nation" to try it out and see how your students respond.Continue reading Show less
Roadtrip Nation offers a series of lessons that revolve around short videos, incorporated into a self-discovery curriculum that empowers students to explore pathways and opportunities for their futures. Based on the PBS television show of the same name, the website encourages students to explore their communities and speak with local "Leaders" (any adult they look up to) to learn the steps they took to get to where they are today. In a series of online lessons accompanied by workbook activities, Roadtrip Nation shows how different interests can correspond to a future life pathway. Kids collaborate, develop online research skills and multimedia tools, and find out more about the career paths of adults who share their interests. Kids then receive guidance on how to meet and interview a local "Leader" of their choice, all the while blogging their experience and exploring their own goals.
Kids will watch videos, at home or in the classroom, featuring people from all walks of life who have found success in their chosen fields. For example, Ira Glass of "This American Life" might star alongside The Roots' Questlove in an episode about taking the first step in talking to a respected person in your community. A classroom discussion will follow, and kids then complete questionnaires and activities in a physical workbook or in a secure online notebook accessible to teachers.
There are two pathways available through Roadtrip Nation: The Roadtrip Nation Experience (for grades 9-12) and The Roadtrip Nation Exploration (for grades 6-8). The Experience features 12 lessons and costs $25 per student, while the Exploration features 8 lessons and costs $20 per student. The middle school curriculum gives teachers more flexibility for adapting the lessons and activities to their classrooms; specifically, teachers take on the task of facilitating kids' interviews with leaders (the culminating Interview Project in Lesson 8) via Google Hangout, Skype, or through an in-person appearance in their classroom.
Full Disclosure: Roadtrip Nation and Common Sense Education share a funder; however, that relationship does not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.
It's outstanding. For its video content, Roadtrip Nation has assembled some of the most interesting and talented people in the U.S., who prove that while it takes real passion to become successful in a field, it also requires work and commitment. Roadtrip Nation respects that "success" is defined differently by every person, and it's also a refreshing take on the "follow your bliss" idea, offering very concrete examples, steps, and advice on how to create a satisfying career. The videos are well-edited, fun, and extremely inspiring to watch (you might find yourself tearing up a time or two!), and the workbook content gets kids to reflect on themselves, addressing fears and feelings without being hippy-dippy at all.
From the teacher's perspective, the two pathways for participation -- Experience and Exploration -- are nicely age-appropriate and thoughtfully done. While the program might have a high cost, its teacher resources and supports are exceptional and its value is enormous.
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.