Monday, September 4, 2017

Reading Journal Questions for To Kill a Mockingbird

As I mentioned in a post when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird, I've written some reading journal questions for First Son for the book.

The idea of a reading journal is one we're still figuring out in our homeschool, but I try to distinguish it from a written narration. I never comment on writing style, grammar, or sentence structure for the reading journal entries; they don't even have to be in complete sentences. I'm looking for First Son's thoughts as he reads through a book and themes we may be able to discuss to help him see more than just the plot. I do not write reading journal questions for all of his books; I try to focus just on the ones he might find confusing or upsetting.

Though I don't think I used any of the questions exactly as written, I found Andrew Moore's study guide on this book helpful when thinking about our reading journal.

Week 1: Chapters 1-3
Reading journal - Choose one character and tell us what we know about him or her so far.

Week 2: Chapters 4-6
Reading journal - Describe the Boo Radley game, why you think the children want to play it, and why you think Atticus forbids it.

Week 3: Chapters 7-9
Reading journal - Tell what you know about the upcoming trial. What does Atticus expect? What does he fear?

Week 4: Chapters 10-11
Reading journal - Tell what happened while Jem was reading to Mrs. Dubose and why they were there.

Week 5: Chapters 12-14
Reading journal - Tell what you learn about Calpurnia and what others think of her.

Week 6: Chapters 15-17
Reading journal - Tell about the lynching party and what happens at the jail OR tell what you know about the Ewell home after Bob Ewell's testimony.

Week 7: Chapters 18-20
Reading journal - Describe Mayella's testimony. Compare how you respond as the reader with how you imagine the jury and townspeople responded.

Week 8: Chapters 21-23
Reading journal - Tell about the verdict of the trial and how different characters responded to it.

Week 9: Chapters 24-26
Reading journal - Compare the townspeople's reactions to events outside of their hometown (in Europe and in Africa) with their behavior to "folks right at home."

Week 10: Chapters 27-28
Reading journal - Describe what happened on the way home from the pageant.

Week 11: Chapters 29-31
Reading journal - Tell what you've learned about Boo Radley.

There are only eleven weeks of lessons, so there's time for a final writing assignment or exam at the end, if you do that sort of thing.

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