8 Grade Language Arts Module 2: To Kill a Mockingbird

8th Grade Language Arts Module 2: To Kill a Mockingbird
Central Ideas:
It is within our power to make choices.
Choices that we make have consequences, both intended and unintended.
Sometimes we must choose to stand up for what we believe is right.
Key events, such as the Jim Crow laws and the Great Depression, have impacted literature.
Compassion and empathy are not dependent upon race or education.
Essential Questions:
What is empathy? What does it mean to “walk in someone else’s shoes?”
Is the Golden Rule a functional way to live?
What does it mean to take a stand?
Is it important to take a stand for a cause even if it could cause harm to you or your family? Is it ok to back down to
save yourself?
What does it mean to be racist?
What is the difference between tradition and ignorance?
What does it mean to “turn the other cheek” and is it the right approach to handling conflict?
When society dictates norms that are at odds with personal beliefs and values, how do we function in society
without sacrificing our beliefs?
Can a person have views that are offensive to us and still be a good person?
Supporting Concepts:
Arguments require appropriate warrants that support claims through connecting evidence and reasons convincingly.
Different media offer advantages and disadvantages for purposes of understanding and presentation.
Historical events impact literature.
Exploring a series of fiction and nonfiction (including historical) texts that meet state and local Common Core
guidelines, students can explore and begin to understand what it means to live the American multicultural
The role of social, political, and cultural interactions supports the development of identity.
Personal identity is a function of an individual’s culture, time, place, geography, interactions with groups, influences
from institutions, and lived experiences.
Textual Rhetoric
Extended Anchor Text: To Kill a Mockingbird
Optional Extended Anchor Texts: Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Short Texts: Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes (RL excerpt)
RL.8.1-9 L.8.1-6
Short Texts: (Speech)
- “Ain’t I a Woman” by Sojourner Truth
- “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr
- “Equal Rights for Women” by Shirley Chisholm
- “The Great Society” by Lyndon Johnson
Short Texts: (Informational Articles)
Outline of Term 2 Content (Subject to Change)
“Teen Freedom Fighters: The Story of How Thousands of Teens Risked Their Lives in the Struggle for Justice and
Equality” by Justin O’Neill
“The News of the Week in Review: STRIFE” by The New York Times
“The Voting Rights Act of 1965: A Hard Won Law Changes History” by Justin O’Neill
Short Texts: (Poetry)
“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden
“Incident” by Countee Cullen
“ Solitude” buy Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
Audio & Visual Rhetoric (Art, Music, Culture, & Media)
Video #1: To Kill A Mockingbird Film
Video #2: The Great Depression Video #1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpKmfjf5tUk
Video #3: The Great Depression Video#2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5Pls1Xc3bw
Video #4: Jim Crow Laws https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2oZ0xvIRvA
Video #5: Segregation in the Southern USA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-7eNRB2_0Q
Video #6: Scottsboro Trials and TKM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uFv23JHaBI
Video #7: Understanding Jim Crow https://www.facinghistory.org/videos/understanding-jim-crow-setting-setting
Visuals: Photography, Paintings, Political Cartoons, Propaganda, Maps, etc.
W.8.1-3 10
Routine Writing: summarize; rhetorical précis
Analysis Writing: compare/contrast informational text
and audio & visual rhetoric analyses (4-6)
Narrative Writing: epic that develops real or imagined experiences/events
Quick Writes
RL 8.1-8.6
“Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who
“Sneaking up on Boo Radley” by Bruce Hornsby
“Each Year” by Ra Ra Riot
“Mrs. Dubose” by Drive-by Truckers
“The Peace Train” by Cat Stevens
“Man In Black” by Johnny Cash
“Walk A Mile In My Shoes” by Joe South
“Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday
Individual / Small Group Project Options
Small Group: Students will research a topic relevant to the central themes of the novel. Students will work in groups to
compile/review information. Upon completion of research, students will submit an individual written composition and
make a group presentation of findings.
Outline of Term 2 Content (Subject to Change)