Philanthropy, Literature and You
This lesson will solidify the underlying theme of philanthropy in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
The learner will:
- identify philanthropic acts portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- reflect on philanthropy in his or her life in a journal article.
- Chart paper
- Scrap paper
- Box of items resembling those that the children found in the tree
- Scoring Guide for Journal Reflections (Attachment One)
Students may need to complete the journal reflection outside of school.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1960.
Display a box filled with items resembling those the children found in the tree in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. You could choose to include medals, sticks of gum, a whole pack of gum, carved soap figures, etc. Have the students come up with five items they think Boo Radley would have enjoyed. Have them write their items on a scrap piece of paper and then share with the class. Discuss.
Split the class into small groups of three or four. Give each group a piece of chart paper or construction paper with the name of one of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird written across the top. The characters chosen could include: Boo, Atticus, Jem, Tom Robinson, Scout, Calpurnia, Miss Maudie, Dill, Heck Tate, etc. You should choose characters that have not been discussed at length thus far in Lessons one and two. The students are to:
- draw and label a way that the character showed an act of philanthropy in the book.
- draw and label a way that the character showed sensitivity toward another character in the book.
- Upon completion, the groups should present their visuals and post them in the room.
- Then ask students to write a journal entry reflecting upon their own experiences with philanthropy. Some journal starters could include:
- Tell about a time when you were on the receiving end of a philanthropic act. How did receiving help from others affect you?
- Tell about a time when you were on the giving end of a philanthropic act. How did giving your time, talent, or treasure make you feel?
- Philanthropic acts within the novel give the characters a great deal of integrity and depth. How can focusing on philanthropic acts within your own life help mold you as a person?
Evaluation of journal reflections using Scoring Guide for Journal Reflections (Attachment One).
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.