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Lesson Plan by Mitchell Zuvela B. Sc., B. Ed.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Pixton Lesson Plan on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Make the elements of a novel come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Character Map
  • Plot Diagram
  • Mind Map
  • Storyboard

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Pixton Lesson Plan on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Pixton Lesson Plan on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Main Characters

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Lennie Small

    Migrant worker who is strong, large, mentally handicapped, and depends on George for advice.

  • George Milton from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    George Milton

    Lennie’s friend who is a migrant worker and wants to purchase his own piece of land one day.

  • Slim from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Slim

    Compassionate, insightful, leader of the mule team and an ally to George and Lennie.

  • Candy from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Candy

    The old handyman on the farm, has an old sheep dog and wants to join George in his dream of buying a farm.

  • Crooks from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Crooks

    Black stable worker who is racially isolated, wants to join George’s farm.

  • Carlson from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Carlson

    Intense ranch hand who kills Candy’s sheep dog.

  • Curley from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Curley

    Mean, small, jealous, and feisty son of ranch owner.

  • Curley's wife from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Curley's wife

    Flirtatious female seen as Curley’s possession.

Featured Props

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Attic
    Attic
  • Barn
    Barn
  • Bed
    Bed
  • Corn
    Corn
  • Field
    Field
  • Gun
    Gun
  • Hay
    Hay
  • Lamp
    Lamp
  • River
    River
  • Tree
    Tree
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Step 1Class discussion with students

The background setting of the novel Of Mice and Men revolves around the Great Depression. It is important that your students understand the hardships that were present during this period in history. Search the Internet to find candid photos of people living through The Great Depression. Discuss the themes / symbols / emotions that are common throughout the photos. Analyze the significance of the facial expressions and signs that are present in the pictures.

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Character Map
    Character Map

    View Activity
  • Make a Comic
    Types of Conflict

    View Activity
  • Make a Plot Diagram
    Conflict and Plot

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map or Storyboard
    Major Themes

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Comic (Extension / Modification)

    Using the Flickr Creative Commons in Pixton, choose several pictures from the Great Depression and create a comic illustrating the hardships during this period.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Watch either the 1992 or 1939 version of the movie Of Mice and Men. While watching, make note of the timing of each section of the plot diagram. Create a comparison chart between the book and the movie, identifying any key differences in each section of the movie. It might be helpful to stop the movie between sections to give your students time to write. At its conclusion, ask your students to comment on which version they enjoyed more (book or movie) and why? How has the "age of technology" changed how youth view literature?

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Pixton Activity: Of Mice and Men 1 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Comparing and contrasting is an important job that will help reinforce key attributes of the story's characters, and help create connections with the plot and theme.

Instructions

Choose six of your favorite characters from Of Mice and Men and create a Character Map for each one.

  • It is important to add sufficient detail to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character's attributes that are outlined in the story.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Character Map

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
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Pixton Activity: Of Mice and Men 2 Types of Conflict

Instructions

Using the novel Of Mice and Men, identify the key types of conflict that are present

Using a Grid or Storyboard format, identify two or three examples (one panel per example) for each type of conflict present.

  • Provide a brief description as to why you believe that this is a good example.

There may be more than one type, so it is important that you thoroughly analyze your selection.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Types of Conflict

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview Multiple types of conflict are fully discussed: all examples are thoroughly discussed. More than one type of conflict is fully discussed; examples are well developed and precise. More than one type of conflict is briefly discussed; examples provide sufficient support. One type of conflict is briefly discussed; examples show limited support. One type of conflict is poorly discussed; lacks supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
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Pixton Activity: Of Mice and Men 3 Conflict and Plot

Featured Layouts

  • Plot Diagram

Instructions

Summarize Of Mice and Men in a six-panel Plot Diagram.

  • Include a brief description and an illustration for each point of the plot diagram (introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, conclusion), as well as for the main conflict.

  • Be sure to identify the key points that are essential in defining each specific act.

