Analyzing Word Choice: Atticus’s Closing Speech (Chapters 20-21) | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA 2012 G8:M2A:U2:L6

Analyzing Word Choice: Atticus’s Closing Speech (Chapters 20-21)

You are here:

Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in literary text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). (RL.8.4)
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot). (RL.8.2)

Supporting Targets

  • I can understand the literal and figurative meaning of Atticus's language in his closing speech.
  • I can understand the irony in Atticus's word choice in his closing speech.
  • I can analyze how Atticus's closing speech relates to the themes of taking a stand and the Golden Rule.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Structured notes for Chapters 20 and 21 (from homework)
  • Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.   Opening

A.  Engaging the Reader: Focus Question from Homework (5 minutes)

B.   Review Learning Targets (3 minutes)

2.   Work Time

A.   Analyzing Word Choice: Atticus's Closing Speech (20 minutes) 

B.   Analyzing Theme: Taking a Stand (15 minutes)

3.   Closing and Assessment

A.   Debrief Learning Targets and Briefly Preview Homework (2 minutes)

4.   Homework

A.   Complete a first read of Chapters 22 and 23 with structured notes. 

  • In this lesson, students will analyze a key line from Atticus's closing speech by studying the literal and figurative meanings of what Atticus says to the jury. Students will also analyze the line to understand the irony of what Atticus says. By doing this, students will synthesize and refer to the racial prejudice and tension that this trial represents. This is a crucial aspect of the novel that comes to the forefront in Part 2.
  • Students will also relate Chapters 20 and 21 to taking a stand as they continue to study this theme across various scenes, individuals, and groups of people in the novel.
  • In this lesson, students will work with their Discussion Appointment partner to analyze the key quote. As pairs complete each question on the Note-catcher, one at a time, they will debrief with the whole class. Use the Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher (for Teacher Reference) to guide and support student thinking. For the purposes of the whole group sharing, designate each student in a Discussion Appointment partnership as either A or B to provide the opportunity for total participation.
  • For a sample completed version of the Atticus Note-catcher, see the supporting materials in Unit 1, Lesson 10.
  • In advance: Determine Discussion Appointment partners for the lesson.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

irony, literally, figuratively; detachment (270), subsequent (272), unmitigated, temerity (273), integrity (274), acquit, indignant (277)

Materials

  • Atticus Note-catcher (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 9)
  • Document camera
  • Irony example (one for display)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (book; one per student)
  • Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher (one per student)
  • Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher (for Teacher Reference)
  • Taking a Stand anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 11)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes graphic organizer, Chapters 22 and 23 (one per student)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Supported Structured Notesgraphic organizer, Chapters 22 and 23 (optional; for students needing additional support)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Focus Question from Homework (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to pair up with their new Discussion Appointment partner and share their responses to the focus question from homework. Cold call students to share out what Mr. Raymond means when he says Atticus is not a "run-of-the-mill man." Invite students to add this information to their Atticus Note-catcher.
  • Use of Discussion Partners allows for total participation of students. It encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and social construction of knowledge. It also helps students practice their speaking and listening skills.

B. Review Learning Targets (3 minutes)

  • Read aloud the first two learning targets and share with students that they will analyze a specific line from Atticus's closing speech that has both literal and figurative meanings. Invite students to turn and talk to their partner about what these two words mean. Cold call pairs and be sure students understand that the word literally means "actually and without exaggeration." Figuratively means the opposite; it is language that is used symbolically or is an exaggeration. Students will also analyze the irony of this specific line. Share that, in this case, irony means something that is true but is also the opposite of what is actually said. It's the use of words that express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
  • Using a document camera, display the Irony example. Share with students the real-life example of the saying, "Easy as 1-2-3!" when it is said after four hours of putting a bike together. Be sure the class understands how this saying has both literal and figurative meanings. It also can be ironic, which means that it can be taken exactly how it is said or it can mean the opposite.
  • Read aloud the third learning target and share with students that they will also analyze Atticus's closing speech to find the connection to the theme of taking a stand.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing Word Choice: Atticus's Closing Speech (20 minutes)

