The Jungle (original/uncut) by Upton Sinclair


Reading Schedule:

  • April 20/21– Pre-reading Activity (Foreword/ Introduction)
  • April 22/25– Chapters 1-2 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 3-5
  • April 26/27Group 1 Reading Playlist Presentation/ Chapters 6-7 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 8-10
  • April 28/29Group 2 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 11-12 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 13-16
  • May 2/3Group 3 Reading Playlist Presentation/ Chapters 17-18 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 19-21
  • May 4/5Group 4 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 22-23 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 24-27
  • May 6/9Group 5 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 28-29 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 30-33
  • May 10/11Group 6 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 34-36, Conclusion (Read in class)
  • May 12/13– Group 7 Reading Playlist Presentation/Socratic Circle
  • May 16/17– Charades Vocabulary Competition
  • May 18/19– Last class to work on Digital Books
  • May 20/23- Digital books are due!


  • The Jungleaudio (all 36 chapters)
    • All 36 chapters are in the playlist on YouTube
    • The speaker skips a few sections, but the audio is adequate to aid your reading of the text.
  • Highlighting legend:
    • Important details/ key facts (YELLOW)
    • Important characters
    • Important dates
    • Important places or vocabulary words
  • Key Terms:
    • muckraking
      Definition: A type of journalism, begun in the early 1900s, that seeks to disclose the corruptness of business, industry, and government.
      Context: The Jungle is an excellent example ofmuckraking
    • progressive movement
      Definition: A campaign in the late 1800s and early 1900s for economic, political, and social reform in the United States.
      Context: The economic reforms of theprogressive movementincluded increased government regulation of business and a series of tax reforms.
    • Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)
      Definition: Author of The Jungle and other books, plays, and articles, all of which focused on social injustices and aimed at improving working conditions.
      Context: Upton Sinclair’sbooks brought social injustices to light and brought him wealth and fame.

Pre-Reading Activity:

Add your responses to your class Padlet.

Period 1’s Padlet, Period 2’s Padlet, Period 3’s Padlet, Period 5’s Padlet

Part 1: 

  1. To what extent do you agree with this statement? “The United States has a history of corporations taking advantage of individuals.” If yes, what are some current examples of this? How does this phenomenon affect individuals, families, and businesses? On the other hand, many would say that United States corporations have made our high quality of life possible. How has corporate America improved the quality of life in this country?
  2. What is Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest”? Extend this theory to basic human nature and explain how it applies to different aspects of society.
  3. What food do you eat in an average day? Where does this food come from? Describe the journey your food makes from source to table.
  4. What was the purpose of unions in America? How has this purpose evolved? What unions have been in the news recently?
  5. What traits distinguish people of one social class from another in United States society today? Money? Job? Home? Education? Family? Ethnicity? Religion? Can you tell people of different classes apart? What advantages do some classes have over others? Why do most societies have class distinctions?
  6. What is capitalism? Do you believe it is a fair, effective system? What are the advantages and pitfalls of such a system?
  7. What is socialism? What countries have this system? Do you believe it is a fair, effective system? What are the advantages and pitfalls of such a system?

Part 2: 

  • Read the “Foreword” as a class.
  • Jigsaw reading of the “Introduction.”
    • Read your section of the “Introduction.”
    • Write down the key points in a bulleted list.
    • Present your bulleted list to the other groups.

