Performance Task: Readers Theater: Taking a Stand in Maycomb | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2A:U3

Performance Task: Readers Theater: Taking a Stand in Maycomb

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In this third unit, students will analyze key quotes that reflect the overarching themes they studied in Units 1 and 2. Students will form small groups and be assigned one of the quotes as the basis of a Readers Theater script. Students will craft their script by selecting critical scenes from the novel that develop the theme in the quote.

For the mid-unit assessment, students will write a short commentary that explains how the passage develops the main idea of the anchor quote. For the end of unit assessment, students will write a commentary on how their script is a response to To Kill a Mockingbird and how it connects to and diverges from the novel. The final performance task will be a presentation of the Readers Theater script by the small group. This Readers Theater final performance task centers on NYSP12 ELA standards RL.2, RL.8.3, W.8.4, and W.8.11b.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • How does taking a stand in small ways show integrity?
  • Is it worth taking a stand for one's self? For others?
  • Authors use the structure of texts to create style and convey meaning.
  • Authors use allusions to layer deeper meaning in the text.

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 and 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 institution.
  • 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
by Harper Lee
One per student
ISBN: 978-0446314862, 0446314862

Optional: Community, Experts, Fieldwork, Service, and Extensions


Invite in a play director or an actor to speak to students about the kinds of decisions he or she makes to improve the audience understanding of the message being communicated in a performance.


Take the class to a Readers Theater performance so students can see what it looks like in action.



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