Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blog #9 - Reader's Notebook 2

This blog post should cover the events of Chapters 11-19 of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Minimum Words: 400
Minimum Text References and Citations: 4 (Including works outside of To Kill a Mockingbird)
Due Date: Sunday, March 31 at midnight. It must be done before large group discussion.
Note: You are very welcome to include references to other works, including books, stories, videos, music, and other things.

Helpful links: Sample Reader's Notebook from CIS Literature* | Critical Lens notecards |  Reading Schedule | Reader's Notebook Instructions Spark Notes

Take a look at the comments I left on your last blog before you start. Most of you got off to tremendous starts, and all of you have several ways you can make improvements and grow in this second entry.

Again, you can and should make these entries from your own reactions and thoughts. Try and keep your blog centered on the new information and events in Chapters 11-19. However, you can connect what you're reading to earlier chapters and discuss changes in tone, characters, and thinking from the first 10 chapters.

For this blog, try to move beyond just the reader response lens - just your reactions to the text. Instead, try to connect your reactions to something else, make observations and predictions, comparisons and contrasts, or use a different lens to shape your entry.

The most important thing to remember is that you should constantly refer to the text. Quote passages and paraphrase scenes.

Here are some thoughts that may help you:

  • Perspective and Empathy - considering someone else's struggle - are constant themes throughout the book. How have you seen this develop? How has it shaped the book? Cite specific scenes or events.

  • What is this book about? Who is this book about?

  • The idea of progress is pretty constant in this book. How is it framed?

  • Try on the Gender lens. If any book lends itself to this, it's this one. Many of you even thought Scout was a boy for several chapters.

  • Stretch yourself and try on the Marxist lens. There are plenty of opportunities to do this throughout this portion of the novel.

  • Here are some pictures of America during the time frame in which the novel is set. What connections can you make to the text?

  • Take a look at some of the actual artifacts from the Jim Crow era in America. How does this affect your reading or your perceptions of the novel.

  • The trial is the most gripping suspenseful and, arguably, the most important part of the book. It's also a major shift in tone. Provide some thoughts, reactions, analysis, etc. What does it mean?

  • You may find this information on Robert E. Lee interesting in light of recent revelations. Here's more from PBS.

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