Vocabulary Eighteen Review

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SWBAT participate in a guided review of the week's vocabulary words, collected from chapters 20-22 of To Kill a Mockingbird and from the documentary on the Scottsboro trials.

Big Idea

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling)

Vocabulary 18 Review

40 minutes


This week's words are pulled from chapters 20-22 of To Kill a Mockingbird (discreet, indict, cynical, acquit, demur) and the documentary Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (calamitous, vagrancy, provincial, parry, affront).

My students copy down the information in the review, and if so desired, share with the whole group any new sentences they elect to create in lieu of copying down the sentences I have provided in the review.  This process varies from class to class--some groups simply stick to what I have provided, some make a game out of developing sentences that create entertaining stories as we go along. Either way is fine with me, as I am sure to explain and elaborate on the words throughout the review whenever necessary.

As always, the final slide in the review offers the homework options from which my students may choose.

Viva La Venn Diagram

30 minutes


Because we did not sufficiently debrief after viewing the documentary Scottsboro: An American Tragedy in this lesson, I have decided the use the tried and true Venn Diagram method to encourage a discussion on the Scottsboro trials and To Kill a Mockingbird. 

I place the master diagram on the document camera and instruct my students to create one of their own in their classroom spiral notebooks.  Most, if not all, of my students should be familiar with the strategy of the Venn Diagram (how do you get to the eighth grade without having met it?), so while it may be the first time we have relied upon it in my classroom, I do not anticipate having to explain what it is to any students.

We complete this process as a whole group, allowing student volunteers to share their ideas out loud, and we all record them as we go along.  Whatever discussions occur organically around what is shared should be productive, as we debrief on the tragedy of the actual trials and the decisions made by Harper Lee in her fictional portrayal of a similar situation.

This exercise should be beneficial for my students to reflect upon when they transition into their end-of-unit argument essays, though I admit that I'm a bit unsure as to how well I am interpreting the aims of RI8.7.