An Annotated List of Online Sources
Useful in Teaching
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
List of Topics for Other Online Sources
Sites Especially for Students | Sites Connected to Allusions in TKAM | Other Sources
List of Topics for Online Sources: Study Guides; The Setting
Study Guides for TKAM | Harper Lee | Monroeville and Alabama | Mockingbirds
Photographs | Interviews | Southern Life | The Film
List of Topics for Online Sources: History; Trials
Historical Background Material | The Civil War | Jim Crow Laws and Racism | Ku Klux Klan
The Scottsboro Trial and Lynchings | The Great Depression | The Holocaust | Courtroom Language
Sites Especially for Students
Funtrvia.com provides easy and average multiple choice quizzes on To Kill a Mockingbird. After students answer the questions, they can submit them to find out their score and the correct answers. Since the quizzes are submitted by "laypeople" with pen names, the quality of the questions varies. The Quiz Directory can be rather confusing for students because, at the time I accessed it, there were 57208 quizzes in 8680 categories, and a total of 389 new quizzes had been placed online in the past two weeks. A search with just the word "mockingbird" came up with only 3 of the following sites. Membership is not required to take the quizzes.
At this site, students can post questions and receive answers about the novel. The question I saw on the date I accessed the site was, "What is a mophodite?" The questions and answers appear in threads. The usefulness of the site varies since some students don't post clear subject lines or may simply ask for help with homework. Also, the navigation is a bit cumbersome since one must return to the bulletin board site after reading each response rather than following a thread.
This web site was "created to help students and readers of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird better understand the novel. Included in the site are summaries and explanations, character analysis, discussion of themes," and important quotes. The section on summaries is grouped into five parts, chapter by chapter summaries are provided, then explanations of each part.
At this bulletin board where anyone can post, the messages I saw were rather inane. However, it is a place where students can read "real" comments made by "real" people.
The full text of the novel is available on this site. By clicking on one of the numbers in the table below, one can go to that chapter in the novel. The site is that of a teacher in the English Department at St. John's Preparatory School.
Sites Connected to Allusions in To Kill a Mockingbird
Ms. Rutherford has provided a thorough, chapter-by-chapter listing of the allusions, as well as vocabulary and idioms, in the novel. Nearly all have links to photographs or explanations of the allusions, many on her own site. Some of the links are outdated; nevertheless, the list is invaluable for both teachers and students.
The background on rabies and its dangers is too dense for the average ESL/EFL reader. Nevertheless, it provides some context to the incident of Atticus shooting the rabid dog.
Students can "unwrap" a mummy here and read explanations about each layer.
Students can listen to music played on a Victrola at this site.
The following sources were not as valuable for me as those listed above but still provided ideas here and there. They are listed in alphabetical order by author.
A site for student-written essays, the word count and number of sources and/or works cited for each are stated. The essays are color-coded and rated free, better, much better, strong, powerful, excellent, or fantastic. Anyone has access to those that are free, none of which has any sources listed. Readers can see only the beginning of the others, but must pay to see and copy the rest, from $14.75 for a much better essay up to $34.75 for a fantastic essay. Teachers assigning essays might want to check to make sure the essays they're receiving from students don't resemble those on this site!
This lesson plan was designed for 10th grade American students. It guides them through writing a newspaper article pertaining to events in To Kill a Mockingbird, including a headline, a lead, and know the who, what, where, when, why and how of the event.
This lesson plan from Education World website has the objectives of helping students to learn the importance of the setting of the novel by collecting data and creating a map of the town of Maycomb.
This set of lesson plans and quizzes for the novel includes one interesting activity involving writing quotes from the novel on large colored sheets of poster board and placing them around the classroom. "Students are to walk around the room until they find a quote that speaks to them.
The site has a page of discussion questions and innovative activities, based on the novel.
Billed as "a small package of resources," the site contains a number of questions for students on the novel, including some on nicknames and essay questions on Atticus. In the Self-Test Questions on Chapters 1-7 is an interesting paragraph, with British spelling, for "uncovering" the plot.
Designed for an intensive course comparing the film version with the novel, the questions in this site are for mature readers who are more proficient in English than my students. A few general questions are given for each chapter with several discussion questions on both the novel and the film at the end. Many questions about the film focus on comparing it with the novel.
Pre-reading activities include general knowledge of the novel, author, and the time period with links to other sources.
In a post to the Teachers.Net Lesson Bank, LeBlanc has given a list of creative personal responses to the novel, mainly involving writing. The activities range from writing an obituary for one of the characters to finding songs related to the theme of the novel.
Directions on are given for creating a timeline documenting events from the book and actual events. Suggestions include that the timeline can span the years from 1890 to 2000. It should be large enough to be seen from any part of the room. Color coding may be used to distinguish literary from historical events. It is recommended that students access the site on African American Perspectives, Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907 and click on the Timelines of African American History, 1852-1925. Particularly horrific is the number of recorded lynchings that took place during that period.
If teachers have students write about photographs pertaining to the novel, this site gives a thorough list of questions that can be used as a worksheet. They include descriptions of the photograph as well as responses and questions the students might want to ask the photographer or subject of the photograph.
In PDF format, the lesson plan details student objectives, materials needed, and the procedure for carrying out a mock trial based on To Kill a Mockingbird.
"The central purpose of this unit is to give students who read and study the novel To Kill a Mockingbird a sense of the living history that surrounds the work. Through studying primary source materials from the American Memory collections and other online resources, students of all backgrounds may better grasp how historical events and human forces have shaped relationships between the black and white, and rich and poor cultures of our country." Designed for high school Sophomores, the lesson plans focus particularly on the experience of African Americans in the South.
A couple of illustrations and some minimal facts about mockingbirds are available on this site. The sparseness of material makes it one that might be used for ESL/EFL students.
Developed as a Schools of California On-line Resources for Education project, the site suggests four activities for use with the novel. Unfortunately, many of the links are outdated. The one on Mockingbird Facts [see above] is the one I found the most useful.
For $11.99 a year, "TeachWithMovies.com will give you access to the moral and historical lessons in the novel and the film."
A weblog on To Kill a Mockingbird with simple comments on each of the characters, the setting, and the themes, this appears to have been written by a student. The site is hosted by Tripod, so there is advertising at the top.
This lesson plan was developed to help students understand the concepts of poverty, racism, disrespect, and protest. It incorporates the blues and other literature of the time. It includes links to biographies of blues singers and players, and sometimes clips of the music, such as the PBS Teachers Guide CD to the Blues Classroom .