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Vocabulary Study: Of Mice and Men

This lesson covers the first chapter of Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men. It begins with a student preview of the time period through web-based and teacher-created resources. Reading is then accomplished through all-class Read-Alouds spanning quite a few days. Activities employed to teach vocabulary for each chapter include List-Group-Label and Wordle groupings as well as a student-created visual representations of figurative language encountered.

junctures bindle debris resignedly mottled droned recumbent lumbered skittering brusquely 'coons imperiously speadpads dejectedly split wedge anguished tramps ashamedly jungle-up blackboard blanket rolls work cards stilted labored unslung morosely

Activity A: Scroll through the linked photo essay about the Great Depression. View photos closely, read the captions, and come in with three words you read related to the events/time period.

1. Pre-Reading Activities

Now we are going to start reading the novel. As we read, circle words you do not know or that are used in an unusual way. I will stop periodically and we will write these on the board. I will also stop to clarify points, answer questions, and discuss ideas. Here we go!

2. Read Aloud

a. What words did we find in Ch. 1?

3b. How should we group these?

Activity B: Watch the embedded slideshow to get a visual image of where this story is set!

3. List-Group-Label

* words associated with George * words associated with Lennie * make Wordle word clouds for... -- words associated with the time period -- dialect

5. Visual Imagery for Lennie

A. Words of the times

4. Wordle Groups

B. Dialect

At the pond, Lennie drinks "snorting into the water like a horse"

Lennie walks "the way a bear drags its paws"

In this exercise students are given quotes from the text that include figurative language and evoke visual images. In small groups, they choose a method -- acting, drawing, pictures from the Internet -- to provide a kinisthetic presentation of each .

When George asks Lennie for the mouse, Lennie is "like a terrier who doesn't want to bring a ball to its master".

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