Of Mice and Men Unit Plan

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been part of the whirlwind world of teaching middle school for 20 years. She has a Master of Education degree in instructional design.

John Steinbeck's ''Of Mice and Men'' has mature themes and lots of emotion. Teaching this novella to high school students can be daunting. This unit plan explores historical context and themes through interactive lesson plans and activities.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men can be approached in many different ways. This unit plan will help you guide students from historical context to complex thematic elements and meaningful discussions. Framing the novella study within the history of the period is essential, as characters are archetypes of migrant workers, minorities, and those with disabilities. Ample time and adequate guidance for discussion of the topics within the novella is also a must. There is a lot to process when reading this novella. Journal and discussion questions will help you spur student thinking. You'll also be able to provide students an opportunity to engage in project-based learning assessments at the culmination of the unit.

Historical Context

Because the book is set during the Great Depression, it's important to explore more about this time in history in order to understand the difficulties faced by the characters. Use this Life During the Great Depression Lesson Plan to help students build knowledge about the realities of this difficult time in American history. Add in some Great Depression Teaching Activities to keep students engaged and interacting with one another. If you'd like to extend the contextual portion of the unit further, explore the Dust Bowl, as well. Use this Dust Bowl Lesson Plan to do so. Consider having students complete a graphic organizer showing the Great Depression and Dust Bowl as causes and the ensuing effects of each.

John Steinbeck

It's important to learn more about the life and work of the author to understand this novella on a deeper level. Use this John Steinbeck Lesson Plan to introduce students to the author. Consider having students compare the settings of his various literary works, as many of them take place within the same part of California. Students can also discuss how his life shows through in his work through setting and in other ways, as well.

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