This engaging and informative lesson enables students to make clear, detailed and well-informed links between Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and its social and historical context. In particular, students develop their understanding of the 1930s American South, The Great Depression, and racial inequalities, before connecting this understanding with what they read in precisely-selected extracts.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
Creating American South timelines using clearly explained context cards, in order to establish an understanding of context;
Researching further information about the social and historical context of the novel, using a guided research sheet;’
Reading selected extracts from the text, in order to link ideas regarding context and text together;
Analysing how the features of context are portrayed in the novel;
Peer assessing each other’s learning attempts;
Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;
Selected extracts (from chapters 1, 9 and 15);
Comprehensive lesson plan.
There are also opportunities for group learning, speaking and listening, peer assessment, and whole class discussion. I originally used these resources with year 10 and 11 classes, however colleagues have used them for between year 9 and year 13 with some adaptations.
Please note that students will need internet access for the research introduction task.
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