Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Lesson plans and teaching resources

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

Exploring Steinbeck's World through Words and Images
This unit is meant to build background knowledge before beginning to read Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men . 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.

Handouts and Activities
13 activities including historical background, pre-reading activity, character analysis, a found poem activity, a take-home essay exam, and more.

Harvest Gypsies
Steinbeck wrote 5 nonfiction/informational pieces about the lives of migrant workers in 1936. They could prove useful in helping students understand the circumstances of the workers in the novel.

Of Mice and Men
A teacher guide for the novel, including prereading, plot summary, setting, symbols, foreshadowing, journal and other writing ideas. Requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

Of Mice and Men
This study guide is designed to accompany a theatrical production, but it contains activities that will work in any classroom. Author biography, historical background, character analysis, and emphasis on themes of power, loneliness, and the American Dream. Questions for discussion and writing. 16 pages; Adobe Reader required.

Of Mice and Men
This study guide offers several resources, including a graphic organizer to help analyze character, practice with vocabulary, writing prompts, and simple plot analysis questions.

Of Mice and Men
A variety of reading strategies, including an anticipation guide, writing a biopoem and a found poem, vocabulary with magic squares, and using a graphic organizer to help with character analysis. Adobe Reader required for access to activities, printable handouts.

Of Mice and Men
A variety of post-reading activities, organized by level of difficulty.

Of Mice and Men
Interactive whiteboard activities, including vocabulary, plot sequence, themes.

Of Mice and Men Anticipation/Reaction Guide
Students respond to 10 statements before and after reading. Access requires Adobe Reader or compatible application.

Of Mice and Men : Back in Time
In this WebQuest students investigate daily life in the U.S. during the 1930s.

Of Mice and Men : Exploring the Context with Primary Sources
A map of California, a photograph of a bindle stiff, and a contemporary folk song provide insights into the setting. Includes questions for analysis.

Of Mice and Men Internet Resources
Links to online quizzes, study questions, project ideas, and related topics.

Painting Places with Words
After discussing the famous and fluent opening that launches Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men , small groups of writers imitate the description by applying Steinbeck's paragraph's verbs and sentence structures to a different setting. The imitations are shared out loud, and the teacher writes the names of the new settings on the board. As individual writers, students then choose one of the settings from the list, and (without directly imitating Steinbeck this time) each writes a one-paragraph setting description that attempts to "paint with words" a setting, while using interesting sentences that flow. This lesson focuses on sentence fluency and idea development.

Salinas River near Soledad
"A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool." What does it look like? Photo and additional information.

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 6 titles inspired by Of Mice and Men .

Teacher Guide to Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
How might students use storyboards to demonstrate and to extend their learning? Check the resources here. Includes plot diagram and summary, essential questions, themes and symbols, character map, conflict analysis, vocabulary, more. Note: Storyboard That helps sponsor this site.

Text to Text: Of Mice and Men and "Friendship in an Age of Economics"
Students explore the role of true friendship in a world defined by transactional relationships. The lesson pairs the opening exchanges between George and Lennie with a piece from The Times’s philosophy blog, The Stone , on "Friendship in an Age of Economics." Key Question: What is "true friendship" and how does our world today challenge it?

The Tragedy of George and Lennie
This Venn diagram could serve as a prereading activity or as a focal point for a writing prompt.

Unit Plan for Of Mice and Men , driven by essential questions
This unit plan offers a variety of literacy activities, including study of historical context, development of writing skills, practice with character analysis, and exploration of theme. 26 pages; Adobe Reader required.

Vocabulary from Of Mice and Men
A list of 100 words, each presented in context and with definition. Click on the word for pronunciation, synonyms, and examples of other use.