  • Think about relevant quotes that could be used to help create meaning in each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Conflict and Plot

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The plot diagram is focused, with advanced use of language/ideas. The plot diagram is accurate, well developed, with consistent use of details. The plot diagram is complete and accurate; lacks consistent use of specific details. The plot diagram is basic; has several errors,or lacks detail. The plot diagram is inaccurate and difficult to follow.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • varies language to develop meaning
• varies sentence structure for effect
• images and characters have impact on the meaning of the panel
• language is clear with some variety
• varies sentence structure
• makes attempts to use descriptive language
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structure with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• some variety in sentence length and type
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (beginning, middle, end) • proper organization
• sequence is highly effective and has purpose
• all panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• logical sequence
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• consistent attention to sequence
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some attention to sequence
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• no attention to sequence
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Example Plot Diagram

Conflict and Plot in “Of Mice and Men” by Student
ExpositionGeorge and Lennie are two migrant workers in search of work. George takes care of Lennie, who is mentally challenged. Lennie tends to get into trouble, which forced them to leave the last town because Lennie touched a woman’s dress. They both have a dream of owning a ranch one day. They arrive at the farm, George talks with the owner, and they are both hired as workers. Main ConflictGeorge and Lennie meet the staff at the ranch: the boss’ son, Curley, and his new wife. Curley is immediately interested in Lennie because he seems dumb, and therefore easy to abuse. Curley's wife, who is flirtacious and lonely, also takes notice of Lennie. Rising ActionOne night, Curley looks for a fight, so he picks on Lennie, who he thinks is an easy target. At first, Lennie does nothing, but George eventually allows Lennie to fight back, crushing Curley’s hand in the process. ClimaxThe next morning, Lennie accidentally kills his dog. Curley’s wife comes into the barn to console Lennie, and they confide in each other. Lennie wants to touch her soft hair, which she agrees to, but is startled by the force that he grabs her with. She struggles and Lennie panics, leading him to accidentally break her neck. Falling ActionLennie flees the barn to a pre-determined meeting place he has arranged with George. When George meets him there, he is not angry with Lennie. He tells Lennie the story of their dream farm. DenouementWhen the others find George, he tells them a story of how Lennie had the gun, but George wrestled it away and shot him. Slim, who knows the truth, takes him away, consolingly. The rest of the men are left confused.

Here's the link to share this comic:

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Conflict and Plot in “Cinderella” by Pixton
ExpositionCinderella lives a humble life with her father, and is very happy. However, soon after taking a new wife, Cinderella's father passes away. Main ConflictWith her new husband now deceased, Lady Tremaine and her two daughters take over the house. Rather than welcoming Cinderella into the family, they make her a servant and treat her cruelly. Rising ActionThe Prince, looking to get married, announces there will be a ball for all the ladies in the kingdom to attend. Cinderella plans to go but her stepsisters ruin her dress. As she sits in tears, her fairy godmother appears and gives her everything she needs for a grand experience at the ball. But there is a catch; at midnight, everything will return to how it was before. ClimaxCinderella enters the ballroom and immediately catches Prince Charming's eye. After a night of dancing, the two are in love. Cinderella loses track of time, however, and when the clock strikes midnight, she flees from the ball. Prince Charming is left with nothing but her glass slipper. Falling ActionThe prince is determined to find the mysterious woman from the ball. He sends his men to visit every household in the kingdom and have them try on the glass slipper. The woman whom the shoe fits will be the new princess. DenouementAt last, Cinderella gets a chance to try on the glass slipper and it fits perfectly. Prince Charming knows she is the one he fell in love with at the ball. He rescues her from her wicked stepfamily and they live happily ever after.
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Pixton Activity: Of Mice and Men 4 Major Themes

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map
  • Storyboard

Intro

Three major themes in Of Mice and Men are:

  • Loneliness
  • Fraternity
  • The American dream

Instructions

For each major theme, identify at least two examples in the novel and depict them in a Mind Map or Storyboard:

  • Identify the page number in the panel title
  • Create an image that summarizes the scene
  • Formulate a brief description of how the example fits the theme

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Major Themes

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The theme is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and are highly detailed. The theme is well developed; examples are specific and provide ample support. The theme is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The theme is poorly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The theme is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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