  • Invite students to take out their copies of To Kill a Mockingbird. Distribute the Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher and orient them to the two parts. Read the line from the beginning of the speech: "This case is as simple as black and white" (271). Explain that in this one line, Atticus captures the simplicity and the complexity of the trial. Share that students will work with their partners to complete the Note-catcher using the strongest evidence and details from Chapter 21. Remind them that there are two important words in the questions that they should be sure they understand: literally and figuratively. Clarify if necessary.
  • Share with students that they will use the Think-Write-Pair-Share protocol as they work through the Note-catcher as a class. For each pair of students, identify one as A and the other as B for the purposes of the whole group share-out of the Note-catcher.
  • Give directions for the partner work:
  • After you hear the question read aloud, take 1 minute to think about your answer, locating evidence in the novel to support your thinking.
  • Write down your thinking and page numbers on your Note-catcher.
  • Pair up with your discussion partner to share your thinking and writing. Be sure to add to your Note-catcher during this time.
  • As pairs work, circulate and use Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher (for Teacher Reference) to support and guide their understanding.
  • After students have worked on the first question, direct their attention to the whole group. Cold call several A students in the class to share the thinking they and their partners did with the first question. Be sure students understand what is provided on the Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher (for Teacher Reference) for Question 1.
  • Repeat the Think-Write-Pair-Share sequence with Question 2. Cold call B students during the whole-group sharing.
  • As students begin Question 3, refer them to the definition of irony provided on the Note-catcher. Explain that Atticus's statement holds both the true and opposite meanings at the same time. Read aloud Question 3 and invite pairs to engage in the Think-Write-Pair-Share sequence described above, cold calling A students to share out during whole group for Question 3.
  • Repeat the Think-Write-Pair-Share sequence with Question 4 and have B students share out.
  • Text-dependent questions can be answered only by referring explicitly back to the text being read. This encourages students to reread the text for further analysis and allows for a deeper understanding.
  • Use of protocols like Think-Write-Pair-Share and designating A and B partners allows for total participation of students. It encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and social construction of knowledge. It also helps students practice their speaking and listening skills.

B. Analyzing Theme: Taking a Stand (15 minutes)

  • Draw students' attention to Part B of the Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catcher and share with them that in Chapters 21 and 22, the theme of taking a stand comes up in a couple of ways. Read aloud the first question:

*          "Atticus calls on the jury to uphold the integrity of the justice system. In what ways did Atticus's speech relate to taking a stand? Use the strongest evidence from the text to support your answer."

  • Draw students' attention to the word integrity and have them circle the word on their Note-catcher. Invite them to share their understanding of the word integrity and be sure they understand that it means "honor, honesty, and reliability."
  • Invite students to continue using the Think-Write-Pair-Share protocol for the two questions in Part B. Probe and guide them using the information on the Teacher Reference Note-catcher. Be sure they understand the key ideas for each question.
  • During this work time, you may want to pull a small group of students to support in finding evidence from the novel. Some students will need more guided practice before they are ready for independent work.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief Learning Targets and Briefly Preview Homework (2 minutes)

  • Read aloud the first two learning targets and cold call two students to share their learning from today's lesson that is related to these two targets. Repeat the process with the third learning target.
  • As time permits, invite students to share their insights whole group. Chart their thinking on the Taking a Stand anchor chart.
  • Distribute the To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes graphic organizer, Chapters 22 and 23. Preview the homework.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Complete a first read of Chapters 22 and 23 with structured notes. Answer the focus question:

*   "Miss Maudie says, 'There are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them' (288). What does she mean? What evidence from the novel supports this statement?"

 

Note: Consider collecting Atticus's Closing Speech Note-catchers to formatively assess students' learning

  • 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