A Time to Kill & To Kil a Mockingbird

25 Apr
Everyone loves Samuel L Jackson! 

So one weekend while I was watching TV and A Time to Kill came on I couldn’t help noticing the parallels between it and To Kill a Mockingbird. 
A Time to Kill and To Kill a Mockingbird have similar themes/events:

Similar                                      Different

  • A white lawyer defending a             ATTK is set in the (80’s)?

 black man.                                TKAM is set in the 1930’s.

  • Involves a rape (alleged one           IN ATTK, there actually is

in TKAM)                                   evidence a crime was

  • Both men are tried with an             committed.

all white jury.                            In ATTK, Carl Lee gets found

  • The white lawyer is terrorized         not guilty; Tom Robinson

by the community.                           is found guilty. 

All in all, they have parallels that are worth studying. 

I didn’t think I would have time to watch it in class, but then decided to tie it in with one of the Common Core writing prompts we have been doing all year. The writing prompt for the fourth marking period is an informative. My original idea was to have them to a compare and contrast paper on both works, but then decided it was too easy for 10th graders. Then I decided since all semester we have had sort of a ‘court’ theme (12 Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird), we would watch A Time to Kill in conjunction with reading an article about the court system, then I would have students write an informative paper on how a criminal trial was run and the important parts of the justice system. 

Here is the prompt:

Informative Essay Writing Prompt
Write a response of at least 1.5 pages and referring to at least one outside print source:
How does a criminal trial work? What are the different roles in the courtroom?
Students read an article I found online then filled out a graphic organizer:
Guided Notes: Juries and Trials- Fill out and use this sheet for your informative paper.
Five Facts: About juries/how a jury works
Five Facts: Roles in the courtroom
Students filled out these guided notes which later helped them fill out a template to complete the informative paper. They used the article as well as the visual of the movie to write about the parts of the court system, how a jury is picked, and how a criminal trial proceeds. Students then had to cite the article in their informative paper.
 All the students love the movie! As do I…..if you’ve never seen it…. do it now! Here’s the trailer:

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