We started off the lesson with an activity where we had to swap the revision aids with each other. We were given 5 minutes with each poster to read it and add any additional information to it (using post it notes). We did this four times so as we continued to pass the posters around, it became increasingly difficult for us to add any extra information.
Again, Miss Ryan and Miss Belcher were very pleased with our concentration levels and the way we worked!
After we had all looked at 4 new posters each, we were given 5 minutes to consolidate all the new information by making a page of revision notes in our books. We were encouraged to use a range of presentational features to organise our ideas: Bullet points, diagrams, spidergrams, illustrations, columns, subheadings…
Interestingly, over half the class found that they had learnt something new or had begun to see things from a different perspective following this activity. Some of the new points that we discovered are:
“I’d never thought of Slim as mysterious before – ‘he heard things people didn’t say'” – Josh
“I’d never thought of Slim as controlling before – ‘I think you got your hand caught in a machine'” – Gregg
“Looking at other points of view helped me to interpret the friendships in Of Mice and Men differently” – Shivani
“I saw another side to the ideas and other people’s opinions” – Vishal
“I’d never really noticed that Curley and his wife are only together at her death” – Dixita
“I was interested in the parallels between the death of Candy’s dog at the hands of strangers and Lennie’s death at the hands of his best friend” – Asma
“I gained greater insight into the character of Crooks, thinking about his security in his job juxtaposed with the insecurity of his race and treatment from Curley’s Wife” – Bhavu
“When looking at the bunkhouse I noticed the similarities between the unfinished ‘whitewashed walls’ and their own unfinished dreams” – Shruti
“Candy’s social skills are poor as a result of the prejudice he has always had to face” – Ashneil
“The darkness of the bunkhouse is a metaphor to foreshadow the darkness to come” – Chandni
“It’s ironic that everyone feels lonely, despite the fact that they are living in the bunkhouse together. It seems as though they don’t realise what they already have” – Nishita
“Chapter 4 is the only chapter when Curley’s wife is really mean, however we as readers are prejudiced about her throughout the novel, even after she dies” – Savena
We finished the lesson by answering some questions based on the main themes in the novel. In groups of four we were given four questions to answer (one each). We then had to feed back our answers within our groups first, then as a whole class. Here are the questions:
1. How does Steinbeck show that looking for companionship can be dangerous?
2. Why does Crooks pretend that he doesn’t want company?
3. Why is it important for the characters in the book to have dreams?
4. Do you think Lennie’s death is inevitable? Explain your answer.