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Friendship in Of Mice and Men

by Kristen Kavanaugh, High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, New York, NY, 2009

Prereading

Overview

Friendship is often a theme discussed in classes when reading Of Mice and Men. Before reading the book, I want students to examine their views on friendship. How much do they value friendship? Normally, at this time in their lives, students view friends as THE most important people in their lives. Does their culture influence their views on friendship? I have many students from all over the world, and I notice on a daily basis the ways that different groups of students interact with their friends. I look forward to having an engaging conversation on friendship; I know it is a topic they will enjoy!

Subject

10th grade English

Duration

1 class period

Aim

How do your ideas of friendship influence your reading of Of Mice and Men?

Procedures:

  1. Do Now: In your journal, analyze the quote: “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies” by Aristotle. What does he mean by this? Do you agree or disagree? Use personal experiences to prove your point.
  2. Discuss “Do Now” as a class.
  3. Students answer the following “Opinionnaire” questions by agreeing or disagreeing, and writing down why.
    1. Best friends should have the same interests/personality.
    2. A friend can be just as good as family.
    3. You should always help a friend in need, even if it means doing something you don’t want to do.
  4. Discuss opinion questions as a class. After discussion is done, tell students to keep their answers to these questions, because they will need them when the book is done.

Homework

Due tomorrow: Write one page on “the best friend I ever had.” Hand in. Due in two days: Read Chapter 1 of Of Mice and Men. Take notes on the friendship between George and Lennie. Do they seem like true friends to you? Why or why not?