This To Kill a Mockingbird bundle includes the following:
• a 75-page writing unit focusing on presenting text evidence to support a claim
• a novel quizzes package that includes 8 quizzes spanning all chapters (w/ answer keys)
• a close read of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech focusing on contrast, imagery, and diction. This close read comes with a culminating writing task that parallels the Part 3 of the Common Core English Regents Exam
• a close read of the missionary meeting excerpt from chapter 24
• a brief reading guide for the showdown between Atticus and Heck Tate in chapter 30
• Socratic Seminar prompts
• a partners reminder and organizer for partnered work
More Specifically . . .
Selecting, Presenting, and Analyzing Evidence Writing Unit
This in-depth writing package provides teachers with what’s needed to teach students how to select, present, and analyze text evidence to support a claim in writing. This 75-page unit uses the text of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird to teach and reinforce those lessons.
In addition to lesson and practice materials to reinforce the necessary writing concepts, this package also includes well-guided novel-based writing tasks, rubrics, exemplars, drills to reinforce, checks for understanding, and quizzes.
While the terminology used to teach students how to select, present, and analyze textual evidence is not complex, some of the writing concepts will be new to students. This package scaffolds the process to allow students the opportunity to
1. study the writing concepts,
2. identify the writing concepts in other people’s writing,
3. analyze how those writing concepts function,
4. practice applying the concepts in guided workouts,
5. apply those concepts in their own writing,
6. identify the concepts in their own writing,
7. analyze the effectiveness of those concepts in their own writing.
In addition to common terms such as topic and concluding sentence, the ‘Super Six’ terms below are the main concepts upon which this writing unit is based:
TRANSITION — A word or phrase used to connect one idea to the next.
LEAD IN — Gives context or background information to the text evidence. When are we? Where are we? In brief, what's been happening plot-wise leading up to this text evidence?
ATTRIBUTIVE TAG — Whose words were borrowed? Are those words best described as narration, thinking, or dialogue?
TEXT EVIDENCE — Purposefully selected because something about it makes it some of the best evidence to support a(n) thesis, claim, argument, stance, statement, or answer.
CITATION — MLA in-text citation (Author 283).
LEAD OUT — It’s analysis. It answers HOW or WHY the text evidence helps support the claim. As part of the analysis, the LEAD OUT often picks apart the author's use of word and phrase choices, including literary elements and writing techniques used. How do these writing choices made by the author support the claim?
Because lead out is analysis, it often involves making inferences. Thus words such as suggests, implies, and indicates are often necessary to use.
The Presenting Evidence Unit Contents
1. Presenting and Analyzing Text Evidence Vocabulary — (1 page) This reference page spells out the meanings of and provides examples of the necessary writing concepts.
2. Calpurnia the Cook and More — (9 pages) This introductory writing task provides the teacher with data needed to determine what students already know and can do without instruction. Additionally, the planning page and exemplars lay the groundwork for future work to come, including identifying and applying the presenting evidence concepts in writing.
3. Common Attributive Tags — (2 pages) This lesson provides a list of common attributive tags, asks students to identify ones they already know, to research a few they don’t know, and finishes with practice applying attributive tags in writing.
4. Common Transition Words and Phrases — (2 pages) This lesson provides a list of common transition words, asks students to identify ones they already know, to research a few they don’t know, and finishes with a (partnered) activity that asks students to categorize transitions.
5. Questions to Help You Write Lead-ins — (1 page) This lesson examines the common questions used to write informative lead-ins. It also provides an example, and, in the next practice section, asks students to use transitions, attributive tags, and lead-ins to present and cite a piece of pretend textual evidence.
6. Transition, Lead-in, Attributive Tag, and Citation #1 through #4 — (2 pages) This practice session asks students to practice writing transitions, attributive tags, and lead-ins to present and cite a piece of pretend textual evidence. Two mini-lessons and an example is provided.
7. Advanced Lead-in Lesson and Practice — (2 pages) This advanced lesson incorporates vocabulary such as subordinate conjunction, subordinate clause (dependent clause) in order to practice writing lead-ins, and offer insight about how they are formed and how they function.
8. Texts for Understanding — (1 page) This is a series of checks for understanding that asks students to reply to content-based text messages sent to them on a fake paper phone.
9. Presenting Evidence Quiz 1 — (3 pages) This multiple choice and true / false quiz asks students to know the basics of the writing concepts learned and practiced in the unit so far. An answer key is included on the third page.
10. Presenting the Best Text Evidence to Support ‘Friends’ — (10 pages) This guided writing task can be used as practice or an assessment. Based on a given claim, students must select the best evidence from a provided passage to support that claim. Students are guided through planning the presentation of evidence before being asked to put the entire argument together in writing. Two rubrics and a partial example are provided.
11. Transition, Lead-in, Attributive Tag, and Citation #5 through #11 — (6 pages) This session provides more practice writing transitions, attributive tags, and lead-ins to present and cite a piece of pretend textual evidence. Three mini-lessons and an example is provided.
12. More Texts for Understanding — (1 page) This is a series of checks for understanding that asks students to reply to content-based text messages sent to them on a fake paper phone.
