Of Mice and Men In-Class Essay

Of Mice and Men In-Class Essay
Follow MLA format: only write on one side of the page, double-space, write in ink.  Put your name information in the upper right corner, and give your paper a title.

 Prompt:  Write an essay on one of the themes from Of Mice and Men. 

  • Topic 1: Friendship
    • Argue whether George’s act of shooting Lennie at the end of the novel is out of friendship or out of selfishness.
  • Topic 2: Loneliness
    • Argue which character / characters are the loneliest in the novel. Your body paragraphs can focus on individual characteristics of a single character or each paragraph can focus on a different character’s loneliness.
  • Topic 3: The American Dream
    • Argue whether George and Lennie (and Candy) would or would not have gotten their little house an’ lived “off the fatta the lan’!”

Be sure to have a topic sentence and closing sentence for each paragraph. Write 500-750 words (this prompt is about 400 words).

Discussion of the prompt:  Your essay will be a minimum of five paragraphs in length.  You need three main points total, one for each paragraph.  Use at least one quote in each paragraph, but preferably two.  Follow the outline below.  Remember to set up quotes with tags (introduce who said the quote and to whom they were speaking), and end quotes with page citations.

Example:  George tells Lennie “I ain’t mad.  I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now. That’s a thing I want ya to know” (106). This shows that…

  • Introduction:Open with an attention getter, mention the author & title of the text (title is underlined), briefly summarize the novel, then narrow to a thesis statement: “Friendship is X, Y, and Z.” or  “George and Lennie are / aren’t friends because X, Y, Z.”
  • Body: Three paragraphs, each one examining a characteristic of friendship, lonliness, or the American Dream or specific examples of each.
  •  Conclusion:   Summarize the main points of your essay, end with a final thought about friendship, loneliness, or the American Dream:   Would they have gotten their little farm?  Was George really Lennie’s friend in the end? What does loneliness do to the characters?

Of Mice and Men Reading Schedule

We will begin the novel Monday 04/10.  It is your responsibility to stay on top of the readings, especially when you are absent.  Being absent doesn’t mean you are exempt from homework.  As per the syllabusyou will still be responsible for quizzes and homework even when you’re absent. 

Consider starting to collect quotes for the Split-Quote assignment which will be due once we are finished reading the novel.  You will need a total of 15-20 quotes from throughout the novel.  Quotes should cover themes related to friendship, loneliness, or the American Dream. Keep a notebook nearby for quote collecting as you read.

Reading Schedule: Subject to change

  • Chapter 1 (pages 1-16), Monday 04/10
  • Chapters 2-3 (17-65), Tuesday 04/11-Wednesday 04/12
  • Quiz Chapters 1-3, Tuesday 04/18
  • Chapter 4 (66-83), Tuesday 04/18
  • Chapters 5-6 (84-107), Wednesday 04/19
  • Quiz Chapters 4-6, Thursday 04/20
  • 15-20 Split-Quotes Due Friday 04/21 Monday 04/24 – worth 100 points
  • Seminar Monday 04/24 & Tuesday 04/25: Is George’s final act in the novel an act of friendship or selfishness?

Of Mice and Men Split-Quotes

Here is a PDF of the handout from class: Of Mice and Men Split Quotes

Split QuotesMajor themes of this novel are friendship, the American dream, and loneliness.  It is your job to find relevant quotes from the novel that relate to these themes.  These notes will serve two purposes: they will be the basis of support for your final paper and you will use them for seminar.  Your notes will be split on the page and categorized as follows:

Theme: Friendship (or Loneliness)


Context & Explanation

Word-for-word as it appears in the text.  Does not just have to be dialogue between characters; any words from the novel, including narration, are a quote.  If the words are not your own, then they are a quote by someone else (in this case, Steinbeck). Include context (where the quote was said, when, who is speaking, etc.)  The context in turn will become the information you use to create tags in your final essay.  Tags introduce quotes and are important so that your quotes aren’t just “floating” and isolated within your essays.
“Ain’t many guys travel around together…I don’t know why.  Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other” (35). When Slim first meets George and Lennie.  Slim has been around the ranch for a long time and has seen many men come and go as loners.  This quote is important because it shows why he and other characters are skeptical about G&L traveling together.  It also provides a reason as to why many people do not make connections with one another and thus, do not make friends or build relationships.

You must have at least 18-24 quotes total (3-4 from each chapter), and they must be mixed between characters—i.e. you cannot just use the same quote about “the land” from Lennie and George for the American dream theme.  Quotes also need to be spread throughout the novel—you cannot pull all of your quotes from the first two chapters.  More quotes earn more points.  The more in-depth the explanations, the more points you earn.  Worth 100 points (major grade).

Khan Academy Test Prep

1st: Open your Chromebook and RESTART it.

2nd: Follow directions below.

3rd: LOG OFF AT THE END OF THE HOUR BEFORE RETURNING CHROMEBOOK TO THE CART – click your image icon in the bottom left corner & LOG OFF!!!

Use this PDF link link and login to Khan Academy and using your school Google account.  If you haven’t signed up yet in other classes, ‘create a new account’ at the bottom & use your SHS Google information so you can log in the remainder of the week prior to next Wednesday’s SAT.

You can also take some practice tests through the College Board site without logging in.

Here’s some tutorials and access to an SAT app as well.

You can also take practice test through Varsity Tutors.