Teacher Guide

The Grapes of Wrath Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, as the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression were drawing to a close. The book depicts the struggles of the Joads, a poor farmworking family. Forced off the land in Oklahoma that they have been sharecropping for generations, the Joads—including Tom, one of Ma and Pa's sons, who was recently paroled from prison—respond to a handbill seeking pickers in California.  To get there they travel Highway 66 across Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Along the way, the family's Granpa and Granma die; the Joads endure many hardships, but at the same time, they form bonds with the many other families travelling the same...

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