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Teachers and professors: Get the most out of your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for John Steinbeck's classic novel of the Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath. In addition to providing comprehensive analyses of Steinbeck's rich characters, this lesson plan offers assistance in conveying the novel's primary themes, including the rights of the individual and the importance of family. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- What does Steinbeck describe in Chapter 1 of The Grapes of Wrath? Steinbeck describes the natural elements which destroy farmers' crops, and he describes the reaction of the people to the disaster and to the inevitable economic hardships which result.
- Where was Tom Joad coming from and where was he going to when he hitched a ride with the truck driver? He was coming from jail (having been released on parole) and was going home to his parents' farm.
- What is the turtle's most outstanding characteristic? His most outstanding characteristic is his untiring determination to reach his destination although things get in his way and occasionally set him back.
- Identify Jim Casy from The Grapes of Wrath. Tom met Jim Casy on his way home. Jim was a former preacher who gave up preaching after going off alone and thinking about life and religion. He goes along with Tom for company.
- In The Grapes of Wrath, what ideas did Jim Casy come up with during his thinking time? "There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all a part of the same thing." "Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of."
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