Steinbeck in the Schools with San José State University

Promoting education and literacy through the works of American author John Steinbeck.

Program Overview

The Steinbeck in the Schools website is a free resource for grammar school, middle school, high school, and university teachers and students. Browse the world's most comprehensive collection of reading guides on Steinbeck's works and an archive of classroom-tested lesson plans. Everything is free to download and to customize for your classroom.

Resources for Both Students and Teachers

Go to Teachers page to find downloadable lesson plans for Steinbeck's works

Lesson Plans

Browse our archive of lesson plans on Steinbeck's works. All course materials are free to download. Customize them for use in your classroom.

Go to Steinbeck Works page to find reading guides

Reading Guides

View plot summaries, character descriptions, and critical reception for Steinbeck's most popular works.

Go to English Language Learner Resources page

English Language Learner Resources

Download expert advice from SJSU education professors on how to use Steinbeck with English Language Learners.

Go to Geographical Context page

Geographical Context

Learn about the many settings depicted in Steinbeck’s works and their connection to real-world places.

Go to Historical Context page

Historical Context

Explore the times and places depicted in Steinbeck's fiction, including the 1930s Dust Bowl and the migrant-worker camps of Depression-era California.

Go to Author's Context page

About the Author

Learn about John Steinbeck's life, views, influencers, awards, and more.

Popular Steinbeck Works

Find Reading Guides and Lesson Plans for each work.

Popular Lesson Plans

Click each Lesson Plan to view or choose Download to download a copy of the Lesson Plan as a .doc file.

Of Mice and Men

The Grapes of Wrath

Teacher Testimonials

Providing free resources to educators across the U.S.

It is more than a well-rounded website. It needs to be a go-to for educators.

—Peter C.

Union City, California

I have been looking for materials that package the historical context in a clean, concise way. I also feel these are solid literacy skill building activities.

—Tim F.

Lincolnshire, Illinois

Since this site labels the Common Core standards that are covered in the lesson plans, it's a great resource for teachers in transition.

—Kris E.

Chula Vista, California

I already am looking forward to incorporating materials into my lesson plans. As we make the shift to the Common Core, I find Steinbeck in the Schools to be a valuable resource that meets many of the Common Core requirements and standards.

—Kristina J.

Santa Clara, California

Thank you so much for the answers, and thanks for what you do. It means a lot that people are working to preserve all of this great content. Steinbeck meant a lot to me in high school and your work is helping to pass that on my students.

—William H.

Reno, Nevada