Unit 2

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


English II††††


Unit Length and Description:


Nine weeks


Students gain a sense of the living history that surrounds the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Through studying primary source materials from several online resources, students of all backgrounds may better grasp how historical events and human forces have shaped relationships between black and white and rich and poor cultures of our country. During the study of this unit literature, students will be guided on a journey through the Depression Era in the 1930s. Activities familiarize the students with Southern experiences through the study of the novel. Other literary genres studied in the unit include short stories, poetry, essays, and speeches.Through the study of characteristics of these genres, students will realize how much alike we all are and that the struggles and successes of people everywhere are very similar.


This unit will focus on craft and structure and integration of knowledge and ideas as well as writing informative/explanatory and argumentative essays.




Reading Literature


Skill(s): interpreting and analyzing word choice

  • The students can:
    • determine what words mean and how context affects the meaning of these words and phrases, and
    • consider how the repeated use of words and phrases work together to achieve some cumulative effect.


Skill(s): analyze text structure

  • The students can:
    • examine how an authorís choices about structure and narrative design affect the plot, pacing, and perceptions of the reader, focusing on how techniques such as flashbacks, parallel plots, or nonlinear-episodic narratives, create a sense of wonder, anxiety, or awe in readers.


Skill(s): assessing point of view/purpose

  • The students can:
    • examine how authors from outside the Unites States treat a particular culture, experience, or perspective in a wide range of literary works.


Reading Informational Texts


Skill(s): interpreting and analyzing word choice

  • The students can:
    • examine what words mean and how context affects the meaning of these words and phrases, assessing whether the author is using words literally or figuratively and how the repeated use of words achieves some cumulative effect.


Skill(s): analyze text structure

  • The students can:
    • concentrate on how the author arranges details, evidence, or events to support and develop a claim or idea, analyzing how the writer begins and then refines the idea by connecting sentences, paragraphs, and larger chunks as they explore and advance their idea(s) and claim(s).


Skill(s): assessing point of view/purpose

  • The students can:
    • draw conclusions about the authorís perspective, analyzing the authorís purpose and the rhetorical choices the author uses to achieve that purpose or promote a certain perspective.



Skill(s): write to support arguments with claims

  • The students can:
    • write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence by:

a)   introducing precise claim(s), distinguishing the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and creating an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence,

b)   developing claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audienceís knowledge level and concerns,

c)   using words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, creating cohesion, and clarifying the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims,

d)   establishing and maintaining a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing, and

e)   providing a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.


Skill(s): using technology to publish

  • The students can:
    • use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technologyís capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.


Skill(s): researching

  • The students can:
    • investigate topics, problems, or questions posed by others or generated themselves as a part of a short or more extended research project, limiting or extending the scope of their inquiry as needed, and
    • examine different sources or perspectives on the subject, first showing that they understand, then synthesizing those different sources about the topic they are investigating.


Speaking and Listening


Skill(s): presenting research

  • The students can:
    • integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.


Skill(s): assessing research

  • The students can:
    • evaluate a speakerís point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.




Skill(s): applying knowledge of language through editing

  • The students can:
    • apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening by:

a)   writing and editing work so that it conforms to the guidelines in a style manual (e.g., MLA Handbook, Turabianís Manual for Writers) appropriate for the discipline and writing type.


Enduring Understandings:


         Reading a wide range of literature by different authors and from different time periods, cultures, and genres, builds an understanding of the extent of human experience.

         Literature is an avenue through which we can examine the causes and social effects of various types of bias and prejudice.

         The society affects the individual.


Essential Questions:


         How does literature enrich our lives?

         How does our literacy reflect the culture in which we live?

         How can prejudice lead to injustice?

         How do people tend to judge others by their own standards?

         How are we influenced by others?

         In what ways does our social structure influence our actions?