Sachem Phase II Common Core Template
Teacher: Joe Orenzo
Subject, Grade Level(s), Topic: English, 9, Of Mice and Men
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Students will learn about migration in the 1930’s in California and immigration today in order to draw
comparisons and better understand the novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck.
Students will analyze two articles, identify similarities, and synthesize the information.
Students will write persuasive letters. They will learn the power of using words and images to advocate for
themselves and others.
Students will learn the proper formatting of a business letter.
Introduction/Motivation/Connection to Prior Learning:
Students will analyze photos by Dorothea Lange and view a 2 – minute film on the government’s response to the
attention Lange’s photos brought to the plight of migrant farm workers. Students will compare these real people
with the characters Lennie and George from Of Mice and Men.
Vocabulary Explicitly Taught – Shift 6: (Other words may be included in a glossary.)
A. Content/Domain/Text-Specific Vocabulary B. Academic Vocabulary
(Tier III – Words specific to the text or field of study.) (Tier II – Words applicable to multiple content areas.)
besieged, fraternal, tattered, plight diverse, inevitable, tone, salutation
Texts and/or Sources for Close Analysis – Shifts 2 and 3:
(For written sources (texts) include lexile or grade level if available.)
Photos by Dorothea Lange http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/lange/index.html (photos can be
viewed in a film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il849yFmTxw&feature=related) and a short film
discussing the government’s response to the photos
“The ‘Oakies’ Search for a Lost Frontier” by Charles Todd, The New York Times Magazine , 8/27/39
“Study notes immigrants’ role in bolstering economy” by Victor Ramos, Newsday, 10/27/11
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Outline of Direct Instruction:
(Breakdown of the reading task, vocabulary instruction, questioning/discussion, writing task/application, and closure.)
Day 1:RI.9-10.1-8; SL.9-10.1c-e, 2-4
Students will view and discuss photos by Dorothea Lange and a 2-minute film on the effects of Lange’s work.
The teacher and skilled students will read aloud the article on “Okies.”
Teacher will lead a discussion based on the article, making connections to the novel, photos, and film.
Day 2: RI.9-10.1-8; SL.9-10.1c-e, 2-4
Teacher and the students will continue the discussion on the article as they view photos again.
Students will independently read the article on Long Island immigrants.
Teacher or skilled students will read the article aloud. Teacher will lead a discussion about the article.
Connections will be made between the two articles.
Day 3: RI.9-10.1-8; SL.9-10.1c-e, 2-4; W.9-10.1a-e
Teacher or skilled student will reread selected portions of both articles to reactivate the discussion.
Students will synthesize the information into a persuasive letter to express their opinions about Long Island
immigrants. They will identify problems and propose solutions.
Teacher will share a mini-lesson on the proper formatting of a business letter. (Students will finish the letter
for homework. Additional days may be added for editing and revising.)
Questioning/Discussion Task – Shift 4 (Evidence-Based Questions):
Identify the theme(s) relating to the questions. Include a combination of lower and higher level questions that require close
reading and evidence from the text. Questions should support student learning, encourage analysis, and lead to the
writing/application task. Include possible student answers/expected learning to encourage collaboration
Theme: Lennie and George as Migrants – Making Connections through Past and Present
1. a) How many Okies migrated to California by the end of 1939?
b) According to the article how many immigrants are there on Long Island?
2. How do the people of California feel about the “Okies”?
-They are furious that the Okies are “invading”
3. Define “plight.”
- An unfortunate and sometimes difficult situation
4. Why did the people of California feel as though the Okies were “invading”?
- Their land was being used, there was overcrowding, and the migration was not slowing down.
5. When and why did the federal government help the Okies in California? What did the government
do for them?
-To aid the overcrowding and sanitation issues, the government constructed housing camps from
1937 to 1939
6. How is the present immigration situation on Long Island similar to the situation in California
during the 1930’s?
-Some people express that immigrants are taking jobs away from those living in the community.
There is overcrowding in some areas. Some people are not welcoming to immigrants.
7. According to the article, are the immigrants on Long Island helping or hurting the economy?
-Helping the economy - as evidenced by the statistic that immigrants make up 17% of Long Island’s
8. How are George and Lennie similar to the immigrants on Long Island and to the Okies?
-Both men moved around looking for work. Some people embraced them and some people did not.
Writing/Research or Other Application of Close Observation – Shift 5 (Writing from Sources) :
Content Area – persuasive or informational writing, or other evidence of close analysis performed by students.
ELA – persuasive, informational, or narrative writing, or other creative means of responding to literature.
Be sure to include one example of student work. Encourage students to include explicitly taught vocabulary.
Persuasive Letter: Using your knowledge on the Immigration issue on Long Island, write a letter to your
Suffolk County Executive that illustrates your opinion (for or against) immigration on Long Island. Identify
a problem faced by individuals or groups, and propose a solution. Reference and make comparison to the
immigrants’ plight to Long Island and the Okies travels to California.
Closure of Unit:
(Opportunities for students to share/present knowledge or other formative/summative assessments.)
Before mailing letters, students will have the opportunity to share and discuss with small groups or the whole class.