William H. Maxwell High School

The Pearl by John Steinbeck


Common Core Standards for ELA

Reading Standards for Literature

1.Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


3. Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations)

develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or

develop the theme.

4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including

figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).


5. Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.


6. Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.


7. Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden's "Musée des Beaux Arts" and Breughel's Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).

9. Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).


10. By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


Responding to Literature:

11. Interpret, analyze, and evaluate narratives, poetry, and drama, aesthetically and ethically by making connections to: other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events and situations


Reading Standards for Informational text:

1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course

of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


3. Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events,

including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and

developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text,

including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the

cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the

language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

5. Analyze in detail how an author's ideas or claims are developed and refined by

particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or


6. Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an

author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a

person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are

emphasized in each account.

8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing

whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient;

identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

Writing Standards:

1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts,

using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas,

concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective

selection, organization, and analysis of content.

3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using

effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences

4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization,

and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific

expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing,

rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most

significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should

demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades

9–10 on page 54.)

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update

individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's

capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and


7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question

(including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden

the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject,

demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

8. Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital

sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each

source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text

selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a

standard format for citation.

9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis,

reflection, and research.

Speaking and Listening Standards:

1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions

(one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10

topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own

clearly and persuasively.

2. Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats

(e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of

each source.

3. Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric,

identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.

4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely,

and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the

organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose,

audience, and task.

5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and

interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings,

reasoning, and evidence and to add interest

6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command

of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 9–10 Language

standards 1 and 3 on pages 54 for specific expectations.)

Language Standards:

1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and

usage when writing or speaking.

2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization,

punctuation, and spelling when writing.

3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in

different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to

comprehend more fully when reading or listening

4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and

phrases based on grades 9–10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a

range of strategies.

5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and

nuances in word meanings.

6. Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and

phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college

and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary

knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or


Essential questions:


  1. What is the relationship between decisions and consequences?
  2. How can we make good decisions?
  3. How can a person's decisions and actions change his or her life?
  4. How do the decisions and actions of characters reveal about their personalities?
  5. What are the characteristics of parables?
  6. How did the literary elements and techniques help us decipher novels?




The Pearl

pearl oyster.jpg

Activity one:

Look at book cover's illustrations and title, then make a list possible topics that the book might be about (Predict what the story might be about).

pearl cover 2.jpg book cover pearl1.jpg


My predictions about the book are:









Activity two:

Complete anticipation guide. Tell whether you agree or disagree about the statements. Share with your group your statements.


Activity three:

Research and read John Steinbeck's biography and do one of the RAFT assignments.




Chapter 1: Part I-Setting




Activity 1: Background information


Setting :

  1. Place- Look at map and describe where the story takes place.






2.Time- read about the historical period of the novel and write a summary.dali-clock.jpg



3.Create the chart and keep track of the settings and the effects on the characters that the setting may have.



Activity 2: What are the characteristics of parables?

  1. With your shoulder partner do Think- write-pair share: what is a parable?


2. A)Read first page of book: "In the town they tell the story of the great pearl-how it was found and how it was lost again. They tell of Kino, the fisherman, and of his wife, Juana, and of the baby, Coyotito. And because the story has been told so often, it has taken root in every man's kind. And, as with all retold tales that are in people's hearts, there are only good and bad things and black and white things and good and evil things and no in between anywhere.

If this story is a parable, perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it. In any case, they say in the town that... "

B) What do you think a parable is after reading this introduction to the novel?


3.List characteristics of parables and give an example.


4.Write your own parable.


Activity 3: Create a word document glossary and add the following:

Chapter 1:

  1. Clump, 2.dank, 3. Crevices, 4)puncture, 5) stung, 6)avarice, 7)indigent, 8) stout

Activity 4: Read chapter 1 and write a summary. As you read the chapter take notes either on your notebook or on post it notes.


Activity 5: Science connection: poison research scorpion2.jpg

In this chapter we've learned that one of the characters named Coyotito was stung by a scorpion. Animals as well as plants are poisonous. There are also other sources of poisons. Research them and fill out this chart.


Sources of the poison









































































































Chapter 1 Part II: Characterization: How do the decisions and actions of characters reveal their personalities?


Activity 1: Create a chart of the characters you've encountered so far and make inferences or draw conclusions on the things they say, do, etc. to identify their characteristics:

For example:

Juana: The first thing upon awakening "she went to the hanging box where Coyotito slept, and leaned over it and said a little reassuring word."

