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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird

Essential Questions:

Core Understandings:

Building Background Knowledge

Literature Circles

Evaluate your group member's ability to effective collaborate during Literature Circles:

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Comprehension Support:

Use these resources to help your comprehension.


One of the confusing aspects of the novel is the amount of characters Harper Lee introduces in the exposition. As you encounter new characters fill out the chart. This will help you when it comes time to create a characterization map.

Close Readings and Text-Dependent Analysis

Atticus' Closing Argument
Writing Prompt:
Write a paragraph analyzing the use of appeals in Atticus's closing argument. In your paragraph, relate your analysis to the ideas of justice and equality.

An Experiment in Love

Author's Craft and Style
Allusion Chart Click Here

Thematic Development

As students read the novel, they will collect textual examples connected with their theme. They will keep tract of thematic developments in their active reading guide for the purpose of later review and discussion.

One of the many benefits of reading literature is discovering the depths of human emotion and experience. Harper Lee uses characterization and plot to explore and redefine the traditional concept of courage. As Jem and Scout mature in their understanding of courage, so does the reader.

Your task is to keep track of textual examples that:
demonstrate courage
cause you to think differently about courage
reveal the author's ideas concerning courage

Examining the Reality of Lynching

Assignment: Download the Watch the video, answer the questions, and reflect in writing. When you are finished with the assignment, print out the document and place it in my inbox.

Further Exploration:
Visual Resource: Without Sanctuary*
  • Material contained in this link is sensitive in nature. It depicts the lynching victim. View this content is optional.

from the PBS series: The American Experience

Narrative Writing Assignment

Critical Viewing: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Socratic Seminars

Socratic Seminar (Part 1)

Socratic Seminar (Part 2)

Article Title


Guiding Questions

Harper Lee's Novel Acheivement
To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's one and only novel. Find out why she hesitates to talk about her famous work.
Do you agree with Harper Lee's decision to say little about her novel?
Books Under Fire
To Kill a Mockingbird has caused tremendous controversy is schools. Find out why. Note: (Be sure to read some of the posts at the bottom of the article.)
When and why should books be banned?

Is reading To Kill a Mockingbird worthwhile?
To Attack a Lawyer in "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Atticus Finch is one of the most well known literary characters. He is often viewed as an honorable and courageous man, but not everyone thinks this is so. Note: This article is challenging because of the vocabulary used throughout the article.
What is the author's argument against Atticus Finch?
The Central Park Jogger; An Old Case in a Different New York
"THIRTEEN years ago, a 28-year-old Manhattan investment banker jogging in Central Park was raped, beaten and left for dead. The brutality, randomness and site of the attack became emblematic not only of a city spun out of control but of intractable racial polarization."
Who's argument do you more closely align yourself with: Donald Trump's or Cardinal John J. O'Connor?

Is our society better or worse than the 1930's.
Issue of Racism Erupts in the Simpson Trial
Read about the famous case OJ Simpson case in the mid-90's where a man was accused of killing his wife.
Should race be considered in court cases today?

Is the idea of racial prejudice ever used unfairly?

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