This editable close reading exercise features 8 text-dependent, higher-order questions, helping students improve reading comprehension of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (chapter 2). An answer key is included.
This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students pose and respond to questions relating to plot, broad topics, and character development, demonstrating an ability to analyze how complex characters transform and advance the plot and themes by applying logic and citing compelling, meaningful textual evidence. They will also evaluate their peers’ reasoning and use of rhetoric to advance claims, clarifying or challenging unclear ideas. Using this resource for structured guidance, students, ultimately, will present information, conclusions, and supporting textual evidence clearly, concisely, and appropriately, thereby helping their peers – and teacher – comprehend their thinking. In the role of facilitator, I observe my students becoming more consistently engaged with the novel and taking greater ownership of their learning.
In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read harder texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.
Questions pertain to the following:
- Drawing logical inferences (supporting the notion that Miss Caroline is out of touch with the lives of her students)
- The significance of Miss Caroline’s being from Winston County, Alabama
- What motivates Miss Caroline to insist that Atticus not teach Scout how to read
- Drawing logical inferences (supporting the notion that Walter Cunningham is embarrassed to be the center of attention)
- Defining vocabulary in context (dreary)
- Interpreting idiomatic expression (tail in a crack)
- Character’s intent (Atticus’s sincere belief that the Cunningham family will eventually repay him for his services)