Freshmen: Second Quarter Begins with the First Literary Analysis Essay

This week, freshmen will suspend their reading of To Kill a Mockingbird as they work to refine their first literary analysis essay. Students were asked to consider a single story held by one of the characters in TKaMB and analyze how that single story changes over the first part of the book. The essay will assess not only their ability to analyze the text but also their ability to clearly and thoroughly support their insights with evidence from the text. Students completed a draft in class last Friday and are expected to revise their draft this week. Thursday, we will complete a peer review on Google Docs, and students will submit the essay on Monday, November 2.

As students consider the changing perspectives of the kids in TKaMB, they will notice that the changes consistently are changes toward maturity. Harper Lee’s story of Scout and Jem is truly a coming-of-age novel, and this week we will explore the topic of coming-of-age through poetry. Students will read “Those Winter Sundays” and “Dreams,” two poems that deal with the insights that come with age.

Parents, how can you help?

  • Have a discussion with your child about the conclusion of first quarter. Ask him/her about the goals they set in class for second quarter and how they can reach those goals.
  • Students are working independently this week to revise their TKaMB Single Story essays, so offer to provide some feedback. Even if you didn’t read the book, you can help your child by ensuring that he/she has thoroughly proved their point with evidence, has written in a style that is academic and clear, and has carefully proofread the essay.