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This unit is meant to build background knowledge in my ninth-grade class before the class begins to read Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, but the unit's approach can be applied to the study of any novel or author on which a teacher wishes to focus. My intention is to encourage students to create pieces of knowledge in a variety of forms that, when considered together and displayed in the classroom, will foster a solid image-based understanding of Steinbeck and his world that students will refer to throughout their reading. The students will be encouraged to unlock Steinbeck's world through a host of activities and assignments. The aim is help them to maintain an elevated level of interest throughout the reading and simultaneously to encourage higher-level learning and a broad knowledge base that will help students better analyze literature.
(Recommended for English, grades 9 and 10)