American novelist, writer, poet, and artist
(1922 - 1969)

"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go.
But no matter, the road is life."


The writer - Lesson plans - Interactive activities - Webquests - Videos

'On the Road'


(Updated on 01/02/2011)



The writer :

  • Jack Kerouac (Wikipedia)
    "Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is amongst the best known of the writers (and friends)
    known as the Beat Generation."

    1 Biography 1.1 Family and early years 1.2 Career 1.3 Death
    2 Works, style, and innovations 2.1 Style 2.2 Influence
    3 Notes
    4 Further reading
    5 External links
  • Jack Kerouac (BBC)
    "'On the Road', originally published in 1955, is about a writer named Sal Paradise (actually Kerouac) who meets and becomes obsessed with the character of Dean Moriarity. Dean is the fictional equivalent of Neal Cassady, a Beat icon who never published a word during his lifetime, but appears either as himself or is characterised in the literary works of John Clellon Holmes, Alan Ginsberg, Tom Wolfe, and is even memorialized in the music of The Grateful Dead. Sal spends the novel hitchhiking across America, joy riding with Dean to Mexico, and basically experiencing the freedom of being on the road in post war America."
  • Jack Kerouac Character Key - Alphabetically
    "Jack Kerouac used different names to refer to his friends in his books, varying the aliases from book to book. Here's a list of some of the aliases and their real-life counterparts. You can click on any of the real names for a short biography of that person."
    ex : Jack Duluoz = Jack Kerouac
    Page 2
    Page 3
  • Blyler, Kerouac, and Bohemian Roads (
    "When Kerouac set out into the bowels of the heartland, he said that he wanted to write about the America that had yet to be uttered..."
  • Beat generation (Wikipedia)
    "The Beat Generation is a term used to describe both a group of American writers who came to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the cultural phenomena that they wrote about and inspired (later sometimes called beatniks though this is considered by many to be a pejorative term).
    The major works of Beat writing are Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' (1956), William S. Burroughs's 'Naked Lunch' (1959)
    and Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road' (1957)."

'On the Road' (1957) :


  • Sur la route de Jack Kerouac
    "Sur la route de Jack Kerouac, une jeune aventurière se met en tête de repartir sur les traces de l'écrivain.
    De San Francisco à Mexico initiatique, fantasque ,et rencontre avec le poète et éditeur de la Beat generation Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
    Un film de Ann Chakraverty, musique originale de Claude Samard-Polikar, image Jean-Max Bernard, montage Stéphane Elmadjian.
    Version bilingue, sous-titrée en français."



  • 'On the Road' (
    "great Beat novel, a charming, honest and poignant story of a friendship and four trips across America..."
    - The First Trip -- New York To Denver to San Francisco to L.A.
    - The Second Trip -- Virginia to NY to New Orleans to San Francisco
    - The Third Trip -- New York to Denver to San Francisco and Back Again
    - The Fourth Trip -- New York to Denver to Mexico
    - The Wrap-Up


  • On the Road Book Notes Summary (
    Author Biography / Context of the Work
    One-Page Plot Summary
    Character Descriptions
    Object/Place Descriptions

    Topic Tracking
    Chapter Summaries

INTERACTIVE activities :

  • WANDERLUST - interactive
    "GOOD maps out history's greatest journeys, from Magellan to Kerouac."
    - with illustrations and explanations




Lesson plans :



Webquests :

  • The Beats and the 1950s - a webquest (
    Your Task :
    "To create a visual presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint of images of the 1950s, incorporating jazz, poetry and archival photography, painting and film. Included in your presentation will be major historical events and personalities as well as images of the 1950s."
  • Beat Poet Webquest (
    "So who are the Beat Poets? Your goal is to discover this. Where did they come from, how did they form, what did they believe in, what music did they listen to, what religion(s) did they follow, how was their writing different enough to form a distinct group, basically, what made them tick? Your job is to get into the mind of the Beats and be able to relay this information to the class."