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Articles vs. Editorials
Have students choose an event in the story and have them pretend that they are a reporter covering the event. After discussing the difference between a news article and an editorial, have students create an article describing the event and an editorial giving an opinion about the event. Discuss the differences in writing the two types of news reports.
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Writing from a Child’s Perspective
Discuss how “To Kill a Mockingbird” would read differently were it written from an adult’s perspective – either the perspective of Atticus or another adult in the story. Then have students write a short story about a historical event from a young child’s perspective.
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Act It Out
Have any budding screenwriters in your class? Encourage students to take one of the more emotional scenes in the book and to write it up as a scene in a play. Then, if they’re willing, encourage them to act it out. Have students in the class discuss whether they would write the scene in the same way, or differently.
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Discuss how Scout and Jem view Atticus and why. Encourage them to explain which character traits Atticus has that allow Scout and Jem to respect and admire him so much. Then have students brainstorm about someone they know who they respect and admire, just as Scout and Jem admired Atticus. Have them write a paragraph or two explaining the character traits that the person has, and encourage them to share their thoughts with the class.
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Write a Song
Students who are more musical may enjoy writing a song about one of the themes in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Activities that combine music and writing can be a great way to draw in students that wouldn’t otherwise be interested. Have students share their creations with the class, after working individually or in groups to create a song. Make sure to have an alternative activity ready for those who are less musically inclined.