Saturday, February 20, 2016

Remember and Celebrating Harper Lee

As we remember and celebrate the deeply influential Harper Lee, I couldn't help but think back on the effect To Kill a Mockingbird had on me as an eighth grader.  Its message still resonates with readers today as it imparts a powerful lesson: empathy.

Scout learns how to empathize with people who are different than her, many of whom are symbolic mockingbirds shunned by society, including Walter Cunningham, Boo Radley, Mayella Ewell, and Tom Robinson.  As Atticus explains to Scout, "“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

I haven't taught To Kill a Mockingbird for several years, but I picked up a copy this weekend and started to read it.  I was of course transfixed and before I knew it, created several projects and activities for my future students.  It's apparent that to celebrate Harper Lee is to celebrate this powerful book.

So when was the last time you read To Kill a Mockingbird?  How well do you remember the book?    Take the quiz below to find out:

To Kill a Mockingbird Recall Quiz

1) What is Dill’s real name?
(A) Jack Harris    
(B) William Peter Harris
(C) Charles Baker Harris    
(D) Truman Harris

2) What does Jem use to try to deliver a message to Boo Radley?
(A) A fishing pole  
(B) A rock
(C) A paper airplane  
(D) A slingshot

3) What does Scout dress up as for the Halloween pageant?
(A) An eggplant  
(B) A ham
(C) A werewolf  
(D) A mouse

4) The story takes place in
(A) Atlanta, Georgia
(B) Maycomb, Alabama
(C) Nashville, Tennessee  
(D) Maycomb, Georgia

5) What is the name of the mad dog?
(A) Heck Tate
(B) Tom Johnson
(C) Tim Johnson  
(D) Dolphus Raymond

6) Tom Robinson's wife is named
(A) Hannah
(B) Mayella
(C) Maudie  
(D) Helen

7) During the trial, Atticus proves -
(A) Tom Robinson wasn’t even in town the night of Mayella’s alleged rape.  
(B) Mayella Ewell is a perpetual liar and needs psychologcial help.
(C) Tom Robinson is left-handed and therefore, guilty.
(D) Mayella Ewell was most likely beaten up by a left-handed man.

8) During the trial, what makes Mayella think Atticus is making fun of her?
(A) He shakes her hand.  
(B) He calls her Miss Mayella.
(C) He sneers when she tells her story.
(D) He laughs at what she’s wearing.

9) What does Atticus read to Scout the night of Bob Ewell’s attack?
(A) The Bible  
(B) The Gray Ghost
(C) The Maycomb Tribune  
(D) Robinson Crusoe

10) How does the Sheriff contend Bob Ewell died?
(A) Heart attack
(B) Boo Radley stabbed him.
(C) Jem Finch stabbed him.  
(D) He fell on his own knife.

1) C,  2) A,  3) B,  4) B,  5) C,  6) D,  7) D,  8) B,  9) B,  10) D

"[Courage] is when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."  Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

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