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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Unit Study Guide

“Social Justice and the Loss of Innocence”
Essential Questions
 How are appearances misleading and how can we determine the merit of men?
 Where is the delineation between childhood and adulthood?
 What are the life-lessons we learn from our parents?

Essential Skills
 What are the fundamental components of a strong essay?
 How can I improve my oral language proficiency?
 How can I improve my vocabulary?
 How do authors implement figurative language to enhance the narrative?
 How do authors implement autobiographical elements into a work of fiction?
 How can I analyze the correlations between two works?

Before Reading
To Kill a Mockingbird is the fourth most taught work of literature in US schools.
Although it is fiction it is loosely based on Harper Lee’s life. The Pulitzer Prize-
awarded novel was published in 1960

Concepts to Know
These are fundamentally important historical aspects of the book. You need to
research the following to increase your knowledge prior to reading.
- Jim Crow Laws
- Plessy vs. Ferguson
- The Scottsboro Boys Trial
- Lynching in the United States- An audio piece by Chicago Public Radio
Outwards Appearances and Inner Qualities Moral Education
Justice Loss of Innocence
Hypocrisy Marginalization
Coexistence of Good and Evil

Literary Terms Protagonist

Metaphor Antagonist
Simile Allusion
Alliteration Motif
Foreshadowing Symbolism
Dramatic Irony Imagery
Idioms Narrative
Stock Imagery Verisimilitude
Shift Tone

Principal Characters Minor Characters

Atticus Finch Uncle Jack Finch
Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch Judge John Taylor
Charles Baker “Dill” Harris Sheriff Heck Tate
Calpurnia Dr. Reynolds
Arthur “Boo” Radley Link Deas
Nathan Radley Reverend Sykes
Maudie Atkinson Zeebo
Mavella Violet Ewell Stephanie Crawford
Bob Ewell Mr. Avery
Thomas (Tom) Robinson Burris Ewell
Aunt Alexandra Finch

Class Resources
Grade 10 Schedule – complete with daily and in class assignments, homework, and
corresponding due dates.
Grade 10 Wiki – contains the necessary vocabulary list, supplemental video and
audio, the related poems, Barnes’ To Kill a Mockingbird Podcasts, and the
Grade 10 Blog- Contains guidelines and examples for a number of the unit writing
Our Scribd Account- you can find all the handouts from class and the RUBRICS.
Our Step Into Our Classroom Twitter Account – we constantly give updates,
notifications, and reminders regarding assignments and activities
Grade 10 Assignment List- This Google Doc will let you know which assignments
have been graded. Too many times students ask, “Can you tell me what I’m
missing”? Now, you can simply verify for yourself. If the assignment list has three
vocab assignments, two quizzes, and one blog assignment, you should have
submitted these assignments- simple!

Your Responsibilities
1) Come to class everyday with you novel and binder
2) *Constantly annotate while reading (at home and in class- see further
information regarding annotation)
3) Complete all at home readings
4) Familiarize yourself with all rubrics, guidelines, and examples prior to engaging
5) Familiarize yourself with all pre-reading historical implications
6) Complete all related To Kill a Mockingbird unit assignments:
- Written
- Oral
- Reading

Break down of assignments

Reading Comprehension 15pts each
Expect when returning to class after having an at home reading assignment
- Literary Term Quiz 40 pts
The format will be the same as previous literary term assessments- You will be given a
series of passages from the novel and asked to identify the literary terms
- Vocabulary Quiz 40 pts
The format will be the same as previous literary term assessments- You will be given a
number of sentences related to the novel and must identify which vocabulary word
best relates.

Written Assessments
- Blog Writing
- Boo Radley Monologue- an exercise in perspective and point of view – 28 pts
- “Strange Fruit”/Billie Holiday - an exercise in analyzing media studies and
inner-work correlations – 28 pts
- Poetry Analysis– an exercise in poetry analysis and annotation – 28 pts
- This American Life Podcasts- an exercise in analyzing media studies and
inner-work correlations
- Norman Rockwell’s ”The Problem We All Live With” - an exercise in analyzing
media studies and inner-work correlations – 28 pts
- TKMB Character Map – an exercise in characterization – 30 pts
- Vocabulary- Sentence Writing- an exercise in contextual writing, sentence fluency,
word choice, and circumlocution – 28 pts
- Formal Essay (we will be working on this at great length) – 112 pts
Essay Topics
The Effects of Ethnic/racial Prejudice on a small community
Courage and Fear
Innocence Lost
The Symbolism of the Mockingbird
Additional Teacher Approved Topic

Oral Language
- Poetry Recital – an exercise in public speaking, diction, and projection – 40 pts
- In class Reading – an exercise in reading fluency– 15 pts
This will be an on-going assignment. You will be expected to read in class. You will
receive points for your active participation.
- Oral Commentaries – an exercise in analysis and oral language proficiency– 30 pts
This will be similar to the essay process. You will have to form opinions regarding the
novel, support and defend you viewpoints by supporting evidence from the text.
- Oral Plot Summaries- an exercise in reading comprehension and oral language
proficiency–30 pts

Grade- Simply add up all the points you have amassed and divide by the total
number of possible points. This will give you a percentile.

Additional Resources
-To Kill a Mockingbird notes at Slideshare-
Barnes’ Podcast for To Kill a Mockingbird - A series of podcasts dealing with themes
and concepts from the novel. It also has individual podcasts dedicated to chapter
by chapter analysis. - You can listen to these directly from our wiki:
To Kill a Mockingbird Reading Guide- Good packet with chapter by chapter
questions highlighting key points and themes.
The Film-
The To Kill a Mockingbird Unit supports the following Virginia State Standards for
Grade 10 English:

10.3 The student will read, comprehend, and critique literary works.
10.5 The student will read and analyze a variety of poetry.
10.7 The student will develop a variety of writing, with an emphasis on
10.8 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization,
punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.
10.10 The student will use writing to interpret, analyze, and evaluate ideas

Good Luck-
Boo Radley