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When my students read To Kill a Mockingbird, we are working on a variety of skills, including synthesizing main idea and themes across texts. After teaching this text dozens of times, I've put together my favorite paired texts for you. Included in this bundle are 5 texts, 75+ pages, and 100+ questions. To purchase these items individually would be $17.50, but buying the bundle will save you $4.5, which is like getting two items for free.
Here's all the included resources:
***Bonus Exclusive*** Synthesis Prompts
These 18 prompts are exclusive to the To Kill a Mockingbird Synthesis Bundle. 8 of the prompts are designed to help students synthesize "We Wear the Mask" and The Souls of Black Folk Chapter 1. The other 10 prompts connect To Kill a Mockingbird to all the other texts below.
"We Wear the Mask" Pre-Reading Guide, Reading Questions, and Google Form
A few years ago, my team added "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar to our unit on To Kill the Mockingbird. For my team, this poetry selection complements the themes of Harper Lee's classic and also acts as our students' introduction to poetry. To this end, I've put together a pre-reading tool that asks students to consider Dunbar as an author as well as the historical and cultural context(s) in which the poem was written. I've also included 7 multiple choice and short answer questions (keys included) to help students analyze and make inferences about the poem, including its structure, syntax, and use of figurative language. Check it out here.
4 Activities for Teaching "Sympathy" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
To help students with symbolism, allusion, and figurative language, students also read "Sympathy" by Paul Laurence Dunbar. This text complements Lee's work and also provides students with an opportunity to analyze point of view, to make text connections, and to analyze historical context. Includes a pre-reading guide, 15 multiple-choice questions available as a printable and as a Google Form, a Syntax Analysis tool that helps students focus on how Dunbar uses punctuation, grammar, poetic structure, meter, and genre to support his purpose as an author. Also includes 9 short answer questions. All available as a .pdf and a Google Slides. Check it out here.
The Souls of Black Folk Chapter 1 Reading Analysis Questions and Prompts
In an effort to make my teaching more responsive and representative for my students, I decided to pair Paul Laurence Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask" with an excerpt from W.E.B. Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk. For this reason, I chose this excerpt from Chapter 1 "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," which explains the idea of "double consciousness." Includes a pre-reading guide with an About the Author section. This also includes "The Crying of Water" by Arthur Symons, the poem Du Bois uses as the epigraph from Chapter 1. Includes 20 multiple-choice questions, available as a printable and Google Form, a text connections tool that helps students make connections between the excerpt from Chapter 1 and an excerpt from Chapter 10. 10 writing prompts encouraging students to analyze W.E.B. Du Bois' overall argument and tone are also included. Check it out here.
4 Tools for Teaching "Credo: What I Believe" by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman's "Credo: What I believe," which I first read in New Statesman America in 2015, is a perfect complement to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Including this informational and argumentative text is also a good way to help students synthesize across genres and to connect to a modern-day text. Includes a pre-reading guide, 15 multiple-choice questions available as a printable and Google Form, a text connections tool focused on connecting Gaiman's writing to ANY fictional text, 10 short answer brings and rubric. This resource focuses on historical context, rhetoric, and argument. All available as a .pdf and a Google Slides. Check it out here.
"Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou Poetry Pre-Reading, Questions, and Writing Prompt
Since this text uses a symbol similar to the central symbol in To Kill a Mockingbird, this text provides students with a chance to synthesize across texts, connecting texts. It's also important that students hear from black authors and women authors. Includes a pre-reading guide, 12 multiple-choice questions available as a printable and as a Google Form, and a graphic organizer to help students compare and contrast the free and caged bird. All available as a .pdf and a Google Slides. Check it out here.
12 To Kill a Mockingbird Short Answer Prompts + Rubric
When my students read To Kill a Mockingbird, we are also working on producing strong paragraphs that begin with topic sentences, included (cited) text evidence, and provide apt analysis. Over the years, I've put together the 12 prompts that have brought my students the most success. I have also included the easy, no-prep rubric I use. Check it out here.
Crash Course Literature Listening Guide: To Kill a Mockingbird
Crash Course is a great resource, and I use it frequently. However, sometimes students need guidance to work through the information, and I need a way to hold them accountable as listeners. For this reason, I made a quick, ready-to-print listening and analysis guides for EVERY episode of Crash Course Literature. Each guide features a pre-and post-viewing activity, 6-10 questions, and answer key. Questions move from the comprehension level through inference, analysis, and evaluation. This set includes listening guides for episodes 210-11 for To Kill a Mockingbird. Check it out here.
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