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Unit Topic: Discovering Identity and World View within To Kill A

Mockingbird
Unit Rationale
This unit invites students to view themselves and the worlds around them in
comparison to Harper Lees classic novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Students will
explore specific themes, symbols, and morals within the novel. Through this
exploration, they will also question the world today and how they themselves are
shaped by society.
While To Kill A Mockingbird is an old novel, its critique of society is accurate
and relevant to the way that society works today. However, students and some
teachers often have a difficult time identifying this relevancy. This unit will focus on
how we can read and view the world in the themes, morals, and events experienced
within To Kill A Mockingbird. By looking at the novel from a personal and relevant
perspective, students will be invited to explore it in a way that is beneficial and
rewarding.
Major areas of exploration for this unit include racial relations and
inequalities, socioeconomic status, characterization, and the existence of good
versus evil. Students will work individually and collectively to identify these themes
and how they apply to the world we live in today.
In regards to the connection to state standards, this unit addresses all of the
major requirements for 9th Grade Language Arts. Colorado State Standards require
prepared graduates to be able to read a wide range of literature (American and
world literature) to understand important
universal themes and the human experience and evaluate explicit and implicit
viewpoints, values, attitudes, and assumptions concealed in speech, writing, and
illustration. While much more standards are addressed in this unit, these two are
the ones most applicable simply because this unit asks students to question the

world around them. To Kill A Mockingbird serves as a stepping stone for how
students should constantly explore how they are viewed and how they view others.
This fits cohesively into the semester long course. After just finishing a unit
on Rhetoric, students are familiar with social inequality, stereotypes, and logical
fallacies that encompass our world. The Rhetoric Unit asked students to view
several of Martin Luther Kings speeches in order to analyze his ability to persuade
as well as his reasoning for this persuasion. Due to this unit, students will be able to
use specific background knowledge in order to address the racial relations and
inequality within the novel. This unit will be followed by William Shakespeares
Romeo and Juliet. This will provide a smooth transition into the play because we will
look at how personality and world view is shaped by experiences and society.
Unit Goals, Objectives, and Standards
The following goals and objectives are an overview of what this unit will focus
primarily on. For a more in depth and day by day reasoning for these goals and
objectives, please see individual lesson plans. These will be provided by the
Learning Targets and Standards Addressed for each day.
Goals:
-Students will be able to understand the existence of good and evil
-Students will be able to identify socioeconomic status and race relations within the
novel and how it relates to todays society
-Students will be able to identify key characters and their role within the novel
-Students will be able to understand the major themes and symbols within the novel
Objectives:
-Students will read effectively and use textual evidence to support their claims.
-Students will participate in small group and full class discussions in order to
understand the novel.
-Students will take daily reading quizzes in order to track their reading progress
-Students will ask questions and receive clarification from peers regarding confusion
about the novel.
-Students will actively participate in group work that recognizes themes, symbols,
and major characters within the novel.
-Students will write and read various texts that relate and connect to the theme of
the novel.
Standards:
1. Oral Expression and Listening
Prepared Graduates: Deliver organized and effective oral presentations for diverse
audiences and varied purposes.

a. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of


formal English when indicated or appropriate.(CCSS:SL.9-10.6)
b. Develop a well-organized presentation to defend a position
2. Reading for All Purposes
Prepared Graduates: Read a wide range of literature (American and world literature)
to understand important universal themes and the human experience
a. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its
development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is
shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the
text. (CCSS: RL.9-10.2)
b. b. Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting
motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters,
and advance the plot or develop the theme.
c. (CCSS: RL.9-10.3)
d. Analyze how an authors choices concerning how to structure a text, order
events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing,
flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or
e. surprise. (CCSS: RL.9-10.5)
f. Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of
literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world
literature. (CCSS: RL.9-10.6)
3. Writing and Composition
Prepared Graduates: Master the techniques of effective informational, literary, and
persuasive writing.
a. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization,
and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific
expectations for writing types are defined in expectations 1 and 2 above.)
(CCSS: W.9-10.4)
4. Research and Reasoning
Prepared Graduates: Gather information from a variety of sources; analyze and
evaluate the quality and relevance of the source; and use it to answer complex
questions.
a.

Integrate information from different sources to form conclusions about an


authors assumptions, biases, credibility, cultural and social perspectives, or
world views

Literacy, Numeracy, and Technology Within the Unit


Literacy: Being an English class, literacy will be extremely easy to incorporate into
daily lessons. Students will be asked to read a write a wide range of literature in
order to develop understanding of how literacy is important in reading the word and
then eventually ways of reading the world as well (Friere and Mercedo, 2007).
Literacy will not only look at reading and writing within the walls of a classroom.
Instead, this unit will allow students to read and write about To Kill A Mockingbird in
order to transform it into how they view and experience the world. Examples of this
in daily lesson plans include tickets out the door, class discussions and
presentations, group and peer work, quick writes, and standard reading quizzes.

For the pre and post assessment, students will be required to use literacy in order to
answer short-answer questions.
Numeracy: In contrast to literacy, including numeracy in the classroom requires
lesson plans to be a bit abstract and very creative. On a weekly basis, students will
be required to use numeracy to count off into various groups, time each other
during presentations, create organized maps and charts in a beneficial way, and to
discuss selected poems (determining meter using syllables, stanzas, and lines) that
relate to the novel. While each of these deal with literacy, without numeracy they
would be impossible to achieve.
Technology: With Rocky Mountain High Schools extensive resources and
accommodations for including technology within the classroom, this unit will
incorporate multiple forms. Since we are viewing this unit as a way to explore
society and world view, students will have to use appropriate technological
resources in order to find how To Kill A Mockingbird applies to the world we live in
today. This requires them to perform research, find a variety of different sources
(articles, youtube videos, interviews, etc.). Along with research, daily lessons
require students to use technology in order to prepare them for the 21 st century.
These uses include but are not limited to using laptops, smartboards, smartphones
for surveys, and more. Technology will be used at least once a day in some form or
another within the classroom.