13. Partnered Puzzle: A Fair, Just, and Equitable Man — (7 pages) This cut an paste puzzle activity asks students to identify examples of the writing concepts studied, organize them, and use them to put together a coherent piece of writing that presents several pieces of text evidence to support a claim. This paragraph puzzle includes a page of hints, a visual example, and an answer key. The task is most challenging if the labels and puzzle pieces are cut up ahead of time.
14. Presenting Evidence Quiz 2 — (3 pages) This multiple choice and true / false quiz asks students to know the basics and more complex writing concepts learned and practiced in the unit so far. An answer key is included on the third page.
15. Analyzing Text Evidence in the Lead-Out — (1 page) This lesson and activity focuses on the inferential and drawing conclusion words such as suggests and implies, analyzing the author’s specific language use, and using the words from the claim to focus the lead-out.
16. Atticus Finch the Role Model — (9 pages) The scaffolding in place for this claim-based writing task includes the lessons from 12 and 13 above, but also includes eight pieces of text evidence from which to choose, a page for planning out the presentation of the best text evidence, and a paragraph starter. Also included are two rubrics and two pages of lines for the final draft.
17. The Gray Ghost Connection — (7 pages) This text-based writing task asks students to answer a question about a choice Harper Lee makes at the end of the novel (author’s purpose). Students are asked to present evidence from a given text to support a claim. This task requires students to have a clear understanding of the novel’s big picture. Space to write, an exemplar, and rubrics are included in this task.
18. New Kid Writing Task — (2 pages) This can be used as a check for understanding, or used as a summative assessment. This task asks students to explain to the new student in class how to present text evidence to support a claim in a paragraph. It includes a depth of knowledge rubric that assesses students’ level of understanding of all the writing concepts taught in this unit.
19. Omitting Words from a Quotation — (2 pages) These lessons focus on two methods for omitting words from a quotation: (A) using an ellipsis, and (B) bridging the text gap by using another attributive tag. These two resources serve as great references for students who are ready for an advanced lesson, or for those who could make use of a timely writing lesson.
Novel Quizzes Package
This package includes eight (8) excellent fill-in-the-blank quizzes with answer keys for To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The quizzes and answer keys are Microsoft Word documents.
Quizzes are organized by multiple chapters in this fashion:
1-4, 5-8, 9-11, 12-16, 17-19, 20-22, 23-27, 28-31
These are great open-book reading quizzes that assess and reinforce comprehension, and can be graded quickly. On average, each quiz includes between 25 and 35 blanks. Students who read prior to taking a quiz finish in 30 minutes or less.
These fill-in-the-blank quizzes not only assess general plot comprehension, but also ask students to dig and find the exact words from important quotations from the novel. This re-examination of the text is key to having insightful conversations, or producing insightful writing later on.
MLK Close Read and Common Core Part 3 Parallel Task
This package is a 17-page guided parallel task for Part 3 of the Common Core Regents English Language Arts Exam.
Part 3 asks students to read a passage, and in a well-developed, text-based response identify a central idea of the text and analyze how the author’s use of one writing strategy (literary element or literary technique or rhetorical device) develops this central idea.
This package focuses on the language use in an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. This package includes an 18-question close reading guide to help students understand the text, and begin to analyze its literary value. This package also includes a guided planning page, lined essay paper, four exemplar responses, and instructional materials on how to present text evidence borrowed from another writer.
The rubric can be obtained online.
The close reading questions and planning page guide students toward identifying a central idea, and analyzing a writing strategy used in the development of the text.
9th graders wrote the exemplar responses.
Overall, this is a quality parallel task for 9th and 10th graders especially.
Chapter 24 Missionary Circle Close Read
This package is a close reading task for an excerpt out of chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This package includes a 78-line passage, 28 guided questions and fill-in-the blanks, an answer key, a culminating writing assignment, and an initial activity to give purpose to reading the chapter in its entirety.
The close read focuses on a line Miss Maudie delivers in chapter 24: “His food doesn’t stick going down, does it?” The events leading up to her words, and what happens immediately after, often leave students dizzy and unable to follow. This close reading task clears up confusion, and strengthens both their understanding of Miss Maudie and the town of Maycomb.
Below is the context and directions given to students during the guided close read:
In chapter 24, through Scout’s narration, readers attend a missionary circle meeting for the women of the church. Some of the neighbors are invited for refreshments. Aunt Alexandra is hosting the all-female affair in her brother’s home, and has invited Scout to attend. It’s an effort to introduce her to the world of women. In the passage provided, the social-hour conversation has just turned from the African tribe Mrs. Grace Merriweather appears to care so much about to more local topics, including Maycomb’s African American community and the recently completed trial of Tom Robinson. Much of the passage details the conversation between Mrs. Grace Merriweather and Mrs. Gertrude Farrow, who, according to Scout, are the first and second most devout (religious) ladies in all of Maycomb, respectively. Our narrator, however, loses the thread of conversation when she starts daydreaming. It’s your job to closely read between the lines to figure out what happens in this awkward social situation.
Closely read the passage provided and reference the specific details in it as you answer the questions below on a separate sheet of paper:
Atticus vs. Heck Tate Brief Reading Guide
These simple questions help guide students through the reading of the pivotal scene on Atticus' porch.
To Kill a Mockingbird Socratic Seminar Prompts
This product offers some intriguing Socratic Seminar prompts and questions for Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Partner Reminder and Organizer for Partnered Work
Help students learn to work with others with this tool for creating partners to work with during activities related to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.