With the Common Core initiating a push for more informational text into the ELA classroom, teachers are always in search for rich informational texts for close reading.
With my eighth graders this year, I have adopted Kelly Gallager’s Article of the Week assignment. Each week my students are required to read, annotate, and write a one page reflection to show evidence of close reading and their thinking about the reading. I have compiled historical texts, primary documents, contemporary articles, and even some poetry for the Articles of the Week. Below is an annotated list of informational texts I assigned to my students to coincide with their understanding and reading of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
FDR’s Inaugural Speech “The Only Thing We Have to Fear . . .” Connect with the allusion mentioned in Chapters 1
Gender Codes in the 1930s: An Interview by Claudia Durst Johnson This is an excerpt from a chapter in Using Informational Text with To Kill a Mockingbird by Audrey Fisch and Susan Chenelle (2011).
The Scottsboro Boys (PBS)
Yes, Black America Fears the Police. Here’s Why. by Nikole Hannah-Jones (ProPublica)
Deadly Force, In Black and White by Ryan Gabrielson, Ryann Grochowski Jones And Eric Sagara (ProPublica)
Blink Your Eyes by Sekou Sundiata
Fear Factor: How Herd Mentality Drives Us (CBS News) This is a great article to pair with the Mob Scene in Chapters 15 and 16.
Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Jury in TKAM: What Went Wrong by Judge Royal Ferguson
Harper Lee’s Failed Novel About Race (The New Yorker)
Do you have informative and engaging informational text pairings for To Kill a Mockingbird? Please share your ideas in the Comments section.