Honors English 10 Name


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Honors English 10 Name: _________________________________________

THE PEARL Parable Paper Class: __________________ Date: _________________

You’ve read the novel The Pearl by John Steinbeck which addresses themes of greed, wealth, and materialism. You’ve learned that this novel is written as a parable. It teaches a moral or spiritual truth or answers an ethical question. Parables do this on two levels. First, one has the literal level, the story itself; secondly, there is the figurative (or interpretive) level which varies from reader to reader. In the story of The Pearl, we meet Kino, the pearl diver who finds the great pearl and changes his family’s life forever. Some say this story teaches us that greed leads to a bad life or some sort of downfall or destruction. Others say it teaches the lesson that “money can’t buy happiness.” Perhaps you’ve discovered still other interpretations.


Your task is to write a parable. Your parable does not need to be lengthy; in fact, your story should be no more than three double-spaced word-processed pages. (See me if you think your story will be longer.) Your parable should:

  • Teach a moral or spiritual truth and/or answer an ethical question

  • Be creative, interesting, and entertaining (note: this does NOT mean your parable must be funny)

  • Allow for various interpretations by the reader and/or audience

  • Be three or less double-spaced word-processed pages (please use 12 pt. Times New Roman Font)
  • Include a MLA Heading and Header with Last name and Page numbers

  • Have a descriptive title

  • Use correct conventions

Peer Editing

You must have your parable peer-edited. The peer editor will fill out a sheet for you. This should be submitted separately. (You and your peer editor will receive separate grades for this component.)


You will be reading your parable aloud to the class as a speaking assignment. Guidelines and speaking elements will be reviewed prior to presentations.

Your parable is worth _____ points and will be due on ____________________. We will begin reading the parables aloud in class on this date. You will also be given a score on your reading of the parable; this will include elements discussed prior to presentations, such as: volume, tone, pacing, pronunciation, etc. A rubric is attached with detailed categories by which your written work will be assessed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What are your top three parable “theme” considerations? (See back of this sheet for some possibilities or ideas.)

Parable themes and/or Ideas

This list is by no means complete; please feel free to come up with possible themes of your own.

  • acceptance of imperfections (appearance is deceiving!)

  • accepting self and others

  • balancing humility and pride

  • be a man/woman of your word

  • being average is OK!

  • believe in yourself

  • change happens

  • death as natural and important

  • don’t judge by appearances/”don’t judge a book by its cover”

  • embracing the circle of life

  • little friends may become great friends

  • love conquers all

  • patience is a virtue

  • slow and steady wins the race

  • the early bird gets the worm!

  • think you can

  • to forgive is divine

  • trust in the Lord/trust in yourself

  • work before pleasure

Parable Peer Editing Sheet

Name of Peer Editor(s): ____________________________________________________________________

Peer Critique Sheet for __________________________________’s parable. Class: __________________

Directions: Circle or fill in the blank based on your critique of your peer’s work.
1. yes no Is the introduction clear?

yes no Does it create interest in the topic?

yes no Does it reflect the central idea of the paper?

yes no Does it reflect the organizational plan of the paper?

2. yes no Is the parable’s moral/life lesson or spiritual truth or ethical question clear?
3. What is the moral/life lesson or spiritual lesson or ethical question posed to the reader?
4. yes no Is the conclusion clear?
5. yes no Does each paragraph explain or develop the parable in some way?
How many paragraphs make up the whole parable? _____

yes no Are the paragraphs in the best order?

If no, suggest changes: _______________________________________________________________
yes no Are additional paragraphs needed to clarify something in the story?
6. yes no Does the writer offer evidence and/or details to support every major point?

If no, which points need additional support? _______________________________________________

7. yes no Is the style flowing and pleasant to read?

yes no Is the style choppy and difficult to read?

8. yes no Is this paper relatively free of “mechanics” errors? Use proofreader’s marks to

correct any errors you find. Circle any misspelled words.

9. Additional comments: _________________________________________________________________




Parable Writing Assignment Rubric

Honors English 10 Editor: ________________________________________________________

Peer: __________________________________________________________



9 - 8


6 - 5

Creativity / Interest

(including title)

The story contains many creative details and/or descriptions that contribute to the reader's enjoyment. The author(s) really used imagination and kept one’s interest throughout the story with fresh ideas. Great effort. Clever title!

The story contains a few creative details and/or descriptions that contribute to the reader's enjoyment. The author(s) used imagination and attempted to keep one’s interest. Good effort. Good title.

The story contains a few creative details and/or descriptions, but they distract from the story. The author(s) tried to use imagination. The story is bit predictable. Appropriate or adequate title.

There is little evidence of creativity in the story. The author(s) do not seem to have used much imagination. The story is bland/dull or unclear. Title doesn’t “fit” or was omitted.


The moral of the parable is easy to understand and is logical. It is not "spelled out" or directly stated, but is easily understood.

The moral of the story is easy to understand and is somewhat logical. It is directly stated or implied.

The moral of the parable is somewhat difficult to understand. It isn't consistent with a moral that should be used in a parable.

No moral is attempted or it is impossible to understand.

Word Choice

The student used excellent, specific words properly and frequently.

The student used words properly, but the words used weren't exceptional.

Word choice was basic. A few words were improperly used. Vague words, like "thing” or “nice” were used occasionally.

Words were used improperly. Vague words were used often.

Sentence Structure

Sentences were varied and complete. No more than one run-on or fragment was used or found.

Sentences were basic but complete. No more than two fragments or run-ons were used or found.

Sentences were very basic or incomplete. Run-ons and fragments occurred 3-4 times.

Sentences were rarely complete. A run-on or fragment was used more than four times. Sentences didn't make sense.

Paragraph Organization

Students' paragraphs were organized. Transitions were used seamlessly. The story had a good “flow” to it.

Students' paragraphs were mostly organized. The story skipped around a bit.

Students' paragraphs were disorganized. Few transitions were used.

Students’ paragraphs were quite disorganized. They skipped around or seemed to be rushing the story along.


(Punctuation, Capitalization, Spelling, Usage, etc.)

The piece contained no spelling, capitalization, punctuation, or usage errors in the final draft.

The piece contained 1-2 spelling, capitalization, usage and/or punctuation errors in the final draft.

The piece contained 3-5 spelling, capitalization , usage, and/or punctuation errors in the final draft.

The piece contained more than five spelling, capitalization, usage, and/or punctuation errors.

Suggested Score: _____________/60


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