Lesson 5: Songs

Getting Started

At the end of the previous chapter, Kino made the discovery of a lifetime when he found the outstanding pearl. Today you will find out how Kino's life is changed by this discovery.

Stuff You Need

  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • journal
  • musical instrument* (Activity 2 - optional)

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed

Ideas to Think About

  • How do the songs of a culture reflect the important elements of the culture?
  • What is a human's natural response to change?
  • How can poverty or wealth change a person's life, character, and perspective?
  • How do people's experiences shape and change their circumstances and perspectives?

Things to Know

  • A stylistic device is the use of any of a variety of techniques to give meaning, idea, or feeling to a written work.


  • Respond to expressive materials that are read, heard, and/or viewed by generating a learning log or journal. (LA)
  • Analyze the purpose of the author or creator by understanding the effects of the author's craft on the reader. (LA)
  • Analyze the effects on texts of such literary devices as figurative language and irony. (LA)
Ask your child to predict how Kino's discovery of the pearl will change his and his family's life.
Reading and Questions
Materials: The Pearl by John Steinbeck, journal
Read Chapter 3 and then answer the questions below in complete sentences.
  1. In the first sentences of the third chapter, Steinbeck uses a simile that compares the town to a colonial animal. A colonial animal is a collective lifeform consisting of individual organisms. Coral is an example. Pieces of coral and coral reefs are made of small, individual organisms called polyps. Describe what Steinbeck means by this simile.
    A town is independent in itself and no two towns are alike. News travels through a town like impulses through the nervous system. The people of the town make up the town that functions as a whole.
  2. Why do you think Kino became "every man's enemy" upon discovering the pearl?
    Answers will vary but might include that everyone is jealous of Kino, that people do not like to see others prosper, or that everyone wants what Kino has.
  3. Why do people suddenly become interested in Kino?
    They know he will have money to spend once he sells the pearl, and they want him him to spend some on them.
  4. What does Kino say he will do with the money from the pearl?
    He and Juana will get married in the church, they will have new clothes, he will buy a rifle, and his son will go to school.