Analyzing Character: Understanding Atticus (Chapter 1, cont.) | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA 2012 G8:M2A:U1:L9

Analyzing Character: Understanding Atticus (Chapter 1, cont.)

You are here:

Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text. (RL.8.1)
  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about eighth-grade topics, texts, and issues. (SL.8.1)
  • I can analyze how specific dialogue or incidents in a plot propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. (RL.8.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can support my inferences about Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird with the strongest evidence from the text.
  • I can participate in discussions about the text with a partner, small group, and the whole class.
  • I can analyze how what other characters say about Atticus reveals his character.
  • I can analyze how Atticus' words and actions reveal his character.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Structured notes for Chapter 1 (from homework)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

 A. Engaging the Reader: Structured Notes (12 minutes)

 B. Review Learning Targets: Homework Discussion (3 minutes)

2. Work Time

 A. Character Analysis: Introducing the Atticus Note-catcher (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

 A. Debrief Learning Targets and Preview Homework (5 minutes)

4. Homework

 A. Complete a first read of Chapter 2. Take notes on the Structured Notes graphic organizer.

  • This lesson provides additional scaffolding for students as they learn how to take notes using the structured notes format.
  • At the end of Unit 2, students will write an essay in which they use evidence and details from the text to argue whether it makes sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson. Students will use their knowledge of Atticus to inform their position. This lesson introduces the Atticus Note-catcher, which students will use throughout Units 1 and 2 to collect details from the text that reveal Atticus' character. Be sure students hold on to this Note-catcher; they will need it for their essay.
  • Students already have rich experience analyzing character based on their study of Ha in Inside Out & Back Again in Module 1. Help students make connections to that previous work (i.e., the Who Is Ha? anchor chart and how they focused on critical incidents that revealed her character).

Vocabulary

inference, satisfactory (6), routine contentment (9), malevolent phantom (10), stealthy (10), alien (11)

Materials

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (book; one per student)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes graphic organizer, Chapter 1, Part B (students' homework from Lesson 8)
  • Atticus Note-catcher (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes graphic organizer, Chapter 2 (one per student)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Supported Structured Notes graphic organizer, Chapter 2 (optional for students needing more support)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Structured Notes (12 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Invite students to pair up with their NYC Discussion Appointment partner from the previous lesson. Invite students to share the gist they wrote on their To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes graphic organizer, Chapter 1, Part B (from homework) with their partner and add or change what they have.
  • Next, invite students to share their responses to the focus question on their homework. Probe deeper by encouraging students to look back in the text to share the evidence cited in their answers. Again invite students to add or change their answers based on the partner conversation.
  • Finally, invite students to have a similar conversation with each of the vocabulary words on the homework. Tell students that they should share the definitions as well as the thinking they used from the context to decide on the definition.
  • During this time, circulate and listen for students to have an accurate understanding of the gist of the second part of Chapter 1, an accurate answer to the focus question, and accurate definitions of the vocabulary words. Clarify vocabulary for pairs that need it.
  • Providing the opportunity to read, think, and write in pairs supports students as they work with a complex text.

B. Review Learning Targets: Homework Discussion (3 minutes)

  • Read the first two learning targets aloud:

* "I can support my inferences about Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird with the strongest evidence from the 
 text."

* "I can participate in discussions about the text with a partner, small group, and the whole class."

  • Share with students that they will continue to work in pairs to collect the strongest evidence in the novel.

* "I can analyze how what other characters say about Atticus reveals his character."

  • Read the last two learning targets aloud:

* "I can analyze how Atticus' words and actions reveal his character."

  • Explain to students that the strongest evidence in today's lesson will have to do with collecting details and evidence that helps them understand Atticus' character.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Character Analysis: Introducing the Atticus Note-catcher (25 minutes)

  • Distribute and introduce the Atticus Note-catcher and display it using the document camera. Tell students that this will be a useful place for them to collect text evidence that reveals Atticus' character, which is central to understanding the events and themes of the novel.
  • Orient students to the Note-catcher. Share that the first column provides space for them to record things that Atticus says or does that provide information about his character. The second column provides space for students to record what other characters say about Atticus. The third column allows space for the page number for where the detail or evidence is located in the novel. Finally, the last column provides space for students to explain what the detail or evidence they wrote down reveals about Atticus' character.
  • Explain that this last part may require them to make an inference. Cold call on a student to share with the class what an inference is. Ideally, students will remember that an inference is when they use clues from the text and their background knowledge to draw a conclusion.
  • Tell students that they are going to work with their partner to collect details and evidence from Chapter 1 that helps them start to understand Atticus. Model for students the evidence they will need to put on the Note-catcher based on this lesson, by drawing students' attention to the first entry on the Note-catcher:
  • "Atticus, the town lawyer, tries to do what is best for his clients, even if they don't listen to him." Invite students to turn to page 4 and locate this sentence. Explain that this sentence makes you infer that Atticus tries to do what is right no matter what.
  • Next, ask students to look at the next detail provided on the Note-catcher. Invite them to locate this sentence in the text and discuss what this tells them about Atticus' character.
  • Cold call on student pairs to share their inference. Listen for students to understand that Atticus is unselfish because he paid for his brother to start medical school.
  • Tell students that they will now take about 5 minutes to work with their partner to review Chapter 1 to locate more evidence that helps them understand Atticus' character. Remind them that it can be Atticus' words and actions or what others say about him that will help you understand him better.
  • Circulate and support student pairs as needed.
  • If time permits, invite student pairs to share with the class the details and inferences they made. Explain to students that they will continue to use this Note-catcher throughout Units 1 and 2, so they should hold onto them.
  • Modeling for students provides an example of the thinking and writing you are expecting of them.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief Learning Targets and Preview Homework (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to respond with a Fist to Five on how well they did with understanding Atticus based on evidence from the text.
  • Probe, inviting students to share something that struck them as important to notice about Atticus so far.
  • Distribute the Homework: To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes, Chapter 2 or Homework: To Kill a Mockingbird Supported Structured Notes, Chapter 2 and briefly preview the homework.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Complete a first read of Chapter 2, using structured notes. Answer the focus question: "Why does Scout stand up for Walter?" Use the strongest evidence from the novel.
  • Provide struggling learners with the supported structured notes for additional scaffolding as they read the novel.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up