Inquiry Project

Unit: Relating Pieces of Writing to Society - To Kill a Mockingbird

Persistent Issue: What flaws in society are demonstrated in the novel?

Central Question: How can these flaws be fixed?

Lesson 1: Grabber and Introduction

One 50 minute class period

Introductory Grabber: After previously reading To Kill a Mockingbird, students will reflect on issues/flaws in society prevalent both in the story and in the real world. This will be done in a opinion-based class discussion sharing thoughts, pointing out flaws and why they are flaws, and how they relate to the real world. After discussing, the class will need to narrow down to (what they think are) the three most significant problems. By the end of class, the students should have the background knowledge (discussed in class) to be prepared to find a solution for any of the three problems.

Image result for to kill a mockingbird   Image result for to kill a mockingbird

The instructor presents the following discussion questions:

  • What aspects of society in the book do you believe are faulty?

  • Why do you believe these are flaws?

  • How do the flaws of society in the book differ than what you are used to?

  • Are any of the societal problems in the book no longer evident in our society today? Why or why not?

  • What are your thoughts on the comparison of the society from the book with modern society?

Introduce the Central Question: Instructor concludes the class discussion by receiving opinions on which three problems or flaws are the most significant. The class will need to agree on which three they pick. After splitting the class into groups of 2-3 and assigning each group a flaw, the instructor will inquire the question: how can these three flaws that are relevant to both the society in the book and our society be fixed?

Culminating Activity

Discussion and Presentation

Five 50- minute class periods

Introduction:  The desks are placed in a large circle for the first day of discussion.  The students are allowed to sit anywhere and after discussing as a class the students will break off into groups they have chosen of two or three and begin researching for the presentation.

Discussion: In one 50- minute class period the students will be involved in a full class discussion.  The discussion will be led by the students, however, the teacher may keep them on track or offer up thoughtful questions for the students to reflect on as a group.  The discussion will be centered around uncovering flaws in society by using information from the book To Kill a Mockingbird which the students have already read.  The goal of the discussion is for the students as a class to discuss multiple different flaws in society that will be later used in a presentation.

Activity Overview: After the discussion students will break off into partners or groups of three and then choose one of the flaws that was discussed in the group discussion to create a presentation for.  The presentation will be focused on how the flaws in society can be fixed while also using information from To Kill a Mockingbird. The students will be given two class periods to research in their groups and then another two class periods to prepare their argument and solution.  The students should create a powerpoint presentation that clearly shows their solution to a flaw and any information they found.

Preparation for Presentation: The instructor begins by going over what is expected of the presentation by giving the students a rubric on how they will be graded.

Main aspects students will be graded on:

  • Did you actively engage in class discussion (verbally or on paper)?

  • Did you use previous knowledge from the book to discuss, research, and/or present?

  • Is all your work original?

  • Is your resolution/claim backed up with a good argument and backed up with evidence (if needed)?

  • Did you elaborate effectively on your resolution to your assigned societal flaw?

  • Did you cite any data or research you used properly?

  • Did you and your partners all contribute and put forth the effort needed?

  • Were you and your partners able to discuss your ideas open-mindedly?

  • Were your ideas expressed clearly during your presentation? Did your presentation keep the audience interested?

  • How effective was your presentation? Was your audience convinced?

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