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Of Mice and Men: Cast the Roles

Subject: Language Arts, Literature, Visual Arts, Ed. Technology
Grade: 9-12

Brief Description

Students play casting directors and use their knowledge of Steinbeck's setting, style, and characterization to create a cast of actors for a film version of Of Mice and Men.



  • gain an appreciation for Steinbeck's vivid use of setting, characterization, and dialogue
  • develop their own descriptive writing skills by modeling Steinbeck's
  • create visual products to support their own writing assignments.


Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, descriptive writing, reading comprehension

Materials Needed

  • book Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  • writing paper
  • pens or pencils
  • computers with Internet access and a printer
  • large poster paper
  • markers

Lesson Plan

Activity 1:

Have students read Of Mice and Men. Every two chapters, have students determine one character they find interesting and create character journals that include 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 Movie Actresses and Movie Actors entertainment guides and pick the actors and actresses that best fit their images of the characters. Students should gather a filmography and image clip from the site for each character in their journals and combine them with the character description and quote from the story.

Activity 3:

Have each student describe a character, then write a persuasive letter to a movie producer who is not familiar with the story about why a particular actor or actress is a good candidate to play that character in the upcoming film version. Students combine the writing assignments with their character pieces to complete character journals for the novel.


Before students turn in their character journals, have them create movie posters for the film Of Mice and Men. Have students include the images, descriptions, and quotes of their favorite two characters with visual backdrops appropriate to the story's setting. As their final assessment, students present their posters to the class and read their casting write-ups for the two characters on the posters.

Lesson Plan Source


Submitted By

Brian Ausland ([email protected]),
Butte County Office of Education, Paradise, California

As our highlighted lesson, the submitter was awarded a $50 honorarium. See our guidelines to submit yours!

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