Ethos, Pathos, Logos: Whole Group Review

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SWBAT identify the use of the argumentative appeals by the witnesses in the trial scene of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Big Idea

Whom to believe?

Reading Quiz

15 minutes

For weekend reading, my students were assigned chapters 20-22 of To Kill a Mockingbird, and so we begin class with a reading quiz on those chapters.  These quizzes are designed to check for whether or not my students are keeping up with their reading and are not meant to be challenging, other than to their memories.  I have created a list of questions from which to pull five for each class, including:

  • What does Dolphus Raymond drink?
  • Why does he pretend to be drunk?
  • According to Atticus, where are all men equal?
  • Who shows up at court to get the children?
  • How does Scout know the verdict before it is read?
  • Why do all the African-Americans stand up in court?
  • Who cries after the verdict is read?
  • What gifts does Atticus receive at home the day after the trial?
  • What does Miss Maudie tell the kids about Judge Taylor's decision to appoint Atticus as Tom Robinson's lawyer?
  • What does Dill want to be when he grows up?

Reading quizzes are given orally and my students write their answers on half or quarter sheets of scratch paper. 

Whole Group Review

35 minutes

In the previous lesson, I had my students create a graphic organizer that required that they identify the ethos, pathos, and logos of the four witnesses in the trial of Tom Robinson (To Kill a Mockingbird). We completed the character of Heck Tate as a whole group and my students were to complete the other three characters as homework.

We review their determinations for the remaining three characters as a whole group, allowing student volunteers to share and discuss their results.  I encourage my students to add ideas to their graphic organizers that they may have overlooked as their peers share.  Having thoroughly analyzed the character of Heck Tate as a whole group in the previous lesson, I anticipate that my students will have come to a fairly thorough analysis of the other three witnesses, but will be able to develop their analysis further as a collective through their sharing:

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By the end of the whole-group review, an opportunity should present itself to point out that when something as nonsensical as racism prevails, tried and true methods such as sound ethos, pathos, and logos, fail.  This will help my students on the path towards identifying one of the subjects of the book's themes, that of the injustice of racism.

Film Excerpt

20 minutes


We are still inching along in the film, working towards the trial scene, so that my students can complete the analysis begun in this lesson.  Each class is at various points in the film, and so I always work in small segments in my lessons throughout a unit, to sneak in viewings in order to balance each class.  With this in mind, if some classes are further along in the film than others, we are able to spend more time on the whole-group review of the witnesses.