Writing about place is a simple, accessible, and effective way to practice narration and description. This particular project: writing about one’s own place—in a neighborhood, on a street, in a town—is the ideal vehicle for stimulating student enthusiasm for writing. What makes the project enjoyable, in part, is the fact that one of its components is an art project, which is also simple, accessible, and effective.
This cross-curricular project never fails to produce memorable, praiseworthy results. It involves group work, planning, artwork, peer review, writing workshop, and (ideally) publishing and/or display of the finished products. And it aligns with myriad core curriculum standards. It’s also flexible enough for the teacher to tailor it to his or her own lesson plans for the teaching of To Kill a Mockingbird. Though I used it as a culminating experience, you could work it in before, during, or after the reading of the novel. Or, as a simple stand-alone project, it would work well in any English, journalism, or speech class—in which case it could also be turned into a slide presentation or even a video.
Whatever approach you take, this project has lots of possibilities and potential benefits.
Thanks for considering Tim's Toolbox.