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Using Informational Text to Teach To Kill A Mockingbird

Susan Chenelle and Audrey Fisch

The new Common Core State Standards mean major changes for language arts teachers, particularly the emphasis on “informational text.” How do we shift attention toward informational texts without taking away from the teaching of literature?

The key is informational texts deeply connected to the literary texts you are teaching.

Preparing informational texts for classroom use, however, requires time and effort. Using Informational Text to Teach Literature is designed to help.

In this volume, we offer informational texts connected to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Readings range in genre (inaugural address, historical analysis, autobiography, etiquette book, newspaper editorial, and Supreme Court decision) and topic (the Depression, entails, etiquette, the right to a lawyer, stereotypes, lynching, miscegenation, and heroism).

Each informational text is part of a student-friendly unit, with reading strategies and activities.

Teachers need to incorporate nonfiction in ways that enhance their teaching of literature. The Using Informational Text to Teach Literature series is an invaluable supportive tool.
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R&L Education
Pages: 194Size: 7 x 10
978-1-4758-0680-9 • Paperback • April 2014 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4758-0681-6 • eBook • April 2014 • $33.00 • (£22.95)
Audrey Fisch is Professor of English and Coordinator of Secondary English Education at New Jersey City University where she has taught for over twenty years. She has published a wide variety of academic work (including books with Cambridge and Oxford University Presses, numerous scholarly articles, and writing about teaching) and has worked as a curriculum consultant and professional development provider for K-12 districts in New Jersey.

Susan Chenelle has taught English and journalism for six years at University Academy Charter High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she also has served as the English department lead and academic director for humanities. She holds a master’s degree in education from New Jersey City University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Kenyon College.

How to Use This Book
Unit 1: What do Americans have to fear?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
Unit 2: Who’s poor?
Jens Beckert: “Political Structure and Inheritance Law: The Abolition of Entails
Unit 3: Does a girl have to be a lady?
Lillian Eichler: Book of Etiquette
Unit 4: Does everyone deserve a good lawyer?”
Stephen Jones: “The Case for Unpopular Clients”
Unit 5: What is a lynch mob?
Clarence Norris and Sybil D. Washington: The Last of the Scottsboro Boys: An Autobiography
Haywood Patterson and Earl Conrad: Scottsboro Boy
Unit 6: What’s up with Mr. Dolphus Raymond?
Chief Justice Earl Warren, Loving v. Virginia
Unit 7: Is Atticus a hero?
David Margolick, “To Attack A Lawyer In 'To Kill a Mockingbird': An Iconoclast Takes Aim At A Hero”
Two additional units are available on the series website: www.usinginformationaltext.com.
Chapter 8: What is the meaning of rabies in Mockingbird?
R. A. Craig: Common Diseases of Farm Animals
Chapter 9: What does Scout really know about Calpurnia?
Claudia Durst Johnson, “Interview: A Perspective on the 1930s”
About the Authors

Answers to all sections are available on the series website: www.usinginformationaltext.com.
Using Informational Text to Teach To Kill A Mockingbird is the resource I've been waiting for! Teachers don't have nearly enough time to research informational texts to go along with every unit they teach; therefore this book is going to be perfect for the teacher who wants to take her lessons to the next level. I can't wait to use these lessons in my classroom.
Amanda DeAngelo, high school English teacher, Secaucus High School

Propelled by rich, probing questions, this book invites teachers and students to explore a classic text with fresh eyes. The authors' approach fosters a disposition for deeper reading and will inspire a sense of wonder in your students.
Carol Jago, long time English teacher and past president of the National Council of Teachers of English

This book (and its website) helps teachers to delve deeply into strategic teaching activities aimed at meeting the Common Core State Standards. Chenelle and Fisch use a wide array of readings with differing levels of complexity to provide 'pathways' into engaging explorations of one of the most sacred texts of high school literature, To Kill a Mockingbird. Replete with ideas for evidence-based writing, connections to multimedia web resources, and possible rubrics for evaluating student work, this invaluable guide will not only challenge students to read, write, and think more critically, but will also help teachers 'reconceptualize' their teaching to meet the rigorous objectives of the CCSS.
Allan A. De Fina, dean of the Deborah Cannon Partridge College of Education and professor of literacy education, New Jersey City University, past president of the New Jersey Reading Association