We can infer that her characteristics are a loving and dedicated mother.


Character's name Characteristics

 Activity 2:Characterization: Using the novel The Pearl and PowerPoint:

1)List 5 things you know about a character from the book so far

2)List 3 things the character has said in the book so far.

3)List three things the character has actually done in the book so far.

4)Create a picture that represents the character and an explanation as to why you chose that picture or image.






Chapter 2: Literary technique-Foreshadowing


Activity 1: Foreshadowing

a) Quick write: What is foreshadowing? Give examples of foreshadowing from movies that you've seen.


b) Let's look at examples of foreshadowing and write about one of them that you liked.


c) As you are reading the novel The Pearl write all the foreshadowing instances that you see.

Foreshadowing instance from novel

What did it predict or hint?          

What was the purpose of the foreshadowing?




















Activity 2: Create a word document glossary and add the following:

Chapter 2:

  1. estuary, 2. undulating, 3. barnacles, 4) incandescence

Activity 3: read chapter 2 and write a paragraph explaining what you learned from this chapter.


Chapter 3: Characterization/Figurative Language

figurative language.jpg

Activity 1: Add any new characters to characteristics chart from chapter 1.


Activity 2: Create a word document glossary and add the following:

Chapter 3:

1.judicious, 2.cackled, 3.sembance, 4.disparagement


Activity 3: Read chapter 3 and using imagery create a major scene that represents the main idea of this chapter.

Let's look at what imagery-see concept web.



Activity 3: Marine Biology connection

  1. Think Aloud: Where do you think the pearls come from?
  2. Let's research its origin and the types of pearls that we can have. Write a page about what you found about pearls.

Check out these web sites:




Activity 4: Guided writing : In The Pearl John Steinbeck states "For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more." Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Write a persuasive essay where you defend your position. You use your personal experiences as well as the novel to support your position. (Use graphic organizer for essay)


Activity 5: Figurative language identification: use the novel to fill out this chart. If you forgot what a simile or metaphor is, go back to the modules on Simile and Metaphor  that we did earlier this semester or click on figure of speech concept web.


Chapter 4: How do people make decisions?




Activity 1: Guided writing assignment-(Making connections-text to self): Suppose you win the lottery, write an essay explaining: what would you do with it? How would your family and friends react? How would the money change your life?


Activity 2: Create a word document glossary and add the following:

Chapter 4:

1.endanger, 2. Huts, 3.bidding, 4. Insubstantial, 5.timber, 6.pity, 7.raggedness


Activity 3: Read chapter 4 and write an advice column telling Kino what he should do with the pearl. Think about the consequences of each of your suggestions before writing to him.

Let's look at the sample advice column below:

Dear Beth,

I am worried about my brother. He is only 11, but he likes to play "house" with girls. Usually, it's just make-believe, but there is one girl who wants him to really do "it" to her. I'm afraid he will get hurt. What should I do? -Worried


Dear Worried,

You are right to be concerned for your brother's welfare. He is too young to handle the emotional and physical responsibilities of a sexual relationship. Talk to your brother about the dangers of his actions, and try to get him to play other, more appropriate games. If that doesn't work, you should tell an adult that you trust. Your brother may be angry now, but he will understand your motives when he's older.-Beth.



Chapter 5: Conflict: What is the relationship between decisions and consequences?



Activity 1: Mystery- become Sherlock Holmes and solve the mystery. Who is after the pearl? Why?mystery4834y.gif



Activity 2: Create a word document glossary and add the following:

Chapter 5:

1.rage, 2.plunge, 3.curdled, 3.exhilaration, 4. Edifice, 5.leprosy


Activity 3: 1) Read chapter 5. 2) Use information from chapters 1-5 and complete conflict chart.


 Activity 4: Using the novel The Pearl as well as your conflict chart

  1. Identify a conflict from story
  2. Identify the type of conflict (external: man vs. man /internal: man vs. himself)
  3. Explain how the conflict arise and how it was resolved
  4. Illustrate/ draw the conflict






Chapter 6: what are the characteristics of plot?

story plot.jpg



Activity 1: Read chapter 6 and identify the plot of the novel-use plot organizer


Activity 2: Create a word document glossary and add the following:

Chapter 6:

1.triumphant, underlay,  


Activity 4: Choose one of RAFT assignments.



 Exit Slip


Choose one:


  1. One thing that I enjoy about the novel is.....
  2. One thing that I dislike about the novel is....
  3. I would like to learn more about...
  4. Write one thing you learned from this unit....