To Kill a Mockingbird: Real Women of Alabama

This lesson explores the characterization of females in To Kill a Mockingbird. What female influences would Scout have been exposed to in this coming-of-age story? Students will create a “fakebook” profile of a female character they select from the classic novel. They will then compare textual evidence from the novel with real women from Alabama during the Great Depression.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 9-10 Language...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CLE 3001.2.5
Understand strategies for expressing ideas clearly and effectively in a variety of oral contexts.
CLE 3001.2.6
Deliver effective oral presentations.
CLE 3001.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
CLE 3001.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3001.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3001.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3001.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3001.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3001.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3001.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of challenging oral and written contexts.
CLE 3001.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause/effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3001.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and the quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3001.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument
CLE 3001.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas of informational and technical texts and determine the essential elements that elaborate them.
CLE 3001.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
CLE 3001.8.4
Analyze works of literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
CLE 3002.2.6
Deliver effective oral presentations.
CLE 3002.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
CLE 3002.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, wellconstructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3002.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3002.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3002.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3002.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3002.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3002.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of challenging oral and written contexts.
CLE 3002.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause-effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3002.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and the quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3002.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3002.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas of informational and technical texts and determine the essential elements that elaborate them.
CLE 3002.8.4
Analyze works of literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
SPI 3001.2.7
Select the most appropriate strategies for participating productively in a team (e.g., gaining the floor in orderly, respectful ways and listening with civility...
SPI 3001.3.3
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3001.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3001.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
SPI 3001.5.1
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 3001.8.4
Identify and analyze how the author reveals character (i.e., what the author tells us, what the other characters say about him or her, what the character does,...
SPI 3002.2.7
Select the most appropriate strategies for participating productively in a team (e.g., gaining the floor in orderly, respectful ways and listen with civility to...
SPI 3002.3.3
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3002.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.5.1
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 3002.8.4
Identify and analyze how the author reveals character (i.e., what the author tells us, what the other characters say about him or her, what the character does,...
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; cite the strongest, most compelling textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.KID.3
Analyze how an author presents and develops key ideas and events to impact meaning.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; cite the strongest, most compelling textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.KID.3
Analyze how complex characters, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text to impact meaning.
TSS.ELA.9-10.SL.CC.1
Initiate and participate effectively with varied partners in a range of collaborative discussions on appropriate 9th- 10th grade topics, texts, and...
TSS.ELA.9-10.SL.PKI.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically, so that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the...
TSS.ELA.9-10.SL.PKI.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.PDW.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.7
Conduct and write short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem by...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.8
Use multiple search terms to generate a variety of print and digital sources; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.9
Support and defend interpretations, analyses, reflections, or research with evidence found in literature or informational texts, applying grade band...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to analyze and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

The learner will:

  • cite evidence from To Kill a Mockingbird to support character analysis;
  • analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text and interact with other characters;
  • use research skills to find sources from the Library of Congress’s online collections on the Great Depression and compare them to those described in the novel;
  • use technology, including the Internet, to produce, and publish individual writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically; and
  • make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
Essential and guiding questions: 

Compare the primary sources from Alabama women during the Great Depression with the characters of To Kill a Mockingbird. How are the women in the novel similar or different than those represented in the primary sources from the Library of Congress?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 
  • This lesson can be expanded to include any character of To Kill a Mockingbird and not focus exclusively on female characters.
  • Students can further learn about gender roles during the Great Depression in an article, “Women and the Great Depression,” from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
  • Students can learn more about the important American musicologist Alan Lomax, and access a new collection of his manuscripts and field notes, at the Library of Congress. Teachers can also access teacher resources built around his field recordings through the Association for Cultural Equity’s Lomax pages.

Helpful Hints

MATERIALS:

  • PowerPoint
  • Fakebook template (from Classtools.net)
  • Fakebook checklist
  • Access to Internet
  • Library of Congress Web site