Freshmen: Week 7 Begins Our To Kill a Mockingbird Unit

After submitting and self-assessing their narratives on Monday, the freshmen in Room G 17 will begin their first whole class novel study with the classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. During this first week, we will establish the historical context of the novel, specifically considering the Great Depression and the segregated South of the 1930s. Together, we will study the first two chapters of the novel, ensuring that each student is oriented to the major characters, the setting, and the early conflicts of the book. Then, students will work independently to read and comprehend the third chapter of the novel over the weekend.

Some important facts:

  • Students have purchased their own copies of To Kill a Mockingbird with their school fees. Students are expected to bring these books to class with them each day, and it is expected that every student write in his or her book. Most assessments are open book; therefore, students should take notes in class and as they read independently.
  • Once students read independently, they should take advantage of digital resources to support their comprehension. Many students find that listening to audiobooks (available free on YouTube!) as they read and annotate greatly helps their comprehension. Other students find that reading Spark Notes or Cliff Notes after each chapter helps them to focus on what is important in each chapter. Using these resources to aid comprehension isn’t cheating—it’s studying. For students that find comprehension difficulty, consider watching the film version prior to reading the book.
  • This week, readers workshop will remain the same. Students will still be required to meet their goals. Next week, we will reduce readers workshop goals, since students will be reading two books at once.

Parents, how can you help?

  • Consider reading with us! This will give your child the opportunity to open dialogue with you about the ideas discussed in the book, and it will also enable them to ask questions prior to discussions and assessments in class.
  • If your child is finding the text difficult to comprehend, encourage him or her to seek out additional help. I have lots of resources and strategies to aid comprehension. If we can put interventions in place early, we can avoid stress and work incompletion later in the quarter.