4 Fascinating Resources About the Infamous Alcatraz Escape of 1962

We can't wait for your students to dive into the December/January nonfiction "Escape From Alcatraz"a gripping story and an unsolved mystery about the infamous 1962 escape from Alcatraz Prison. While we were working on this exciting nonfiction package, we came across lots of fascinating resources. We've collected a few of our favorites for you and your students to explore after they read the article. Students may then choose to complete one of the extension activities below.

 

Four fascinating resources to keep your students’ learning going:

Guiding Question: What was it like to live on Alcatraz Island?

 

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1. This video clip from the show “MythBusters” follows the hosts as they try to figure out if the prisoners could have successfully escaped. They even build their own raft out of raincoats!

 

 

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2. You and your students can go on a virtual field trip to Alcatraz Island by using Google Earth. Once you locate the island, click on the stick figure icon and select any location highlighted in blue to enter “Street View” and explore the island as it is today.

 

 

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3. These interviews between Al Capone Does My Shirts author Gennifer Choldenko and Alcatraz prisoners, guards, wardens’ children, and the daughter of Al Capone’s doctor, reveal what it was like to live and work on Alcatraz Island.

 

 

4. This museum exhibit from the National Park Service’s Alcatraz Island Museum features primary source slideshows, virtual tours, and sound clips.

 

Four engaging activities to choose from:

For Struggling Readers
In a well-organized paragraph, choose one piece of evidence that Morris and the Anglins made it and one piece of evidence that they did not. Explain how convincing each piece of evidence is.

 

For Advanced Readers
Which evidence do you find more convincing: the evidence that Morris and the Anglin brothers made it or that they did not? Do you think the truth will ever be known? Answer both questions in a well-organized essay.

 

For Creative Writers
Write a short story about the escape from Alcatraz from the point of view of Frank Morris or one of the Anglin brothers. Be sure to include their fate—that is, whether they survived or not.

 

For Historians
Create an exhibit for your school about the escape from Alcatraz. Your exhibit may include photos, videos, timelines, and replicas of artifacts. Give your classmates tours of your exhibit, as a museum guide would do. Note: This task is ideal for groups.

 

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