Syllabus for 8th Grade English Language Arts
Unit 2: To Kill a Mockingbird
Course: 8th Grade ELA
Dates: October 1st – January 4th
In this unit, students will engage in literary analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird as well as thematically related poetry.
Students will also research and discuss relevant nonfiction texts. Reading comprehension skills developed in class
will be reinforced through independent reading at home. Students’ progress will be measured through state exams
as well as unit specific writing tasks. Students will participate in the writing process of drafting, revising, editing,
peer review, publishing, and reflection to produce a polished final essay that incorporates sound reasoning, cited
evidence, and sophisticated language use.
According to New York Common Core Standards, literary analysis and argumentative writing will become more
sophisticated as students advance from 8th grade to high school. To become college and career ready, students will
need to make meaning out of complex texts, and to effectively communicate their ideas orally and in writing, using
intellectual language. Students will learn to take an informed stand on controversial issues. A strong foundation in
analysis, reasoning, and writing mechanics will ensure that students are competitive in a global marketplace.
Students will be able to:
 Read and comprehend literature, poetry, and nonfiction texts
 Cite textual evidence to support claims, interpretations, and analysis
 Increase vocabulary
 Develop and strengthen writing
 Consider multiple perspectives
 Distinguish claims from alternate or opposing viewpoints
 Conduct independent research
 Participate in and facilitate collaborative, collegial discussions
Texts/Resources/Topics for Further Inquiry
Scottsboro Trials
Jim Crow Laws
Civil Rights
Film: To Kill a Mockingbird
"Clutching" - Lee Bennett Hopkins
"The Barrier" - Claude McKay
"Truth" - Gwendolyn Brooks
"Incident" - Countee Cullen
"If We Must Die" - Claude McKay
"Strange Fruit" - Abel Meeropol
"On the Subway" - Sharon Olds
"As I Grew Older" - Langston Hughes
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" - Maya Angelou
"Sympathy" - Paul Laurence Dunbar