Activity 4:
Riding the Rails

In Bud, Not Buddy, Bugs convinces Bud they should ride the rails to California. However, the boys find that hopping a train is tougher than they expected. Without money to pay for a ticket, they tried to jump on a moving train.


Plan a journey in search of something.

Process and Resources

  1. Bud was almost caught by police trying to jump on the train without paying for a ride. Read about the experiences people had riding the rails. Email your e-pal answers to the following questions:
    • Would you do something without paying for it such as riding a train? What about sneaking into a bus or staying for a second movie at the movie theatre without paying?
    • If you were in Bud's situation, would you hop the train? Why or why not?
    • What do you think might have happened to Bud if he had taken the train to California?
  2. How far is it from Flint, Michigan to Los Angles, California? Use MapQuest or How far is it? to find out the distance. Print out a map from one of the sites at use a marker to trace the route that the train might have taken.
  3. Bud was trying to determine the distance from Flint, Michgan to Chicago, Illinois and Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you were going to visit these places, how far would you have to travel? Compare the distance Bud traveled from Flint to Grand Rapid to another town from your town. How long would it take to walk from Flint, Michigan to Grand Rapids, Michigan? What about drive?
  4. Bud was traveling in search of Herman E. Calloway. Plan your own journey. Who would you like to visit? This person can be real or imaginary. What's the distance? What form of transportation would you take? How long would it take you to reach this person? What would you do once you got there?
  5. Create a class mural of North America showing the starting point, ending point, distance, and other information for each student journey. Share your trips with others over the Internet. Provide the written directions so that others can trace your journey on their map. You'll need to read their directions carefully and place them on your map. Use a different color marker for each class.
  6. Make a list of the things found in Bud's suitcase. What would you put in a suitcase if you had to leave on a long journey? Compare the contents of your suitcase with others in the class.

Project Guidelines

Use the following guidelines for class mural:

  • Select a person and place for your journey. Write about what you'd do with the person.
  • Identify the starting point, ending point, and distance. How would you get there? Write out the directions to get to your destination.
  • Add your project to the class mural.
  • Email your journey to your e-pal.
  • Add your e-pal's project to your class mural.


Plan a trip to meet students at another school you've met through the Internet.

Teacher Resources
Student Resources

Developed by Annette Lamb, 3/00.