Home      Teaching Moby Dick

ABOVE:  Moby Dick can't let JAWS have all the fun.

    Is Moby Dick too complicated for high school students? If you listen to most college professors, it is. Some recommend that a classic as complicated as Moby Dick should be saved until students are older and more mature. That way the book is not "forced" upon readers at too young an age. Yet many high-school educators realize that unless young people are introduced to the classics at an early age, they may never seek them out on their own. Therefore, rather than denying young people great literature, teachers must find a way to make it accessible and meaningful to a younger audience.
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville has many qualities that would make the novel a great read for young people. On its most basic level it is an adventure story. On a deeper level it's a thought-provoking search for the meaning of life. It is filled with humor, supernatural elements, and memorable characterizations--features that appeal to high-school audience. For teachers it's a treasure trove of allusions, symoblism, foreshadowing, and imagery. So (pun intended) why not take a stab at Moby Dick?
     The materials on this page will aid in the teaching of a Moby Dick unit. My personal approach to the novel was to adapt it into a series of six script-stories (or Reader's Theater plays). The first of these scripts is available for free download. If it works well in your classroom, you might consider the full download, complete with six script-stories, six reading guides (with keys), and a few other handouts. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

This worksheet tells about the whaling industry that was so important to America for a time. It also relates events that inspired Herman Melville's classic novel.

This game, played like Battleship on paper, pits one player, who controls Moby-Dick and a pod of sea mammals, against Captain Ahab and his fleet of boats.


Captain Ahab and his mad quest for revenge on the white whale has become part of America's consciousness. This script-story tells the first part of the classic tale. To buy all six script-stories that comprise the full story (with reading guide questions and keys), visit the Mythologyteacher.com store.


This presentation gives students a few open-ended questions to discuss as well as presents them with several illustrations from the novel.


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