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Student Activity 2
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Student Activity5

Student Activity 2

The Pearl by John Steinbeck
unit written by
Linda Taggart-Fregoso



There are many symbols in modern day life. $ is a symbol for money. ZZZZZ is a symbol for sleeping. A light bulb symbolizes an idea. John Steinbeck uses a lot of symbols in his writing of The Pearl. In the first few pages of the book the child is bitten by a scorpion. Why a scorpion? Kino finds a pearl. What could a pearl symbolize?

With your teacher, please review your school's acceptable use policy for work on the Internet. Also, links to the web often change. Tell your teacher when you find a poor link in this guide.

The Task

Select the scorpion or the pearl and explain why you think Steinbeck chose these particular items to use in his story, The Pearl. Write a paper with your explanation.

The Process: Exploring the Web, Creating a Product

Use the websites below to examine the pearl and the scorpion. Try to figure out Steinbeck´s reasoning for including either of these things in the novel.
  1. Visit the Internet sites below, making notes about the appearances, habitats, or other characteristics of pearls and scorpions. 



    Pearls: technical characteristics           LIVE link

    Scorpion of the Day                           LIVE link
    Scorpion 2                                         LIVE link
    Scorpion 3                                         LIVE link
  1. Use the clustering map to formulate your opinions about the symbols. Look at the ways an author could use more than one meaning when choosing names, objects, and details for a story. Look for significance in using objects as symbols.
  2. Write at least three paragraphs explaining your thoughts and ideas, especially how the symbols evoke the readers' emotions.

How You Will Be Graded

Your writing should:
  • analyze ways in which poets use symbolism to evoke readers' emotions
  • advance an idea about the author's use of symbolism
  • support that idea with detailed references

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