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To Kill a Mockingbird


Are you afraid of the boogeyman? Do you check under the bed before you go to sleep to make sure there aren't any monsters waiting for you?

Of course not. That's kids' stuff.

Well, what if we told you that being afraid doesn't go away when you get older? Turns out adults have irrational fears, too. Harper Lee's Pulitzer-prize winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird hones in on these fears and what they can lead otherwise sensible, grown-up people to do. Spoiler alert: not great stuff.

In this course, we'll watch our young narrator Scout grow up and face her own boogeyman as she navigates a world full of fear, hatred, and injustice:

  • Via Common Core-aligned activities, you'll situate the novel within the history of America and the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Through close reading lesson plans, you'll think about these memorable characters: Scout, Atticus, and of course, the always mysterious Boo Radley.
  • With the help of lesson intros and guided readings, you'll think about all those big literary hitters: setting, symbolism, writing style, and the rest of the gang.

All that and a giant ham costume? It isn't considered a classic for nothin'.

Course Breakdown

Unit 1. To Kill a Mockingbird

A whole unit devoted to America's literary sweetheart: To Kill a Mockingbird. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and by the end, you'll probably want to save the world.

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 6: Hold Your Tongue

The metal end of a hammer, smashing a line of green peas, one by one.
A hammer is to a line of peas…as Mrs. Dubose is to our morale.

Sometimes, in your life as a reader, you encounter a literary jerk-face who just makes you cringe every time you see his or her name pop up on the page. We're talking Grima Wormtongue, here. Voldemort. Captain Hook.


And in To Kill a Mockingbird, enter Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose. She's one of those cantankerous old women who just says whatever pops into her mind. Atticus could be saying "Howdy-do," and she would still heap a string of curses and defamations of character upon him. That's how she is. There's no point in fighting it.

But does this make her a villain?

Because Harper Lee's such a master at writing intriguing characters, you can bet there are more levels to Mrs. Dubose than what originally meets the eye. Translation? Voldemort ain't got nothing on this old-timey Southern lady.

  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • English
    • Literature
    • Middle School
    • High School

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