This writing assignment requires students to return to the text and do a close reading in order to find support for as they examine Steinbeck’s characters as foils, parallel characters, or catalysts. Suggestions for characters who fit into the specific categories are included. Two introductory paragraphs are provided that can be given to the students as examples of how to begin their papers or can be used by the teacher for instruction. Students can either choose the characters or character set they wish to examine or they can be assigned by the teacher.
The assignment will work well for a variety of skill levels. Easier parings can be provided for low-level students with entire groupings or more difficult comparisons being used for high-level students.
The use of quotations from the text will permit students to generate the support they need to prepare a basic five-paragraph essay if that is what you wish them to do. Other students may need to be given more leeway in preparing papers on a more sophisticated level.
Common Core Standards are also included for the assignment. These include reading standards RL.2-6, writing standards W1-2, and language standards L.1-L2.
Two pages are student handouts if. An additional two pages list in detail the common core standards addressed in this unit.