John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Lesson plans and teaching resources

Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don't Realize It)
A nonfiction piece with research and information graphics exploring attitudes toward wealth distribution in America.

Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943
Color photographs of American life during the Depression.

Creating Dramatic Monologues from The Grapes of Wrath
Activities, adaptations, discussion questions, evaluation, extension, background and related links, and vocabulary. This standards-based lesson can be used with or without the video available from Discovery School.

Exploring Steinbeck's World through Words and Images
This unit is meant to build background knowledge before beginning to read Steinbeck. Students create pieces of knowledge in a variety of forms that foster a solid image-based understanding of Steinbeck and his world. The students will be encouraged to unlock Steinbeck's world through a host of activities and assignments that will help them to maintain a higher level of interest throughout the reading and simultaneously encourage higher-level learning and a broader knowledge base that will help them better analyze literature.

Girl from iconic Great Depression photo: 'We were ashamed'
An interview with one of the daughters in the famous Dorothea Lange photograph "Migrant Mother."

The Grapes of Wrath
Historical background, author biography, related works, discussion questions, related resources, and a thorough teacher's guide. These materials were prepared as part of the NEA Big Read.

The Grapes of Wrath
A variety of reading strategies to accompany the novel, including an anticipation guide, KWHL, vocabulary, and a writing assignment based on the death of Grandpa.

The Grapes of Wrath : Scrapbooks and Artifacts
Students use cultural artifacts mentioned in the novel to enhance their understanding of symbols and themes.

The Grapes of Wrath Teacher Guide
Practice with plot diagrams, character maps, conflict, themes, symbols, motifs, imagery, vocabulary, more. Note: sponsored link.

The Great Depression and the Arts, Film Study of The Grapes of Wrath
This 3-day unit uses the film as a primary source and asks students to analyze it as a "cultural document" of its time.

A Monster of a Metaphor
After analyzing Steinbeck's monster metaphor from chapter five of The Grapes of Wrath , student writers will talk about how someone develops the idea for an extended metaphor for a character or setting. Students then write their own extended metaphors, attempting to craft sentences that have a rhythm to them. This writing lesson focuses on idea development and sentence fluency.

A Multimedia Approach to The Grapes of Wrath
Pre-reading activities, critical lenses, drama, Socratic Seminar ideas, and more. Includes rubric. Adobe Reader or compatible application required for access to this 11-page document.

The Grapes of Wrath Vocabulary
A list of 40 words drawn from the text, with definitions. Access requires MS-Word or compatible application.

Photographs from 1935-45 from across the US, searchable by location.

The Story Behind Dorothea Lange’s Iconic "Migrant Mother" Photograph and How She Almost Didn't Take It
Informational article about the photo from 1936.

Suggestions for Pairing Contemporary Music and Canonical Literature
A list of songs that were inspired by reading literature. Organized by the last name of the author (e.g. Chinua Achebe, William Butler Yeats), the list includes song title, performer, year of release, and more. The list includes 7 titles inspired by The Grapes of Wrath .

Teacher's Guide to The Grapes of Wrath
This 6-page guide includes some historical background, prereading activities, comprehension questions, questions for discussion and writing, suggestions for research. Requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

Teaching The Grapes of Wrath With The New York Times
A wealth of resources: historical background, articles about the author, related contemporary articles, even a crossword puzzle.

Vocabulary from The Grapes of Wrath
Words are presented in context and with definitions. Click on a word for pronunciation, examples of recent use, more.