The students explored the Native American sense of place and have a deeper understanding of their own relationship with the place in which they live. This lesson familiarizes students with John Steinbeck’s famous portrayal of the life of the Midwestern farmers forced to move from their land by the Dust Bowl conditions during the Great Depression.
Purpose – This is the Engage lesson. There are two purposes for this lesson and this is the second learning cycle:
- To connect ideas introduced in the initial learning cycle about our sense of place with material learned this quarter in American history about migrations in the history of the United States.
- To illustrate how the human experience is strongly tied to understanding and working productively with the chemistry concepts being currently studied in science class.
Students will be able to:
- Place the location and time in history in which The Grapes of Wrath takes place;
- Identify the major characters in The Grapes of Wrath and describe how their lives were changed by an environmental disaster;
- Write a timeline of the significant events in The Grapes of Wrath highlighting how a change in the environmental conditions triggers events in human experience;
- Identify and explain two important themes in The Grapes of Wrath that relate to a sense of place and how the environment has a direct affect on people’s lives.
Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
Students apply a wide variety of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with others readers and writers, their knowledge of word meanings and of other texts, their identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, and graphics).
Arizona State Standards:
VP-P1. Analyze and evaluate visual media for language, subject matter, and visual techniques used to influence attitudes, decision making, and cultural perceptions.
WRITING, Grade 11
Concept 5: Literary Responses
c. analyzes the way in which the theme, or meaning of a selection, represents a
view or comment on life, providing textual evidence for the identified theme
You need to have a general understanding of the Great Depression and know the plot of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Of course, the more you know about both of these topics the better a resource you will be for this lesson.
Detailed summary chapter by chapter, plus maps and a character list:
In-depth analysis chapter by chapter of the book:
Grapes of Wrath novel on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath
Grapes of Wrath film on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath_%28film%29
The 1st three chapters of the novel: http://pulse.pharmacy.arizona.edu/resources/fertilizers/wrath.pdf [PDF]