Connecting Of Mice and Men to Trick or Treating for Coats, Hats, and Gloves

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By Pattie Sloan and Joan Flora

Essential Questions to Connect Of Mice and Men to Action (in this case, a Halloween coat drive):

  • What causes people to make moral or immoral choices?
  • How do personal choices impact our community?
  • How does literature explore and reflect these decisions?

Before you dive in:  Check with your principal before your class hosts a coat drive.  Be prepared to connect your drive with your classroom; in this case it’s Of Mice and Men.

  1. Have students contact a homeless shelter or an agency that will accept your donations and report their findings to the class.  See One Warm Coat.

2.  Ask the agency:

  • Do you give coats free to people in need?
  • Do you pick up the coats or do we deliver them to your center?
  • Do you give coats to children and adults?
  • Is there a limit on how many coats you accept?
  • Can we mention your name on our flyer when we advertise our drive?

3.  Set a date and time for drop off or delivery of collected coats.

4.  Have students design a flyer and deliver the flyers 7-10 days to their designated areas (students will need to map and coordinate their coat drive efforts).  Sample coat drive flyers.

    • Have an editing team vet the flyer for clarity and visual appeal
    • Brainstorm safety issues and solutions.
    • Coats are heavy.  What supports will collectors need?
    • Consider weather conditions.
    • Will donors want a receipt?
    • How many coats do the students plan to collect?
    • What happens if a student can’t honor his or her commitment?

5.  Market the coat drive:

  • Facebook, Twitter, school announcements, local paper, and so on (your students will outshine us on suggestions, so honor their thinking).

6.  Follow through with Trick or Treating in the designated areas.

  • Officially end the drive by posting the number of donations you collected and market the results (see #5).  Click to see an example.
  • Follow through with the agency on having the coats ready on the date you agreed on.

7.  Have students write an After Action Report on the coat drive.

Want more ideas?

  • Trick or Treat for picture books to donate to elementary schools or other agencies.
  • Trick or Treat for blankets.
  • Trick or Treat for canned foods.

Read how theater students traded a song and a dance for canned goods.

Just for fun, watch Jerry Seinfeld’s reflection of Halloween:

Read his picture book:  Halloween

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About Teaching it Forward

We are high school language arts teachers in Oregon.
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One Response to Connecting Of Mice and Men to Trick or Treating for Coats, Hats, and Gloves

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