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Grade Level: 8th

Unit Lesson Plan Theme: Novel – To Kill a Mockingbird (TKaM)

Unit Standards and Objectives:

I. LA8.R1.O1 Demonstrate proficiency in reading comprehension on a grade appropriate

level to:
1. identify main idea
2. identify cause and effect
3. recognize supporting details
4. make predictions based on story details
5. draw logical conclusions
6. make inferences
7. use story details to compare and contrast
8. make generalizations
9. sequencing events

II. LA8.R2.O1 Use active reading strategies to:

1. preview
2. question
3. visualize
4. predict
5. connect

III. LA8.R3.O1 Identify the elements of a story, including but not limited to:
1. plot
2. theme
3. characterization
4. audience
5. figurative language
6. point of view
7. setting
8. climax/turning point
9. exposition
10. rising action
11. denouement (conflict resolution)
12. tone
13. mood
14. irony
15. foreshadowing
16. flashback
17. conflict
18. symbolism
19. red herring
IV. LA8.R3.O3 Identify various literary forms and genres
V. LA8.R4.O2 Use context clues to determine meanings of unknown words
VI. LA8.R4.O4 Determine denotative and connotative meanings of words

Essential Questions: 1. How does an author talk to us through her writings?

2. How does an author use elements of suspense to build mood in a
3. Why does an author weave elements of real life with fiction, and
does this help us find the novel more believable?
4. What is a gothic novel, and how does TKaM fit the definition?

Text Title & Subject: To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee; Literature

Skills and Concepts: deep reading, reading to make inferences, story element
recognition, main idea, summarizing, using context clues for vocabulary

Instructional Methods: direct teaching, collaborative learning, research

Instructional Strategies: 1. deep reading

2. re-reading for analysis
3. note taking
4. graphic organizers
5. computer research
6. think, pair, share
7. Socratic seminar
8. guided questioning

Engaged Learning: Creating a portfolio of writings and drawings to help understand and
analyze the novel on a deep level; viewing/discussing Great Depression photos to
visually observe how people suffered during the Depression:

Materials Needed: novel, graphic organizers, paper for note taking, SMARTBOARD,
literary terms handout, novel vocabulary handouts

Explaining, Modeling, and Demonstrating Skills and Concepts: Essential questions,

visualization modeling, reciprocal teaching, graphic organizer demonstration

Guided and Independent Practice: class work, homework, re-reading, note taking,
graphic organizer work

Formative Assessment: graphic organizer review, observation of novel comprehension

during class discussions, note review, practice quizzes that we use to analyze deep levels
of understanding
Summative Assessments: story quizzes/tests, expository writing assignments that
demonstrate comprehension of novel on an analytical level and a final portfolio project
that is explained at the end of this unit

Differentiation: Some students need more individual work with the teacher to help them
come to a deep understanding of the story elements. As I listen to the class discussion of
the story, I’ll assess who seems to need more help to understand the story. I’ll work with
these students in small groups and use more questions that build to the big ideas to help
them reach the same high level of understanding as the rest of the class.

General Lesson Outline in Order:

1. anticipation guide to elicit opinions about story’s subject:
a. In America, everyone has the same chance to succeed as everyone else.
b. A hero is someone who succeeds at whatever he or she sets out to do.
c. Going to church every Sunday means you are a good person.
d. A model family consists of a father, a mother, and children.
e. You can usually tell what kind of person someone is by how she or he looks.
f. If someone stays away from people, he or she probably has something to hide.
g. If you’re going to be a good citizen, you should always obey all of the laws.
h. Adults always know best.
i. In America, we all know that a person is innocent of a crime until proven guilty
in a court of law. If he or she is judged guilty, we know they are truly guilty.
j. Parents are always right.
2. activating prior knowledge – elements of previously read stories that apply to current
3. vocabulary frontloading before reading
4. review of previous chapters to start the thinking process
4. direct teaching of visualization as story is chunked by teacher
5. reading of story by student with emphasis on deep reading; includes re-reading
6. guided questions using Bloom’s taxonomy (from comprehension to application and
analysis questions) and Socratic Seminar – story elements are uncovered and discussed;
leave room for disagreement and personal interpretation of certain elements
7. cooperative learning with think, pair, share to answer interpretive questions at end of
8. summarization and theme of novel by discussion
9. story quiz/test
10. expository writing assignment to demonstrate understanding on a deep level

Assessment Profiles:
1. Daily 10 question reading quizzes are given for each chapter to assess students’ grasp
of the factual information from the chapter.

2. The final portfolio project demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of the novel on its
literal and metaphorical level has the following elements:
a. front cover that is student designed that conveys the student’s ideas of what the
novel is about using different and personal artistic elements (drawings, paintings, collage,
b. table of contents that lists the parts of the portfolio in order

c. one page summary of the novel that doesn’t give the whole plot away but
entices other and makes them want to read the novel

d. a chapter summary sheet that lists the chapter number, the year and season of
the chapter, and a one-sentence summary of the chapter

e. six quotes from the book that are especially important in the student’s mind in
helping the reader understand the character . The page the quote appears and two to three
sentence explaining why the quote is important.

f. three paragraphs that are 6-8 sentences in length. One paragraph describes
Scout, one describes Atticus, and one describes Jem.

g. three paragraphs that are 6-8 sentences in length. The student should pick three
minor characters and write one paragraph about each of these minor characters.

h. a diary entry from the point of view of Scout or Jem telling about the trial. This
must be at least ½ page in length.

i. TKaM A to Z chart: clear, well reasoned people, places, things, or events from
the novel that correspond to the letters of the alphabet. A short phrase is needed to
explain each name, place, thing, or event.

j. back page must contain one quote by the student explaining why someone
should read TKaM. The student puts his/her name here.