Grapes of Wrath Supplement and Lesson: CHARACTER SKETCHES À LA STEINBECK



The goals of this Grapes of Wrath supplement and reading-writing exercise are:

  1. to exercise and improve students’ observation skills by teaching them to observe body language, dialect and gestures without judgment;
  2. to help students recognize the role body language plays in character sketches (word portraits);
  3. to help students “read” character through habits of speech and manner of dress;
  4. to show students the use and value of non-generic, descriptive verbs in delineating character;
  5. to write word portraits (using Steinbeck’s character sketches as models) with well chosen descriptive verbs that are based on careful observations that they have made and recorded.


This Grapes of Wrath Supplement is designed for students to use online.

NEXUS is a nonprofit. Our mission is to provide secondary schools with highly engaging literature-based interdisciplinary learning materials that inspire students to read closely, link literature, history and art to their personal lives, and explore the nexus between disciplines, while exercising cross-curriculum thinking skills.

A portion of our proceeds is donated annually to UNICEF’S Audrey Hepburn All Children in School Fund.


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