Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Of Mice and Men

Length of Time:   6-8 Class Periods


This novel is the story of two needy men who travel and work together.   They are men who are both comforted and protected by the dreams they share. The novel is set in the Salinas Valley of California during the 1930s. Readers will consider how the hard times of that era are reflected in Steinbeck’s tone and themes.The discussion questions included in this unit will focus students on the characters’ hopes and needs. They will also allow them to note parallel plot developments and become familiar with the plot device of foreshadowing. An important part of the novel is the characters. Through the writing and study guide, students will be able to understand their attitudes and personalities.

Essential Questions

How does this story of two simple men capture the essence of our nation’s hopes and dreams?

Common Core Standards

English Language Arts: Reading: Literature: Key Ideas and Details, 6-8

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

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

English Language Arts: Reading: Literature: Craft and Structure, 6-8

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

English Language Arts: Writing, Text Types and Purposes, 6-8

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, org

Content Standards

Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

US History 2: Reconstruction to the Present, 1877-Present
The Age of Reform, 1900-1940