Of Mice and Men Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Enhance your students' analysis of the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck by including our video lesson with your instruction. Broaden your students' literacy analysis skills with the in-class discussion questions and activities.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the theme, setting, and plot of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • discuss the purpose of the reoccurring concept of 'soft things' in the book
  • complete character analyses of Lenny, George, and Curly


1-2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts; extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information; and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.


  • Once students have successfully read the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, show the video lesson Of Mice and Men: Summary and Analysis of Steinbeck's Style.
  • Pause the video at the following timestamps for class discussion questions:
    • 1:58 - Define setting as it relates to literacy analysis. What is the setting of the ook? Why do you think the author chose this location? Be specific and relate your response to details found in the novel.
    • 3:23 - Discuss the comparison between Lenny's infatuation with 'soft things' and the name of the character Curley. Do you believe this was a coincidence? Why or why not?
    • 6:28 - Define 'theme' and 'plot.' Identify the theme and plot in Of Mice and Men. What message do you believe the writer was trying to convey? Use specific quotes to support your answer.


  • Using the STEAL (Speech, Thoughts, Effects on others, Actions, Looks) characterization method, have students create an analysis of each of the main characters.
  • Assign students different parts of the United States and ask them to discuss how the actions of the characters would differ geographically. Choose states with different climates and terrain.


  • Ask students to write a one-page analysis of Lenny's criminal activity and then place themselves in Lenny's situation to discuss how they would have made better choices to prevent the problems that occurred.
  • Have students complete a Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting two main characters of their choice.

Related Lessons

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.