Of Mice and Men: Cast the Roles
Students assume the role of casting directors and use their knowledge of Steinbeck's setting, style, and characterization to create a cast of actors and actresses for a film version of Of Mice and Men.
Students will gain an appreciation for Steinbeck's vivid use of setting, characterization, and dialogue; develop their own descriptive writing skills by modeling Steinbeck's; and create visual products to support their own writing assignments.
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, descriptive writing, reading comprehension
Copy of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, computer with Internet access and printer, large poster paper, markers, Lycos entertainment guides Movie Actresses and Movie Actors.
Activity 1: Have students read Of Mice and Men. Every two chapters have students determine one character they find interesting and create a character journal that includes Steinbeck's description of the character and a quote from the character that captures his or her personality.
Activity 2: Have students go to the Lycos guides to pick the actor or actress that best fits their image of these characters. Students should gather a filmography and image clip from the site for each of the characters in their journal and combine them with their character description and quote from the story.
Activity 3: Have students create their own description of each character and use it to describe to a movie producer who is not familiar with the story, why the actor or actress that they have chosen is a good candidate to play this role in the upcoming film version. Students combine these writing assignments with their character pieces to complete a character journal for the novel.
Before turning in their character journals, have students create an "official" movie poster for the upcoming release of the film Of Mice and Men. Have them include the images, description, and quotes of their favorite two characters with a visual backdrop appropriate to the story's setting. As their final assessment, students present this poster to the class and read their casting write-ups for the two characters on this poster.
Lesson Plan Source
Submitted by: Brian Ausland, (email@example.com) Butte County Office of Education, Paradise, California
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