handout - LREI Blog

Eighth Grade Core
To Kill a Mockingbird: Chapters 7, 8, & 9
Thoughtfully answer the following questions, in preparation for reading Part II of the
book. Be sure you answer each part of each question. This assignment will be collected.
1. When Scout and Jem are walking home from school, Jem tells her why he was
trembling after he got his pants. What does he say? Why is he upset? Explain.
2. List all the things Scout and Jem find in chapter 7 in the knothole. Which of
these has the most impact on them and why? Who do you suspect is leaving
them and why do you think so?
3. What does Nathan Radley do with the knothole in the tree? Why does he say he
did it? How do we know his answer is not the truth? What do you think the real
reason is? Why do you think Jem looks like he’s been crying when he comes in?
Explain. (62-63)
4. Even though Boo hasn’t said a word, we get to know quite a bit about him. How
would you characterize him and upon what parts of the text would you base your
characterization? Use at least 2 examples to back up your thinking and include
page numbers.
5. What do we know about Tom Robinson so far? List everything you remember
and can find in the text. Include page numbers.
6. Why does Scout receive a spanking from Uncle Jack? What lesson does the text
teach about hearing, or automatically believing, only one side of the story?
Explain. Even after Uncle Jack admits his error, why does Atticus think that
Scout deserved some sort of punishment? (87)
7. At the beginning of Chapter 9, Scout asks Atticus what Cecil Jacobs meant when
he said Atticus “defends niggers.” (75). Atticus explains to Scout why he took
Tom Robinson’s case by saying, “If I didn’t, I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I
couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you and Jem
not to do something again” (75). What does he mean? Explain.
8. Atticus continues by telling Scout that he will not win the case, but “simply
because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not
to try to win” (76). What does he mean? Explain in your own words exactly what
you think he is talking about and what the underlying message is. In other
words, why does he take a case he is nearly sure he will lose?
9. At the end of Chapter 9, Atticus says to his brother, “You know what’s going to
happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray that I can get Jem and Scout
through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual
disease” (88). What is “Maycomb’s usual disease?” Look back at the context and
the passage to help you if you are unsure. What is Atticus afraid will happen to
Jem and Scout during the trial?