The Old Man and the Sea: Problematic Situations

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Bring the drama of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea to class with a fun role-playing activity. Given a list of survival items, readers decide which items would be the most necessary for an adventure like Santiago's, and rank the items in order of importance.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members work in small groups to discuss their decisions
  • Prompt individuals to brainstorm some ideas about their item of choice, and then turn their brainstorms into a persuasive or narrative essay about being at sea
  • Bring some of the items into class, and have class members negotiate for each item
  • Conduct the activity before and after reading the novel, noting the differences in the responses
Classroom Considerations
  • Lesson plan does not include an assessment or check for understanding
  • Engaging for all reading levels
  • Can inspire some deep and meaningful conversations 
  • Activity doesn't indicate how many items individuals can pick; consider putting a limit on the items to encourage critical thinking
Common Core