Main Characters: In Order of Appearance

Lithuanian Pronunciation Guide: Click Here. 🙂

  • Marija Biarczynskas (ma-REE-ah ber-JIN-skas): Ona’s cousin, a 20-something orphan, but a strong woman.
  • Ona Lukoszis (OH-na luke-oh-SHY-tay): Marija’s 16-year-old cousin and Elzbieta’s step-daughter.
  • Jurgis Rudkos (YER-gis rudd-KUSS): a strong Lithuanian immigrant who comes to America looking for the American Dream.
  • Teta Elzbieta Lukoszis (tay-Ta Luke-oh-SHY-tay): Aunt Elizabeth, Ona’s stepmother, and mother of six.
  • Tamoszius Kuszlejka (tam-ohsh-YOOS kuz-lie-KA): a fiddle player who intends to marry Marija.
  • Dieda Antanas Rudkos (Day-da on-TAN-us rudd-KUSS): Grandfather Anthony, Jurgis’s father, about 60 years old.
  • Jokubas Szadwilas (YO-koo-bus jzed-VEE-lus): delicatessen store owner and Lucija’s husband.
  • Aniele Jukniene (ann-eel-AA yuk-NINE-uh): a widow with 3 children; she rents rooms in her home.
  • Jonas (YO-nus): Elzbieta’s brother.
  • Stanislovas (stah-KNEES-lo-vas): Teta Elzbieta’s 13-year-old small son.
  • Tom Cassidy: a powerful Democrat and owner of much of “underground” Packingtown.
  • Phil Connor: a foreman at Brown’s, where Ona works.
  • Jack Duane: a thief that Jurgis meets in jail.

Literature Circles:

Students will place themselves into groups of 3-4 students. They will complete all assigned projects in their literature circles.

Each literature circle will create a paper booklet (typed, printed, and bound) that includes:

NOTE: Revised directions are highlighted in orange!

  • Create a playbill or advertising poster for the mini-series adaptation of the novel. List the main characters and the actors who portray them.
  • Present a videotaped television commercial for a mini-series based on the book.
  • Choose an excerpt from a key scene in the text and present a dramatic reading to the class.
  • Create a timeline for one character. Honors Students: You will track two characters. If possible, extend it beyond the events in the novel.
  • Honors Students ONLY: Prepare and present a real or imagined soliloquy for any character. Include thoughts and feelings appropriate to that character.
  • Trace one of the Meat Packing companies in the text and research what the happened to that company. If you do not want to focus on a company in Chicago, you may choose a company from one of the other states that housed major factories. (i.e.- New York, Texas, etc). Questions to consider: Is it still around today? Did it merge with another company? Does the company currently (2016) have a good reputation?
    • Armour & Co.= Andersons
    • Swift & Co.= Smiths
    • Morris & Co.= Mortons 
  • Present a solution to one of the key issues presented in The Jungle. What is the issue? How was it mishandled in the text? How should it have been solved?
  • Make connections: What is one controversial issue our society is currently dealing with that is similar to an issue discussed in The Jungle? If you were hired to create a muckraking piece to expose that problem, how would you infiltrate the company, group, or community? What element of the problem would you focus on to make your book more appealing to readers?
  • Due: May 20/23  May 26-27, 2016. (Please include all of your group members names on the booklet.

Assign each member roles: Create a document in your Google Drive and label each section with your role and the chapter. There should be a new date and section for each group meeting. You will share your document with your group members through google drive. (i.e.- Create a shared folder where everyone in the group will place their documents for all the group members to see).

**If your group only has three (3) people, everyone should help with the research portion.

  • Summarizer (Record the basic gist of each chapter. What is the moral issue discussed by Sinclair? Include page number of important events.)
  • Illustrator (Turn each chapter into an image that can aid your group’s understanding of the key events.)
  • Vocabulary Enricher/ Word Wizard (Define the key vocabulary words in each chapter. Include page numbers)
  • Travel Tracer (Track the movements of the major characters in the book. i.e.- Where are they coming from? -Lithuania Include page numbers.)

