Reading Comprehension

This collection of lessons and activities focuses on building language skills. Scaffolded graphic organizers help students at different skill levels to build their vocabulary inventory. Use these handouts as advance organizers or as resources to during the lesson.

Steinbeck's writing style is highly descriptive and peppered with realistic dialogue. Students can practice their own writing skills through emulating Steinbeck's descriptive style and by "correcting" the grammar and language of the characters in the novel.

Literary Terms

A rich resource to help build students' knowledge and understanding of the literary elements present in The Red Pony. This guide includes a comprehensive list of literary terms, their definitions, and examples of their usage as found in the novel.


This activity provides a list of slang terms used in The Red Pony as well as an interactive, student driven, "word wall" to help students understand the new vocabulary encountered in their readings.

Sentence Fluency - "Painting with Words"

To increase the level and complexity of students' writing, students can improve their sentence fluency by emulating the sentence structure of Steinbeck's The Red Pony and those of their classmates. This can work with all levels of students' writing abilities. Essentially, students will learn to "paint" with words and create powerful sentences.

Correcting the Grammar of Others

Besides students' usual grammar exercises in English class, they can learn literature-based ways to enhance their grammar capabilities. One of the best ways to complement grammar study in the classroom is to correct the errant grammar of characters in novels. Obviously, The Red Pony reflected the language and vernacular of mostly under-educated migrant/ranch workers of the time; as a result, the novel is rich in non-standard language. Finding examples to "correct" will be plentiful. Includes an optional "grammar walk" where students seek out and correct grammatical errors outside of the classroom.