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To Kill a Mockingbird


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Keywords: justice, injustice, race relations, 1930s, justice system, English
Subject(s): Civics, Writing, History, English/Language Arts
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: De LaSalle Elementary School, Memphis, TN
Planned By: Erin Mullins
Original Author: Erin Mullins, Memphis
Unit time period: 3 weeks, 15 90-minute blocks

Unit Assignments:
1) Students will read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
2) Students will keep a critical thinking response journal examining their concept of justice and race relations.
3) Students will write a persuasive essay backed up with specific examples and evidence from the book and other historical references to address one issue of justice.
4) Students will work in small groups to create a mixed-media presentation about justice.

Day One- What is Justice? discussion accompanied by short video clips relating to justice (several current and several historical)
After each video clip, students will be asked to respond to the following questions:

1) How did the clip relate to justice?
2) In what ways does this video clip change your concept of justice?

Assignment: Read Chapters 1-3 and write a critical thinking response journal entry about the justice issues encountered in your reading. Cite at least one quote with page reference to support your response.

Day Two- Review characters and setting. Read several short passages that get at the heart of each character. Show several short clips from the movie. Discuss the relationship between Jim, Scout, and Calpurnia. What issues of justice surfaced in your reading?

Assignment: Read Chapters 4-6 and write a critical thinking response journal entry about the justice issues encountered in your reading. Cite at least one quote with page reference to support your response.
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Video Cameras, Flash/USB Drives, English/Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Office Suite, Video Tools, Internet Services, Prof. Dev. Workshops, Integrating Technology