Reflection: Grappling with Complexity John Steinbeck and Migrant Workers of the Great Depression - Section 1: Activator


The text complexity of this quote challenged my students to think beyond the surface level. Many of their responses demonstrated analytical thinking which is a goal for all my students.  I explained to them that it's okay to grapple with a quote such as this one and through student to student discourse and group discussion, we will help each other get to the deeper meaning(s) of the text.  

Knowing when to present text that needs or doesn't need to be "closely read" is a decision we are always making.  I like this quote from Francis Bacon which speaks to this decision:

"Some texts are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested: that is , some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read but not curiously, and some few to be read with diligence and attention." 

Steinbeck's quote needed to be chewed and digested...


  Text Complexity
  Grappling with Complexity: Text Complexity
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John Steinbeck and Migrant Workers of the Great Depression

Unit 9: Of Mice and Men
Lesson 2 of 15

Objective: SWBAT view a short biography of John Steinbeck and discuss the author’s beliefs which inspired his writing. SWBAT identify and understand the lifestyle of migrant farm workers of the Great Depression and relate a literary work to information about its setting by watching a video of the Great Depression and analyzing Salinas Valley migrant workers in the 1930’s.

Big Idea: Making the connection between John Steinbeck's interest in migrant workers and the economic effects of the Great Depression is important to do before delving into the text.

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3 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Reading, language choice, realism, Literature, Literary Response and Analysis, literary journal, analyze details, historical context clues, historical background, Aristotle, quotations
  75 minutes
salinas steinbeck
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