5th Grade Math Home > Teacher Resources > Lesson Plans > Travels of a Florida Migrant Child


The Social Studies Connection:
Travels of a Florida Migrant Child


measurement, scale, number sense, esitmation

Sunshine State Standards:


Materials for the class:

Amelia's Road by Vickie Leigh Krudwig
1 large wall map of the U.S.

Materials for each group:

1 large laminated desk map of U.S.
1 small ball of clay or sticky-tack
10 to 12 toothpicks with small flags attached
Pipe cleaners

Student Arrangement:

Cooperative groups of 2-3 students


  1. Read Amelia’s Road to students. Review with students the information they had learned throughout research about Florida migrant families and their travels.

  2. Distribute the desk maps, toothpicks, and clay. Instruct the students that as you reread the book, they are to trace the route, locate each area to which Amelia’s family would have traveled as Florida migrants, and place a flag on their map to mark that area.

  3. Have students come up to the wall map and place markers on it to indicate the travels.

  4. Ask students to estimate how far they think Amelia traveled. Discuss their estimates and estimation strategies. Record these on the board. Using the data, have them determine the extremes and the range of their estimates.

  5. Now ask students to use their maps, pipe cleaners, and markers to determine distances between regions and the total distance traveled. The pipe cleaners are flexible and can be bent to go around natural barriers. You might need to refer students to the scale of miles on the map.

  6. Other questions that could be asked are as follows:

    • How many and what states did Amelia visit on her

    • How long did her journey take in days? Weeks?

    • How long might they have been on the highway
      between locales?

    • How far were they able to travel in a day?

    • What would have been the cost for fuel?

  7. Debrief by discussing student answers and strategies used. Have them compare their actual answers with their estimates.

  8. Discuss and have students compare what is shown on their desk maps and their calculations with the information shown on the wall map.

5th Grade Math Home > Teacher Resources > Lesson Plans > Travels of a Florida Migrant Child