Case Study: Atticus | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2A:U2

Case Study: Atticus

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In this unit, students begin to read Part 2 of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, and they finish it before the unit's end. As they read, students will continue to reflect on the reading by answering focus questions that attend to the theme of taking a stand, while also studying other important aspects of the novel involving character analysis and perspective.  In order to track their thinking as they read the rest of the novel, students will continue to add to their Atticus Note-catchers from Unit 1 as well as the Taking a Stand anchor chart.

For the mid-unit assessment, students will summarize a key scene in the novel, view the film excerpt of that scene, then compare and contrast the film version and the novel to determine how the film version remains the same or veers from the original text. Students will also consider the choices made by the actors and the director in their text-to-film analysis. After the mid-unit assessment, students continue to read the novel and begin to prepare for the argument essay by examining a model essay and writing rubric. For their end of unit assessment, students write an argument essay in which they argue whether it makes sense for Atticus, based on his character, to take a stand to defend Tom Robinson.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • Is it worth taking a stand for yourself? For others?
  • Does it make sense for Atticus to take a stand?
  • What do we know that Scout doesn't?
  • How do film and text differ in impact on the audience?

Content Connections

  • Big ideas and guiding questions are informed by the New York State Common Core K-8 Social Studies Framework: Unifying Themes (pages 6-7).
  • Theme 1: Individual Development and Cultural Identity:

*   The role of social, political, and cultural interactions supports the development of identity.

*   Personal identity is a function of an individual's culture, time, place, geography, interaction with groups, influences from institutions, and lived experiences.

  • Theme 5: Development and Transformation of Social Structures

*   Role of social class, systems of stratification, social groups, and institutions

*   Role of gender, race, ethnicity, education, class, age, and religion in defining social 
structures within a culture

*   Social and political inequalities

*   Expansion and access of rights through concepts of justice and human rights


Each unit is made up of a sequence of between 5-20 lessons. The “unit at a glance” chart in the curriculum map breaks down each unit into its lessons, to show how the curriculum is organized in terms of standards address, supporting targets, ongoing assessment, and protocols. It also indicates which lessons include the mid-unit and end-of-unit assessments.

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


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