This activity teaches students about the setting of Harper Lee’s famous novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which takes place during 3 years (1933–1935) of the Great Depression. Part 1 of this activity can be used before students start reading the novel to help them understand what life was like in the 1930s. In this part, students will examine and answer questions about census documents that feature unemployment numbers and related information. Part 2 can be completed after students have read the first few chapters of the novel. In this part, students will write a piece using the RAFT technique (role, audience, format, topic) to show what they learned about the 1930s and what they have read so far.
Part 1 (60 minutes)
Part 2 (60 minutes, or for homework after
students have completed Chapters 1–3)
The following items are part of this activity. The items and their sources appear at the end of this
Students will understand what life was like in the 1930s.
Students will apply what they learned about the 1930s as well as what they read in Chapters 1–3 of “To Kill a Mockingbird” to complete a writing assignment.
Students will analyze data to make inferences about the plot, setting, and conflict of the novel.