This is not your average unit plan! This full PBL unit gives an opportunity for students to analyze thematic ideas and characters in the novel while also delving deeper into the concepts of courage and injustice. It asks students to consider the driving question: What defines true courage in our modern society?
This unit focuses on the big picture takeaways from the novel and its relevance to modern society. It encourages students to analyze Harper Lee’s message, then apply that analysis to our current culture. The final student product allows students individually research modern day courageous people, and then compare and contrast them to determine who is most courageous, after delving into many different examples of courage in the novel. Whether you are new to project-based learning or a seasoned professional, this unit plan provides clear instructions on how to make sure your students always know the bigger picture of what they are learning.
If you are simply looking for study guides, worksheets, discussion questions and comprehension tests/quizzes for the novel, quite frankly this is probably not the unit you are looking for. However, you could pair those items that you may already be using in your classroom with this unit seamlessly. This project plan is focused much more around novel analysis in journals and a final paragraph, as well as infusing non-fiction research standards and modern day connections into the content of the novel. This is a perfect unit for you if you are ready to take your lessons for this classic to the next level!
They will follow these steps to deeper understanding of courage and injustice:
B1: Students will be able to define courage and social injustice and recognize examples of courage and social injustice in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
B2: Students will be able to organize textual examples of courage or social injustice from To Kill a Mockingbird in order to infer the author’s purpose.
B3: Students will be able to investigate, cite evidence, and draw conclusions from their individual research of modern day courage.
B4: Students will be able to create a presentation that synthesizes research in order to compare and contrast two modern people and critique which person is most courageous.
This complete unit includes the following:
Lesson layout with detailed description of the project process
Relevant hook presentation that opens up discussions of both courage and injustice, as well as introduces final project goal, driving questions and benchmark scale
To Kill a Mockingbird background presentation
Dialectical Journal assignment sheet, student example, and teacher example
Dialectical Journal template
Dialectical Journal Rubric
Link to PBS documentary
Discussion presentation to use with documentary
Final analysis paragraph for the novel
Final analysis paragraph rubric
List of 60 various people and their reason for being courageous in the fact of injustice
Informal research template for student choice of courageous person
Template for teacher assignments of students to courageous person
Formal research template for students for their individual research
Annotated List of Works Cited assignment
Google slides sample layout for final presentations
Peer edit rubric for final presentations
Final Group Presentation Rubric
All components delivered as one pdf. Working google docs are all linked in for easily editable versions of all documents (simply make a copy and edit!)