8th Grade English Language Arts

Welcome to ELA.  I hope we all have a GREAT year!!!

We have now started To Kill A Mockingbird.  This book is going to be a challenge but I know everyone is up for it.  Be sure to always re-read what we do in class at night.  It will help to clarify things.  

We are beginning to work on a project that will take us the length of the book to complete.  Below, please find the assignment.  I will update it as we read through.

To Kill A Mockingbird Scrapbook Project

This is a novel long project.  Some parts will be completed in class and some will be completed at home.  You will receive a grade for each individual piece as well as a final grade on the entire project.  Some assignments will be partner/group projects and some will be individual projects.  All projects are due on their due date -- late projects will not be accepted.  All projects will specify in the details whether they need to be typed to handwritten.  Neatness, creativity, and accurateness play a vital part of your grade.  Throughout this process, we will be compiling the assignments into a “scrapbook” (your marble notebook).  

Due Date






Individual Project - Make a bookmark for the book.  Include one or more of the following: a quote from chapter 1, a picture of one of the characters that you drew yourself, a map of the town, a scene from chapter 1, or the title & author in creative font.

Can be handwritten -- if done NEATLY.  Started in class.




Group Project - Scout’s first day of school.  In your group, re-enact Scout’s first day of school to be performed in front of the class.  Write speaking parts for each participant.  You only need to write the dialogue and what the “narrator” will read to the class.  Script needs to be typed.  Every group member  will receive the same grade for the written aspect of the project.  Individual grades will be given for the “performance”.

Group 1- Sam, Alex, Alexa, Brianna, Morgan -- During Lunch

(Scout, Walter Cunningham, Atticus, Jem, Calpurnia, Narrator)

Group 2- Joey B., Vinny, Joey T., Kyle -- Before Lunch   

(Scout, Miss Caroline, Walter Cunningham, Narrator)

Group 3- Joey O., Aidan, Matt, Ben -- After Lunch

(Scout, Little Chuck Little, Burris Ewell, Walter Cunningham, Miss Caroline, Narrator)



Describe (in either writing or through a picture) the “game”the kids play in this chapter. At least a paragraph (8-10 sentences)

Must be typed -- if doing the writing.



Compare/Contrast Miss Maudie and Miss Stephanie using the following analogy:

*Miss Maudie is like a __________ (any household object) because…

*Miss Stephanie is like a __________ (something from your refrigerator) because …

This needs to be typed and include pictures.  Think creatively.



Finish the following:

*If I were Jem, I WOULD go back for my pants because …


If I were Jem I WOULD NOT go back for my pants because…

*If I were Dill, instead of saying we were playing strip poker, I would have said…

Can be handwritten --if done NEATLY.  

Can be done on index cards.  Must be separate index cards.

We will attach the index cards in the notebook when they are handed in.



The kids have found many items in the knothole of the tree.  Write a slogan or a jingle for each one.  See Attached.

Can be handwritten -- Must be done in your notebook.



Inference of Boo Radley -- See Attachment for details.  If you have trouble constructing it, please see me.  

Can be handwritten.

We will attach in your notebook when it is handed in.



How and why does the mood of the novel start to change in this chapter? Give at least  3 examples.  Also, answer the question: What is Maycomb’s “usual disease”?



You are  Maycomb reporter and just witnessed first-hand the mad dog event in this chapter.  Write up a news story for the Maycomb Tribune newspaper based on your account of the event.  You may include quotes from any of the characters - remember, you were there so you probably interviewed some of the people on the scene!

Must be typed - It must look like it came out of a newspaper -be creative. Should be at least 2 paragraphs (8-10 sentences each) in length.



Who is the bravest person you know? Why?  What makes this person brave?

Must be typed.  Should be at least 1 paragraph (8-10 sentences) in length.



Pretend you are Calpurnia.  Write a summary of the day’s events in your journal.  Remember, you are Calpurnia.  Write as she would, using her dialect and slang.  Reflect on all that happened today in your entry.



Aunt Alexandra reminds me of ________ because … (give at least 3 reasons). (Typed)



Draw a 3-6 panel comic strip depicting different scenes from this chapter.



Choose one of the following:

*Describe a time when two or more people “ganged up” on you.  What were the reasons?  How did it make you feel?

*Describe a time that you either organized a group or were part of a group that picked on someone.  How did you feel during and after the situation?  What would you do differently today?



You are Tom Robinson.  Today is your first day of your trial.  The courtroom is packed.  You just watched everyone march in from of your cell window.  Pretend your wife called right before the trial begins.  Describe the courtroom environment to her.  What do you see? (Typed)


Create a timeline of events according to Heck Tate. Then, in another color, add the events according to Bob Ewell.  (If you do this on the computer, select a different color font for each one.)   


In a third color, add Mayella Ewell’s version of events to your timeline.


Predict the outcome of the trial.  Why do you think the jury will vote this way?  If you already know the outcome, write about something you learned from this chapter.(Typed)


We’ve all played “make believe” or pretended we were someone we’re not at some point in our lives.  We also have secrets that few-if any-people know.Today, share one secret about yourself or describe a time when you pretended to be someone else.  The secrets will NOT be shared.  (Typed)


Did you correctly predict the outcome of the trial?  Are you surprised at the verdict?  Summarize in ONE word, your reaction to the trial.  Draw the word big and color it.


Jem goes through his rite-of-passage and it is marked by a small gesture from Miss Maudie in this chapter.  Using the letters J-E-R-E-M-Y, choose one or more words that describes how he changes/matures from the beginning of the novel until now.  


Describe a time in your life when you were witness to someone acting unreasonably.   No matter what anyone said or did, the person would not change.  Perhaps you have acted this way, as well.  Describe how it felt to try to talk to this person or reason with them to no avail (talk ‘til you’re blue in the face). (Typed)


For one day your voice will be suppressed.  This means you can not talk as a form of communication (unless it is an emergency).  How do you think it would feel not having a “voice”. (Typed)


Write a haiku about or for Tom Robinson.  (1st line 5 syllables, 2nd line 7 syllables, 3rd line 5 syllables) (Typed)