Animal Imagery in Of Mice and Men

Writers employ a variety of literary devices to bring their stories alive in the minds of readers. Their use of imagery especially lets us see their characters, form impressions of them, develop feelings of sympathy or revulsion. Class members examine the animal imagery John Steinbeck uses in his novel Of Mice and Men and consider the effect of that imagery on readers.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Begin the lesson by reading aloud the description of Lenny as he enters the scene in Chapter 1, then ask a student to volunteer to walk as Lenny as you read the description again, and finally ask students what they can deduce about Lenny based on the description
  • As an alternative prompt, ask students to consider the impact the imagery Steinbeck uses in his descriptions of Lenny has on their reaction to the character
Classroom Considerations
  • Caution students to be appropriate when comparing people to animals
  • Links are provided to additional teaching materials
  • Suggestions for differentiation and extension ideas are included
  • No rubric is provided for the writing assignment