Lesson 3: The Pearl
In Chapter 2, Kino made the discovery of a lifetime. His life will never be the same.
As you read books outside of your assigned readings, record examples of sentences and passages that contain strong verbs and effective adjectives.
Questions to Discuss
- When Juana prays that Kino finds a pearl to pay the doctor to heal their baby, rather than praying directly for the recovery of the baby, Steinbeck says, "...for the minds of people are as unsubstantial as the mirage of the gulf." What do you think this means? (Answers might include that the minds of people are often hard to understand or comprehend. Sometimes people hold faith or trust in the wrong things.)
- Steinbeck says the pearls found in the gulf "raised the King of Spain to be a great power in Europe in past years, had helped to pay for his riches, and had decorated the church for his soul's sake." How would you interpret this quote? (The wealth from the pearls profited the Europeans rather than the natives who found the pearls. The money from the pearls gave power and wealth to those who were in power and went to further their power and influence.)
- How do you think Kino's life will change as a result of finding the pearl? (Answers will vary.)
Things to Review
Ask your child why strong verbs and interesting adjectives add depth and effectiveness to a piece of writing. Discuss how verbs "show" the reader what is happening, rather than just telling the reader what is happening. Explain that adjectives add to the imagery of a piece of writing and help the reader to imagine what is being described in a passage. A good writer must use adjectives effectively — too many adjectives can weigh down a piece of writing and make it too wordy. Choose precise and interesting adjectives to use in your writing.