The Grapes of Wrath Lesson Plan

Instructor: Jason Lineberger

Jason has 20 years of education experience including 14 years of teaching college literature.

The novel 'The Grapes of Wrath' is a sprawling book that contains a lot of ideas. This lesson plan will help you teach symbols, characters, and themes for the novel, as well as information about the book's author, John Steinbeck.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • list the characters, events, symbols, and themes of The Grapes of Wrath.
  • discuss important facts about John Steinbeck's life.


Approximately 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Materials Needed

Setting Up

  • If students have already read the novel, lead a class discussion in which you list the major characters, plot points, symbols, and themes of The Grapes of Wrath.
  • If students have not read the novel yet, skip ahead to the next step.
    • Note: If you suspect the reading level of the novel will be a significant challenge for your class, then assigning this activity before reading can help.

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