Taking a Stand | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2A

Taking a Stand

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Recommendation for 2020-21 and Crosswalk

For 2020-21 school year:

We recommend omitting Grade 8: Module 2A. For the 2020-21 school year, to ensure students can be fully supported by the teacher in the way the module was intended, EL Education recommends implementing three of the four modules. For more information, please view our rationale here.


The version of To Kill a Mockingbird that EL  Education referenced when writing the original module lessons (in 2013) is no longer in print. This chart provides a lesson-by-lesson crosswalk between the pagination in the original module lessons (based on the out-of-print version of the novel), the 50th anniversary edition of the novel (ISBN-13 #978-0446310789, or ISBN-10 #0446310786) from 2016, and the only paperback edition now available for purchase, which is published by HarperCollins (ISBN #978-0060935467). 

Schools may use this chart as a lesson-by-lesson crosswalk between the pagination in the original module lessons (based on the original mass market edition), and either of the editions mentioned above. 

In this second module, students will continue to develop their ability to closely read text while studying the theme of taking a stand. During the first half of Unit 1, students will read two speeches reflecting examples of real people taking a stand. By reading these speeches they will build background knowledge about the module's overarching theme, engage in a study of the speaker's perspective, and analyze the craft of forming an argument. In the second half of Unit 1, students will read Part 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and continue to study the theme of taking a stand as it is revealed in the novel. Students will engage in a character study of Atticus by analyzing his actions and words, and what others say about him, to better understand him as a character. This analysis will provide details and evidence for students to use in their end of Unit 2 argument essay. In addition to reading and studying the text, students will view excerpts of the To Kill a Mockingbird film that strongly convey the novel's themes, and they will analyze how the film remains true to the original text as well as how it veers from the original.

In Unit 2, students will continue to study the theme of taking a stand as they finish the novel. They will develop their argument writing skills through scaffolded writing lessons, culminating in a literary analysis essay in which they argue whether or not it made sense, based on Atticus's character, for him to have taken a stand and defend Tom Robinson. In Unit 3, having finished the novel, students will return to key quotes from the novel that relate to the themes of the Golden Rule and Taking a Stand. Students will form groups to create a Readers Theater montage in which they select one key quote; then they will select scenes from the novel that reveal the message of the quote. Students will recreate these scenes in a Readers Theater structure and provide commentary on how their script remains true and veers from the original text. This Readers Theater final performance task centers on ELA standards RL.8.2, RL.8.3, W.8.3, W.8.4, and W.8.11b.

Guiding Questions and Big Ideas

  • How does taking a stand in small ways show integrity?
  • Is it worth taking a stand for one's self? For others?
  • What do we know that Scout doesn't?
  • How does the idea of taking a stand connect to the dramatic irony and Scout's perspective?
  • Authors use the structure of texts to create style and convey meaning.
  • Authors use allusions to layer deeper meaning in the text.


Each unit file includes teacher materials and student-facing materials.

Texts and Resources to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.

Text or Resource Quantity ISBNs
To Kill a Mockingbird (Film Adaptation)
by Based on the novel by Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
One per student
ISBN: 978-0446314862, 0446314862


Each module is approximately 8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

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