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Sketchbooks with gelatin silver prints and ink notes

[Detail] Sketchbooks with gelatin silver prints and ink notes

Lesson Overview

Students use ethnographic research to enhance their reading and understanding of The Grapes of Wrath.

The ability to identify and locate specific cultural artifacts in a piece of literature helps students to understand the symbolic connotations of those elements. Specific objects and activities have stories of their own which support the larger, more global themes of a piece of literature. Ethnographic research helps students to see the connection between the social, cultural and literary contexts of literature.


Students will be able to:

  • Create museum exhibits of literary symbols.
  • Show how cultural artifacts act as literary symbols.
  • Use the ethnographic research process as tool for literary analysis.


Time Required

Three weeks

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12
  • 6-8


  • Arts & Culture
  • City & Regional History


  • Great Depression and WWII, 1929-1945


Linda and David Lackey