Period 1:(Groups of 3 ONLY)

  • Group 1:Daniel & Ray
  • Group 2:Florencia, Daliannys, Valeria
  • Group 3: Lelis, Kelvin, Jalon
  • Group 4: Alexus, Kameron, Karelly
  • Group 5: Janai, Shan’Yah, Julie
  • Group 6: Ernesto & Anthony
  • Group 7: Gabriel & Kevin

Period 2:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Emelyn, Logan, Kayla G., Destiny
  • Group 2: Amada Gomez, Denisse, Gabrielle, Christine
  • Group 3: Victoria, Maynela, Karla, Jorge
  • Group 4: Erycah, Maya, Tarik, Absalom
  • Group 5: Ernie, Kelly, Gloria, Lissette, Janay
  • Group 6: Gerardo, Jefferson, Samuel, Daniel
  • Group 7: Kahla Campbell, Emily, Anyell, Cayla Coffey

Period 3:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Talhaa, Douglas, & Montse
  • Group 2: Danny, Zarlette, & Deyni
  • Group 3: Sommore, Kassandra, & Amanda
  • Group 4: Woodline, Dinorah, & Yesenia
  • Group 5: Luis, Edward, & Arnelle
  • Group 6: David, Kevin, Richard
  • Group 7: Carina, Chaez & Raven

Period 5:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Joshua, Shavon, Juan
  • Group 2: Roxanne, Suany, Nathan, Jose
  • Group 3: Chanta, Veronica, Nathalie, Steven
  • Group 4: Maria, Roxely, Alysen
  • Group 5: Ashanti, Devin, Bryan
  • Group 6: Erynn, Juliette, William
  • Group 7: Luis E., Luis C., Victoria, Jorge

Reading Playlists

While we read each chapter, groups will be required to put together a playlist or song collage whose lyrics represent elements of your assigned chapter by Upton Sinclair. Your group should find one song per assigned chapter that you can share with the class with an explanation how the lyrics fit the plot, characters, or theme.

Groups: Add your playlists to your class’ Padlet.

Period 1: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 2:Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 3: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 5: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Vocabulary Review: Charades Competition

Create a charades game with key terms from the book. Write your key terms on index cards and create a decorated box to hold your index cards. In class, we will play charades in our literature circles. Each group will receive another group’s charades box. Winning teams from each will go to the playoffs. Through process of elimination, two groups will battle for the following prize: extra credit and candy.

Vocabulary Words: Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7

  • cortege 
  • veselija
  • viands
  • maudlin
  • incommoding 
  • pungent 
  • rancid 
  • wizened 
  • fetid 
  • felicitous 
  • colloquy 
  • parley
  • ptomaines 
  • isinglass
  • pepsin 
  • albumen 
  • besom 
  • placard 
  • deference 
  • volubility 
  • ludicrously 
  • laissez faire 
  • caste
  • saltpetre 
  • hordes 
  • specter 
  • primeval
  • fodder 
  • alchemist 
  • respite 
  • harried 
  • contingencies 
  • redress 
  • obstinate 
  • impropriety 
  • superfluity 
  • inexorably 
  • abyss
  • penury
  • rebuffs
  • sprier 
  • rebuke
  • magnanimity 
  • obdurate 
  • ptarmigan 
  • prestidigitator 
  • menagerie
  • torpor 
  • sordid 
  • primeval 
  • specter 
  • pittance 
  • melee 
  • effaced 
  • penitential 
  • catechism 
  • ineffable 
  • ingot 
  • tractable 
  • mendicants 
  • insouciance 
  • pugilist
  • odious 
  • oligarchy 
  • notorious 
  • debauchery 
  • vicissitudes 
  • plutocrat 
  • prodigiously 
  • saturnalia 
  • contagion 
  • labyrinthine 
  • impunity 
  • verities 
  • balustrade 
  • absinthe 
  • obloquy 
  • juggernaut 
  • squalor 
  • imperious 
  • prostrate
  • fetter 
  • proletariat 
  • morasses 
  • impervious
  • recalcitrant 
  • unregenerate 
  • exhorting 
  • incendiary 
  • fusillade 
  • elucidate 
  • stygian 
  • debauched 
  • menials 
  • tomes 
  • pettifogging 
  • chicanery 
  • knave 


Socratic Circle:

Debate the morality of the meatpacking industry in the 1900’s. Students will not be presenting their own viewpoints, but the viewpoints of the characters from the book. Character roles will be assigned the class period before the Socratic Circle.

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