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Pictures say a thousand words! Harper Lee's iconic American novel was written in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and takes place during the Jim Crow era in the south. Both of these time periods are complex and sometimes hard for a 21st century student to even imagine, so photos make for a great unit launch.
You can use these eleven photos as a jigsaw, warm ups, or gallery walk (if you have multiple laptops at your disposal) to introduce the historical context of To Kill A Mockingbird while also giving your students opportunities to deeply analyze photographic texts. The directions slide include the 3-2-1 writing strategy, but can be modified for your students' needs. A link has also been provided to access the Google slides version of this material; all you need to do is file --> make a copy!
For teacher's use, each photo includes information in the notes section about the photo's actual history and its connection to the novel's thematic topics of racism, education, and poverty. The first side is also hyperlinked to PBS's Great American Read segment on the novel, which provides great starter information on the characters, author, and lasting impact of the novel.
In one way or another, I've used these photos every year to kick start our TKAM unit. They have helped my students visualize the text we are reading and have opened their eyes (quite literally!) to fundamental issues of social justice in America.