Lesson 6: For Sale

Getting Started

Today Kino is going to sell his pearl to the dealers. Predict whether or not he will get a good price for the pearl.

Stuff You Need

  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • colored pencils
  • journal

Ideas to Think About

  • How do people's ability to control their environment affect their success/happiness in life?
  • How does human nature exhibit an internal conflict between good and evil?
  • How can poverty or wealth change a person's life, character, and perspective?

Things to Know

  • A symbol is any object, action, person, or place that has a meaning in itself and that also stands for something broader than itself.
  • An appositive phrase is a set of words that renames or further identifies the noun that comes right before or after it.


  • Determine the figurative meaning of phrases and analyze how an author's use of language creates imagery, appeals to the senses, and suggests mood. (LA)
  • Identify, use, and understand the function of appositive phrases in the context of reading, writing, and speaking. (LA)
  • Model an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression by using phrases correctly, including proper punctuation (e.g., prepositional phrases and appositives). (LA)
  • Identify, use, and understand the function of prepositions and prepositional phrases in the context of reading, writing, and speaking. (LA)

Introducing the Lesson

Discuss with your child how money and education often form the division between those who have power and those who do not. Discuss how discrimination has historically led to power being kept away from the less privileged so that the more privileged can remain in power. Explain how America was founded with the idea that all people are equal and should have the same freedoms and opportunities, regardless of their social status. That is not, however, a commonly held belief in many parts of the world and has definitely not been true historically.
Reading and Questions
Materials: The Pearl by John Steinbeck, journal
Read Chapter 4 of the novella today and then answer the questions below in complete sentences. As you read the chapter, be on the lookout for any effective stylistic devices and list them in your journal.
  1. What do the pearl divers not know about the pearl buyers?
    The pearl divers do not realize that the pearl buyers work together for the same person and that their objective is to offer as low a fee as possible to the pearl divers.
  2. In the past, what have the villagers tried to do to get a higher price for their pearls? What was the result?
    They would send one man to the capital with all the pearls to see if he could negotiate higher prices. The man was never heard from again and the pearls were lost.
  3. What did the first dealer tell Kino about the value of his pearl?
    The dealer said that the pearl was too large and that there was no market for it since no one would buy it.
  4. Do you think Kino should have accepted the 1500 pesos from the dealer? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.
  5. How has the pearl changed Juana in a different way than it has changed Kino?
    Kino wants justice and wants to be rewarded for his discovery. Juana believes the pearl is evil and wants to get rid of it before it brings more pain to her family.