"To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee, Chapters 8-11

May 30, 2015
Image for issue at Youth Voices

Will you: 

Read and annotate Chapters 8-11 of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Listen to and read the words at the same time. Pause frequently to annotate the text. You can also record your reading of these chapters on VoiceThread. Then write your response to these four chapters, using one or two of the six questions in this mission. Next, get engaged in a conversation about this part of To Kill a Mockingbird by commenting on another student's discussion post about Chapters 8-11. Also, be sure to reply to anybody's comment on your own discussion post. In between all of that, play the Quizlet games to review your comprehension of the text. Finally, do more research on the history surrounding these chapters, and add your findings to another comment or reply on another discussion post about Chapters 8=11.

Step One of Six: Read, Listen to, and Annotate Chapters 8-11 of To Kill a Mockingbird

Scroll inside the red, double-line frame just below this introduction (Mrs. Drum's 8th Grade English), and click on the play buttons to listen to the audio of Chapters 8-11 of To Kill a Mockingbird narrated by Sissy Spacek. They are organized by chapter, and there are several audio files within the chapter. Pause and annotate using the NowComment version of To Kill a Mockingbird in the next, blue frame.

How to annotate on the text embedded below (while listening and pausing):
Log into NowComment, or Log into Gmail first, then sign in with Google.

    Make notes on sentences

  • identify key sentences and say why they are important
  • guess at, then find definitions for words you don't know
  • point to words that this author uses frequently, and explain why s/he does this

    Make notes on a paragraph

  • a part that you think is particularly memorable, and explain why
  • dialogue that shows something significant about the characters
  • something that confuses you. Say what you do understand, then explain what's still not clear.

    Make notes on the writer's craft

  • choose a specific example, and identify the literary technique used.
  • select a sentence or a paragraph, and explain how these capture the main themes of this text.
  • point out a sentence that stands out to you—for whatever reason—and explain why.

Step Two of Six: Play games with these flashcards, and write stories in your journal about reading To Kill a Mockingbird

Step Three of Six: Read Important Passages from Chapters 8-11 Aloud

Let's read an important section of To Kill a Mockingbird - Chapters 8-11 aloud. Record yourself reading pages in this green-framed VoiceThread. (You will need to log in. You can register if you don't have an account, or ask your teacher.) You should practice first. Also listen to the other recordings on each page.

Step Four of Six: Use Literature Guides to answer one or two of these questions from the "A Facing History and Ourselves Study Guide: Teaching Mockingbird" (pp. 70-71)

Use a Google Doc to compose, share and get comments from peers, revise, proofread, and edit an essay that follows one of the suggested guides. Then post your literary essay as a discussion on Youth Voices.

1. How would you describe Atticus’s universe of obligation? How can he respect both his racist neighbors, such as Mrs. Dubose, and the black man he will defend in court, Tom Robinson?

2. Discussing the Tom Robinson case with Scout, Atticus says: “When you and Jem are grown, maybe you’ll look back on this with some compassion and some feeling that I didn’t let you down.” Scout, as the narrator, is older as she tells us the story. Look for evidence in the text that suggests how the adult Jean Louise views these events.

3. What is courage? Compare Atticus’s decision to represent Tom Robinson with Mrs. Dubose’s decision to kick her morphine habit before her death. In what ways are their convictions similar? In what ways are they different? Are they both courageous?

4. What messages does Scout receive about the proper behavior of a young Southern girl? How does she respond to these messages? What do Scout’s responses tell you about her character? How are the ways people view gender roles in Maycomb different from the way we view gender roles today? How are they similar?

5. How does race complicate the circumstances of the characters we have met so far? What role does Calpurnia play in the Finch family? What authority does she have in the Finch household that she might not have elsewhere in Maycomb?

6. The novel is divided into two distinct parts. Now that you have finished Part 1, what title would you give it? Explain why your title is compelling. How does it connect to one of the major themes of To Kill a Mockingbird?

Step Five of Six: Have conversations by posting comments and replies.

Comment on other students' "To Kill a Mockingbird - Chapters 8-11" discussion posts (literary essays) using the Commenting Guides: Agree/Disagree Response or General Discussion Response.

Step Six of Six: Do some research about the small-town and rural South in the 1930s, annotating the resources in the purple frame below with Hypothes.is. Then post new comments and replies on discussions about "To Kill a Mockingbird Chapters 8-11."

While reading and looking at the documents from each of these resources collected by Facing History and Ourselves, "Building Historical Context," pause frequently and annotate with Hypothes.is about what you are seeing and understanding. The video for Handout 3.2 is embedded below. Write about your annotations, using either Adding a quotation... or Quoting a speech.... Use these notes to add new comments on other students' "To Kill a Mockingbird - Chapters 8-11" discussion posts (literary essays) using the Commenting Guide: Quoting a Source in a Comment.

David Cunningham, chair of the Department of Sociology at Brandeis University, explores systems of racial separation and institutionalized segregation known as Jim Crow. "Jim Crow" was a legal separation as well as a system of customs of racial order that differed from place to place. How white supremacy played out across small southern towns 1930s was the result of these laws and customs. The Depression also had an effect on racial order where perceived competition for resources created a desire to "police" access to those resources and increased tensions between groups.