Lesson 5: Songs


Activity 1: Editing Sentences

Materials: journal
Copy these sentences in your journal, correcting any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors:
  • News seem to move faster then small boys can scramble and dart to tell it faster then women can call it, over the fences.
  • And Juan Tomás who squatted on Kinos right hand because he was his brother asked "What will you do now that you have became a rich man"?
Here are the suggested sentence corrections. (Changes from the original are underlined.)
  • News seems to move faster than small boys can scramble and dart to tell it, faster than women can call it over the fences.
  • And Juan Tomás, who squatted on Kino's right hand because he was his brother, asked, "What will you do now that you have become a rich man?"

Activity 2: Songs

Materials: musical instrument*
In the novel, the author often alludes to songs and the importance they play in Kino's culture and in Kino's own life. Steinbeck writes, "Kino's people had sung of everything that had happened or existed. They had made songs to the fishes, to the sea in anger and to the sea in calm, to the light and the dark and the sun and the moon, and the songs were all in Kino and in his people — every song that had ever been made, even the ones forgotten."

In Chapter 1, when Kino awakens, he has a song floating in his head, clear and soft. He would call it the "Song of the Family." When he sees the scorpion approaching Coyotito, he hears the "Song of Evil." Then when Kino is hoping to find a pearl to pay the doctor so he will treat Coyotito, Kino hears the "Song of the Pearl that Might Be."

Write the words for "The Song of the Family" that Kino hears in his head, for the "Song of Evil," or for the "Song of the Pearl that Might Be." Your song does not have to rhyme, but the words should reflect the culture and lives of Kino's people. Consider how the beat and melody of songs may differ based on what the song is about. Your song should include 5-10 lines (repeated lines count as only one line). Remember to include some stylistic devices in your song — alliteration, simile or metaphor, rhyming patterns, symbolism, imagery, etc.
If you play a musical instrument or have a keyboard, you can add a beat and music to your song.
Your child will write the words for one of the songs described in the book.

When he is finished, ask your child to sing the song as Kino would have heard it in his head. Discuss how the beat, tempo, and rhythm of the song reflect the song's mood. Discuss how the words reflect Kino's culture. Ask your child how the "Song of Evil" might be different from the "Song of the Family."

Activity 3: Stylistic Devices Log

Steinbeck uses many stylistic devices in his story — symbolism, similes and metaphors, imagery, and irony to name a few. In your journal, write "Stylistic Devices found in The Pearl." As you read the remainder of the book, jot down examples of choices in language that Steinbeck uses. Select phrases and sentence that you feel are meaningful and effective. Skim today's chapter and locate at least three examples.

Similes use "like" or "as" to compare two unrelated things.
Metaphors make a comparison between unrelated things, but do not use "like" or "as."
Imagery is the use of language to appeal to the reader's senses.
Irony signals a difference between the appearance of what something looks like and what it actually is. In situational irony, actions have an exact opposite effect of what is intended or what they should have. In verbal irony, statements convey a meaning exactly opposite of the literal meaning.
Check to see that your child included at least three examples of stylistic devices Steinbeck uses in his language choice from Chapter 3.

Some examples might include:
"...the nerves of the town were pulsing and vibrating with the news..."
"...it [the news] washed in a foaming wave into the town of stone and plaster."
The pearl symbolizes dreams and wishes for the future in this chapter - "..."Kino's pearl went into the dreams, the speculations, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs, the lusts, the hungers of everyone.."
Ironically, Kino finds the "Pearl of the World" which should bring him joy and wealth, but which makes him "curiously everyone's enemy."
"... the song of the family came behind him like the purring of a kitten."