OF MICE AND MEN
John Steinbeck is the author of the critically acclaimed novella, Of Mice and Men. This tale helped Steinbeck win a Nobel Prize for his “imaginative, yet realistic, way of combining sympathetic humor with keen social perception”. Of Mice and Men is often referred to as Steinbeck’s “little masterpiece”. The story follows George and Lenny, two unlikely companions and migrant workers in depression-era California. The story is full of thought-provoking themes including gender inequality, racism, discrimination, and isolationism. It is also a demonstration of the importance of hope, dreams, and loyalty.
Mrs. Chrastka’s freshman English class recently completed reading and discussing Steinbeck’s work. Lauren Kaeb, when asked her opinion of the book, stated, “I really enjoyed this book. It presented many difficult themes such as racism, sexism, and mental disabilities that we, as developing teenagers, need to make our own opinions on. It is important that we are introduced to these topics, especially since we live in a relatively sheltered and small town. I recommend this book to all high school students.”
Students were given the opportunity to produce a variety of different projects, as a culmination of the unit. Some of the choices were to research and demonstrate the variety of games played by characters in the story; create a scrapbook that might be put together by one of the characters; research and create a poster board depicting different colloquialisms used throughout the novel; create a comic book depicting a scene from the book; develop a universal theme poster including quotes from the book and text-to-world connections; etc.
Mrs. Chrastka is pleased to have received the funding from the Education Foundation necessary to ensure every student had their own book to read, and refer to when completing their projects. She looks forward to witnessing the creativity and thought-processes of students in years to come.