Stations: Compacting with To Kill a Mockingbird. Exploring Stereotypes
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Think about the power of words and how we tend to label whole groups of people, many times unfavorably. In this station, you and your group will explore the notion of stereotypes through personal reflection, role-playing and group discussion.
Take an activity sheet, put your name and class period at the top. Read the introductory paragraph and directions carefully.
Choose a label from the Exploring Stereotypes container. If you do not understand the term, either ask your group members to help explain it to you, or choose another. Take a minute or two to imagine how this person, with this label, would think, act and talk. Prepare a brief introduction of yourself as that person, making sure to use what you perceive to be stereotypical qualities.
Brainstorm with your group labels and stereotypical categories in which we tend to place people. These might be related to race, gender, social class, age, etc. Record these on the “graffiti wall” in class. Take time to discuss impact and implications of these words/phrases.
Answer the rest of the questions on the back of the activity sheet independently. Your answers will be graded for effort and detail.
Explore a variety of reading materials independently in this station: internet sites related to To Kill a Mockingbird, nonfiction trade books, newspaper articles, old student projects and more. There is no response activity or worksheet, although there is an exit task on which you should indicate 1-2 facts from the material you read.
Choose a book or news article at the station that interests you.
Read independently until the station time allotment is complete.
Record on a sticky a fact or two from the book or newspaper. Put the sticky note on one of your other sheets to turn in. They will be collected and displayed at a later date.
Putting Yourself in the Photo: Exploring Point of View
As we discussed in class, considering one’s point of view is extremely important when interpreting literature. Consider what Atticus Finch says in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Your task for this station is to assume the role of a person in, or as a visitor to, the setting of the photographs, and briefly describe what you would be thinking, feeling, saying, etc., based on the situation. Visualize the sights, sounds, and even smells a person in the photograph would be sensing when writing your description.
Folder 1: Jim Crow Laws
Folder 2: Vigilante/Mob Action
Folder 3: Protests & Reaction
Folder 4: Segregation
Coming to Consensus
Ready to participate in a thought-provoking activity? This station begins with an opinionnaire, a set of 10-15 loaded statements, for which you will be asked to indicate your level of acceptance. You may accept or reject a statement, but there is no neutral ground. Afterwards, your station group is charged with the task of sharing your answers and discussing each statement. Can you build consensus through discussion and come to an agreement on a position that you all could accept?
On the top of Opinionnaire activity sheet, write your name and class period.
Independently read the statements and take the opinionnaire survey. Choose a side based on your initial reactions. Neutral ground is not acceptable.
When everyone is finished, take turns reading each statement aloud and going around the circle to share answers. As interesting points or disagreements arise, take the time to discuss with your group. Can you come to consensus (agreement)?
In the last few minutes of the station time allotment, independently record any personal connections you may have made during the activity, also noting what you have learned about yourself and your peers.
Choose a scribe to record, in tally format, your group’s initial results on the large poster so that team results from the day can be analyzed tomorrow.
Coming to Consensus
Below are the statements on which students had to give their opinions.
All men are created equal.
Girls should act feminine.
Boys should act masculine.
Nobody is all bad or all good.
Some words are so offensive, they should never be written or spoken.
Under our justice system, all citizens are treated fairly in courts of law.
A hero is born, not made.
Speaking proper English grammar shows that a person is educated or smart.
No one is above the law.
Some people bring prejudicial stereotypes on themselves.
When the law does not succeed in punishing criminals, citizens should do so.
Education is the great equalizer.
Making connections to themes found in literature can often be done by experiencing the music or art of the particular historical period in which the piece was composed/created. At this station, you will develop an understanding of the themes Harper Lee developed in her 1960 classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, themes such as: poverty, racism, gender roles, protest and hope.
Choose a listening center and record your name and class period on the top of its accompanying activity sheet.
Notice that your activity sheet is double-sided, one side for the song’s lyrics and the other for critical thinking questions, answers and personal connections.
Listen to the song assigned to each center, reading along with the lyrics. You may make any marks and notations on the lyrics as you follow along.
After listening to the song, answer the related critical thinking questions on the right-hand side of the activity sheet.
If there is time, switch centers with a group member and repeat steps 1-4. Complete sheets will be collected and graded.
Tier 1 - Two Prompts:
Describe a Metallica concert as though you were a 15-year old metal head (fan of heavy metal music).
Describe the same Metallica concert as though you were the metal head’s 70-year old grandmother who had to drive the teen to the concert.
Tier 2 - Two Prompts:
You are desperate to get into the exclusive performing arts camp, Camp Tapatapatapa. Write two notes from the same person (you) with two different purposes/audiences.
Write an email to your best friend, Sally Mander, telling her how much you want to get into the camp and why you think you deserve to go.
Write a letter to the camp’s director of admissions, Ms. Ivana Tinkle, indicating your interest and qualifications. Include appropriate openings and closings. This should be no longer than three paragraphs.
Look at the following statement: Recycling newspapers is a way to save trees and our environment. It is the main idea statement. Open the envelope and examine the strips for important and relevant supporting details. Separate the relevant details from the irrelevant ones by making two piles.
Examples from paper strips:
Each week, Americans throw away over 200 million newspapers, which equals about 500,000 trees.
Beijing is one of the most polluted-air cities in the world, because it is a leading manufacturer of goods and has very little environmental legislation.
Listen to the song, “Mammal” by They Might Be Giants while reading the lyrics. Then respond to the prompts below.
What is the purpose of this song? In other words, what main idea is being conveyed?
Which lyrics support the purpose and main idea you’ve identified? Be specific.
Look at the lyrics in the third stanza. Explain the meaning of “One of us might lose his hair/But you’re reminded that it once was there/From the embryonic whale to the monkey with no tail.” What ideas about mammals do these lines illustrate?
What is satire? It is a device that uses irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit to attack or expose foolishness, faults in human behavior and character, or stupidity. Satire is expressed through essays, songs, cartoons, tv shows, articles, etc.
Four Techniques of Satire:
Exaggeration: To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen.
Incongruity: To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to their surroundings.
Reversal: To present the opposite of or different from the normal order [e.g., the order of events, hierarchical (ranked) order].
Parody:To imitate the techniques and/or style of some person, place, or thing.
In the song, what are Capitol Steps satirizing?
Do you see any of the four techniques being used? Which one(s)?
Explain how Capitol Steps use the techniques using specific examples from the song. Find at least two examples.
What is the point of view of the person/people who wrote the song on the subject of owning SUVs?
Look at several of the cartoons. Try to find at least one example of two (2) of the types of satire. Choose whichever two you want.
Watch either the Wii Fit videos (real and funny) or the Mac Book Air videos (real and funny) and determine what is being satirized.
Both sets of videos are essentially making fun of people. What character flaw or foolishness in people are the satirical videos making fun of?
How do you know?
What technique is used?