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The Pearl Lesson Plan
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By using this lesson plan, teachers and professors will be able to help their students understand the struggles between good and evil, knowledge and ignorance in John Steinbeck's novel The Pearl. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- What, in general, happens in the first chapter of The Pearl? Kino and Juana wake up, and prepare for the day. The scorpion strikes Coyotito. They call for the doctor, but the doctor refuses to come. They go to the doctor, but he refuses to treat Coyotito.
- What is the Song of the Family? The Song of the Family is a song of happiness, of being "whole." It is a song of peaceful existence, of being together in harmony with the family.
- Juan Tomas says to Kino, "You have defied not the pearl buyers, but the whole structure, the whole way of life. I am afraid for you." What does he mean? No one of the village men had ever gone against the buyers. No one had "taken on city hall," so-to-speak. It was not Kino's place to try to do better. He was just a lowly village man; that was his station in life. Now, he was trying to improve his station and would have to have a major conflict in order to do so. Juan Tomas thinks this goes against the laws of nature and that bad things happen when you go against the laws of nature. As I heard it put once, "Little fish don't eat big fish."
- What happened when Kino went to sell his pearl? The pearl buyer told him it was a curiosity, not a valuable pearl. He offered Kino 1,000 pesos. When Kino disagreed, three other buyers were brought in; each one said it was of little value. It is made obvious to the reader that the buyers had arranged their prices earlier. Kino says he will go to the capitol instead of dealing with these buyers.
- What does the return of Kino and Juana and their throwing away the pearl mean symbolically? It means that Kino has given up his dream, his hope for a better future for himself and his family. He has lost in his conflicts with man and nature. It appears as though Juan Tomas was right.
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eNotes is pleased to offer Teacher's Pet Publication LitPlans, the most complete literature lesson plans available to teachers and educators everywhere. Since 1989, these lesson plans have undergone extensive development based on the experience and feedback of teachers all over the world. We have more than 115 lesson plans available for download on the most widely-read books and plays, including this lesson plan for The Pearl by John Steinbeck.