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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men Envelope Close Reading Activity Mr. Michael Simental AP Lang. and 9 Honors 11th and 12th Resource Teacher Academic Decathlon Assistant Coach Cesar Chavez High School Directions: Each student will be given an envelope with one of the following close reading topics on it. Throughout his/her reading the student is to copy passages onto index cards or small slips of paper and put them in the envelope. Groups will meet and share the contents of their envelopes and discuss why the passage was selected and the effect of the quoted passage on the meaning of the work. Envelopes may be used in various activities over the course of the novel. Envelope 1. Robert Burns wrote that, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Throughout the novella plans are made that turn out distinctly different than the planner had hoped. Look for passages that highlight this theme and how it contributes to the overall meaning of the work. Envelope 2: A conflict exists between the weak and the strong in the novella. Look for passages that represent this conflict, and highlight how this theme progresses throughout the novella. Envelope 3: Throughout the novella there are many who struggle for independence. Look for significant passages that highlight this theme, and highlight how it contributes to the overall meaning of the work. Envelope 4: Steinbeck draws heavily from the American Dream in this work. Look for significant passages in which an individual, or individuals, seek to live out the American Dream. Address how this contributes the work as a whole. Envelope 5: Women play a very important role within the story of Of Mice and Men. Look for significant passages which deal with women. Envelope 6: Friendship and loyalty are at the heart of much of Of Mice and Men. Look for passages that show how Steinbeck highlights this theme and how it contributes to the development of the novella.
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