To Kill A Mockingbird Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

This lesson plan on 'To Kill a Mockingbird' will help students better understand one of the most famous works by the late Harper Lee and its criticism of life in the South.

Lesson Objectives

This lesson will help students do the following:

  • Discuss the plot of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Analyze how the plot and quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird was influenced by American culture at that time.


45 minutes plus 75 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


  • Copies of the book To Kill a Mockingbird for the activity

Key Vocabulary

  • Scout Finch
  • Atticus Finch
  • Jem Finch
  • Boo Radley


  • Have you ever stood up for something that you knew was right, even though it was unpopular? Did you face persecution despite doing the right thing? Discuss this with students. Then introduce the book To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Watch the lesson: To Kill a Mockingbird: Summary, Analysis, and Quotes and discuss the following questions, pausing the lesson at each stopping point:
    • 0:46: What constitutes a great American novel?
    • 1:37: Who is the main character of To Kill a Mockingbird? How does her perspective influence the narrative?
    • 4:26: How did the town of Maycomb treat the Robinsons? How did this change how Scout's family was treated?
    • 7:30: When the sheriff tells Atticus to 'Let the dead bury the dead', what is he talking about?
    • 9:05: What is the symbolism of the mockingbird in the novel? What character can be compared to the bird?


  • Using the text from the novel, students must prepare to either be the prosecution, defense, witnesses, or jury to try the case from the novel. Only the information from the novel can be used. After students have prepared, they have to state their case to the 'judge' (teacher).


  • Examine other themes present in the book To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • What other examples of the Civil Rights movement can you think of that happened in Alabama?
  • What effect did the Great Depression have on other sections of the US?

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