To Kill A Mockingbird: A Student Centered Approach to Learning

Though I hope you’ll read my blog entry, please be certain to visit these sites to see some of the student work that is taking place in our district.  Remember, there are various sections, categories, and comments throughout these student blogs related to To Kill a Mockingbird:

Blog 1

Blog 2

Blog 3

Blog 4

Blog 5

Blog 6

In the late 1980’s through 1997, I taught English at North High School.  For each of those years I was fortunate to serve at least one or two classes of ninth graders, which was always the highlight of my day.  One of my favorite units was To Kill A Mockingbird, and the conversations in class were generally sincere and purposeful.   Some students even created video tapes to highlight key concepts in the story.  However, there was never an authentic audience for these students, a reason to strive for even better and more creative and thoughtful writing.
Now, approximately 15 years later, students are even further engaged in the novel, learning about what was taking place in the world outside of Maycomb County, understanding Scout and Jem’s coming of age in a way that is not taught; no, rather it is learned.  The distinction is significant, and the students are at the center of their learning with a variety of authentic writing pieces that are available online for our community and the world at large.  Of course, as time goes on and there are responses and feedback to the writing, the students hone their writing skills, including improved thinking, logic, precision, as well as turning a phrase (and spelling).  Any old “Krouskoff English 9” students, please feel free to post here as well.

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