Advanced Placement literature content and topics: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry
Rickett's and Steinbeck's Sea of Cortez sardine boat, The Western Flyer, at dock

Tracking John Steinbeck in "The Grapes of Wrath"

Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw teams with Bill Gilly, professor of Marine Biology at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station to discuss the influence of Steinbeck’s best friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts, on Steinbeck and his work— in particular, "The Grapes of Wrath."

How Teachers Can Make the Most of “The Dust Bowl”

Related EDSITEment Lesson Plans and other Content for Dust Bowl

Florence Thompson and her children in pea pickers campConnect to the Dust Bowl through these peer-reviewed lessons and websites from EDSITEment.

How Teachers Can Make the Most of “The Dust Bowl”

The Dust Bowl: Series Overview  |  Educational Resources  |  Additional Resources on the Website  |  About the Author  | 

John Steinbeck’s "The Grapes of Wrath": The Inner Chapters

Created October 12, 2012
Steinbeck migrants

This lesson offers students a close consideration of the opening chapter of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and serves as the impetus for looking at the purpose of the inner chapters or “generals” as the author referred to them.

1935 drawing of Steinbeck by James Fitzgerald. National Portrait Gallery.

John Steinbeck: A Voice for a Region, A Voice for America

This National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for Teachers held at the Steinbeck Institute, San Jose State University, contains a rich collection of scholarly essays, lesson plans, maps, and images covering Steinbeck's work and his world.

1935 drawing of Steinbeck by James Fitzgerald. National Portrait Gallery.

John Steinbeck: A Voice for a Region, A Voice for America

This National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for Teachers held at the Steinbeck Institute, San Jose State University, contains a rich collection of scholarly essays, lesson plans, maps, and images covering Steinbeck's work and his world.

  • Steinbeck’s Use of Nonfiction Sources in "The Grapes of Wrath"

    Created September 17, 2012
    Steinbeck image (women washing clothes)

    John Steinbeck’s use of nonfiction sources in writing The Grapes of Wrath is examined to illustrate how they affect the reader’s perception of a novel.

  • Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy

    Walt Whitman.

    Walt Whitman sought to create a new and distinctly American form of poetry. His efforts had a profound influence on subsequent generations of American poets. In this lesson, students will explore the historical context of Whitman's concept of "democratic poetry" by reading his poetry and prose and by examining daguerreotypes taken circa 1850. Next, students will compare the poetic concepts and techniques behind Whitman's "I Hear America Singing" and Langston Hughes' "Let America Be America Again," and will have an opportunity to apply similar concepts and techniques in creating a poem from their own experience.

  • Lesson 3: Navigating Modernism with J. Alfred Prufrock

    Planes, (subway) trains, automobiles and World War I

    In this lesson, students will explore the role of the individual in the modern world by closely reading and analyzing T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

  • Browning's "My Last Duchess" and Dramatic Monologue

    Robert Browning (1812–1889).

    Reading Robert Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess,” students will explore the use of dramatic monologue as a poetic form, where the speaker often reveals far more than intended.