Roll of Thunder,
Hear My Cry

By Mildred Taylor

Webquest designed by Greg Ott and Ryan Nursey

 Web Quest  Directions
The following links offer some important background for students reading the novel.  Students should use the sites below to complete the Web Quest handout and to explore issues related to The Great Depression and segregated life in the south during this time.  This site may also be used as supplemental resource for the reading of this novel.  Students with questions relating to issues encountered within the novel may find related answers here.

Day 1  Download Your copy of the WebQuest Handout.

Ku Klux Klan - The Klan plays a malicious role in the novel but is never mentioned by name.  Select the link on the left to read the page on this organization.  Explore the historical documents attached to this page, and make sure you navigate to the other KKK page to read more before completing this part of your WebQuest document.

14th Amendment - Read about the amendment to the constitution that gave former slaves legal protection and rights as citizens of the United States of America under the Constitution.  Make sure you view the the historical document as well as visit the Brown vs. Board Link.


The Great Depression - Read about the economic setting of the novel.  Consider how this setting complicates matters for a rural farming family during this time.

Browse - Once you have finished your responses to the events above, you may browse additional events from the timeline.  Every pop up from this site is linked to a more informative page if you want to find out more.

Day 2

View the Documentary on the Elaine Arkansas Riot
This little known incident in Arkansas illustrates the struggle between rural black farmers and their white neighbors who wanted to keep them in their place both socially and economically.  It has major legal significance in the struggle for legal representation under the law.  While this incident takes place  before our story, it illustrates the potential danger that black families faced when working against the unwritten rules  of the time.

Once you have viewed the video, record your observations on your WebQuest handout.


Explore the Tools and Activities Links from the PBS documentary site.  Prepare to share your findings with tomorrow's class.


More information can be found by navigating to the home page for the PBS series site.

The Book cover image on this page is taken from  the Puffin Books 1997 edition of the novel Dial Books, 1976  Other graphics and links on this page are the property of  PBS and are gratefully borrowed from the PBS series site, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.

This page and the web quest handout have been designed by Greg Ott and Ryan Nursey for the use of our students at Northwestern Middle School in Milton Georgia.   Visitors are welcome to use these materials and/or this site to enhance their own study of the novel.  We are always interested in the successful use of these materials and am likewise interested in suggested improvements.  Please direct questions and/or comments to me at  Thank you for stopping by.                             Return to Greg Ott's Homepage