Vocabulary Seventeen Review

Print Lesson


SWBAT participate in a guided review of the week's vocabulary words, gathered from chapters 14-19 of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Big Idea

Continuing to make the most of Harper Lee's extensive vocabulary.

Vocabulary Seventeen Review

40 minutes


This week's words are from chapters 14-19 of To Kill a Mockingbird, which is a wider reach than I usually pull from.  However, since we had a shortened week last week, due to a staff development day, I decided to skip vocabulary.  Thus, we arrive at our review today with six chapters from which to pull words instead of the usual three, which has been the general pace of this unit.

Narrowing the list down to just ten words was no easy task; as I discuss in this lesson, Harper Lee has a particularly practical lexicon for eighth-grade vocabulary development.  Here are those that did not make the cut, should any teacher decide to explore vocabulary more extensively with these chapters:

  • antagonize
  • rankle
  • edification
  • inaudible
  • tranquil
  • ecclesiastic
  • futility
  • aggregation
  • impassive
  • encumber
  • profane
  • fey
  • subpoena
  • gala
  • quelling
  • dictum
  • genial
  • haughty
  • tenet
  • ambidextrous
  • bantam
  • congenital
  • corrugated
  • refuse (as in trash)
  • gleaning
  • benign
  • meekly
  • tedious

See what I mean? The final ten I have chosen represent words my students will likely encounter again.  Once again, the final slide of the review presents the homework options from which my students can choose.

A Closer Look at the Witnesses

30 minutes


Today I have created a template that my students will draw in their classroom spiral notebooks that has them consider the argumentative appeals and how they are or are not used by the four witnesses in the Tom Robinson case:

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.  

I place the original on the document camera for my students to consult as they draw their own.  I then explain that we will analyze Heck Tate together, in order to get them started and confident about completing the other three witnesses on their own.

I ask for students to volunteer their ideas about whether or not Heck Tate establishes his ethos as a witness.  I expect that the majority of my students will find him a relatively neutral witness, who can more or less be trusted, but I also expect that there will be some students who will want to push the theory that he is in on it with Bob Ewell, allowing their inferences to run off the tracks a bit.  This is partly why I want to do this as a whole class, so that we can help each other remember to base all claims on evidence from the text, and not on what we wish were in the text.

In terms of pathos, I hope that my students are able to determine that Heck Tate's testimony is virtually without it.  By acknowledging this, it will help my students better understand how to complete the graphic organizer more authentically, rather than to force an answer for every category. If an appeal is not there, they need to recognize that and be able to explain how they know that.

Finally, I hope that my students are able to determine that Heck Tate's testimony is largely logos driven, as he is able to recount what he was told and what he saw after the alleged crime occurred. This should lead to a conversation of how his ethos is strengthened via his candid reliance on logos, and that his absence of pathos, as a sheriff, likewise strengthens his credibility.

Time permitting, my students can then begin analyzing the remaining three witnesses.  If we are out of time, then they will complete the task as homework.