To Kill a Mockingbird Pre-Reading Activities

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Getting ready to read ''To Kill a Mockingbird'' with your students? Don't just launch into the novel - prepare them by participating in these pre-reading activities that spark prior knowledge and prepare students for reading, both before and chapter-by-chapter.

Pre-Reading Activities

If students had it their way, they'd likely prefer to just get to the work at hand. But savvy teachers know the benefits of preparing their students for reading by asking them to participate in activities that warm them up to heavy topics, activate prior knowledge, and establish a tone. Get your students prepped and ready to read To Kill a Mockingbird with these pre-reading activities.

  • Show students photographs depicting life during the Great Depression. Ask them to respond in writing, and have conversations about the hardships people faced. Dig deeper by asking students to choose one photo that stood out to them and describe how it made them feel. Share responses.
  • Share pictures, stories, or other historical artifacts related to Jim Crow Laws. Ask students to journal about the people they see in the pictures and stories from differing points-of-view. Guide conversations about living during that time period for differing races.
  • Role playing - Get students thinking about justice and fairness by creating different situations and asking them to role play them. For example, create scenarios that include bullying, unfair treatment from an authority figure, or doing the right thing even if there is no reward.

Chapters 1 & 2

Ask students to remember their first days of school, preferably as a kindergartner. Journal about the experience and feelings.

Chapters 3 & 4

Superstitions play a big part in these chapters. Research different superstitions according to cultures, age groups, or history. Discuss the origin and impact.

Chapters 5 & 6

Doing a dare can be fun and exciting. Play a safe game of truth or dare. Create ideas for safe scenarios before students play, such as 'How old were you when you rode a bike?' as a truth and 'Eat a surprise (sour gummy worm) with your eyes closed'.

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