I came across a wonderful discovery today, Google Lit Trips!
This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book. From the Google Lit Trip site:
What is a Google Lit Trip?
Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.
It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you'll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip "Getting Started" page explains all you need to do.
This Google Lit Trip maps Esperanza's trip from her home in Mexico to California.
Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.
If you are using my Esperanza Rising Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.