In December 2018, Community Action School's eighth graders finished an in-depth novel study of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Prior to reading, students spent time researching the time period or setting in which the story takes place - in Alabama during the Jim Crow Era. It was important for students to learn about the cultural, economic, political status of the 1930s as well as the discrimination and segregation that took place in order to deepen their understanding of the plot. As students read the novel, their focus was to analyze the development of main characters over the course of the story and track Lee's use of symbolism throughout the narrative. This focus helped them write well-crafted literary analysis essays as their end-of-unit tasks. Like all strong readers, students were tough critics of characters' behaviors and the author's choices, but overall the class loved the novel and engaged in many discussions about the book both inside and outside of the classroom.
On January 2nd, 2019 a group of students had the opportunity to attend Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird on stage at Shubert Theater. It was a great way to start 2019! Students had a fantastic time watching the matinee performance and an even better time discussing the similarities and differences between the novel and performance the following days in class. Overall, students had an incredible learning experience both diving deep into Lee’s novel and experiencing the story coming to life on stage. We look forward to our next learning adventure!