In Cold Blood is a 1967 film based on Truman Capote's book of the same name. The film follows the trail of Smith and Hickock; they break into the home of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, kill all four members of the family who are present, go on the run, and are found and caught by the police, tried for the murders, and eventually executed. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards.
Students will read the Criterion Collection film essay on “In Cold Blood” and view supporting video clips on the film. An additional resource is a TED Talk on lessons learned from death row. Students will view links to clips from the film in order to write to a paragraph prompt. Students will have access to the opening chapter of the novel as well as annotation from genius.com and an audio reading of the chapter.
Included is a lesson on crafting a thesis sentence, as well as a link to a rhetorical analysis prompt for analyzing the opening chapter. A resource is included with sample essays. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis, and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
The activities fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, or AP English Language or Literature class. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
These four lessons prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay, and critical thinking activities.
Tags: Socratic Seminar, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, capital punishment, law and order, nonfiction novel, American Literature