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Pre IB

Page history last edited by Lauren Magnuson 5 years, 11 months ago


Pre IB 9th Grade English Research Project

As you know, we are starting our To Kill a Mockingbird unit this week and will be working on a research project for the next two weeks that helps you to better understand the history, events, characters, and culture of the novel.  Each of you will choose an individual topic with essential questions to answer in your research.

Below you will find all of the themes, individual research topics, individual research questions, and links to get you started on your research. You will also find the two parts to this research project - the poster presentation and the short research paper itself (see below). As you conduct your research, remember the introductory activities we did last week that had you critically thinking about valid and reliable sources versus useless and unreliable sources (in other words, "treasure vs. trash"). So, to avoid stumbling into "trash" sources, use the links I am giving you to get started. Within those links, follow the links that those reliable sources give you. Treat this as a "treasure" hunt and become a curious hunter. Don't give up easily and work on becoming a self-reliant researcher. Good Luck - Learn and Have Fun. Project 1: Life for Blacks in the South After the Civil War

Jim Crow Laws: Its History, Guiding Policies and Impact on Blacks

1.  Explain what Jim Crow Laws were and how/where/why they originated. Who was Jim Crow? What were the original laws/policies? 2. What impact did Jim Crow laws have on blacks and what rights did they violate? How did whites/states defend Jim Crow laws? 3. What connections do you see between Jim Crow laws/policies and the novel To Kill a Mockingbird? The Ku Klux Klan: Its History and Its Methods of Instilling Fear

1. Explain where the Ku Klux Klan originated in the United States. What was there mission and who were its members? Provide significant historical facts about the group.

2. What impact did the KKK have on life in America (particularly on blacks and minorities? What methods did they use in order to promote their agenda? 3. What influence did the KKK have on local governments and people in power? How does this influence connect with what you are reading in To Kill a Mockingbird? Plessy v. Ferguson: A Landmark Case and Its Impact on “Separate But Equal”

1. Explain/summarize what the case was (i.e. who was involved, what the case was about, when it occurred, what the final decision was, etc.) 2. Why was this case such a significant one in terms of its impact on life for blacks? How did it push the agenda of “separate but equal” and how was this constitutional? 3. What connections do you see between the circumstances of this case and the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird?

Lynching and Lynch Mobs: Citizen Reinforcement of Jim Crow Laws; Nooses: Modern     Day Symbolic Threats (The Jena Six); Sundown Towns

1. Give a brief history of lynchings in America and the origins of the lynch mob. What influence did they have on local governments/people in power? 2. How did they come to represent white hatred of blacks? Why were so many white people supportive of them? At their peak, how frequent were lynchings of black people by white lynch mobs in America? Where in the country were they most prominent? What were sundown towns? How were they connected to lynchings? 3. Explain the recent re-emergence of symbols of lynching (the Jena Six, etc.). What effect has it had on racial tensions in America?

Links:  http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/




http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/aap/aaphome.html (specifically, The Progress of a People page with three sessions)



http://www.withoutsanctuary.org/ (WARNING: very graphic)











Project 2: America and the World in the 1930s: The Time Period of To Kill a Mockingbird

The Stock Market Crash and The Great Depression: The Impact on Economic Prosperity for Blacks and Whites in America

1. What was “Black Friday”? What caused the stock market to crash? Had it happened before? Where/when? Could the stock market crash have been prevented? How? 2. What impact did the stock market crash have on Americans and life in America? Explain some of the tragic events that occurred immediately after the Crash? 3. Explain what the Great Depression was and its importance/prominence in American history. Who was President and what policies affected the Great Depression? 4. What factors led to the Great Depression? What was life like for Americans during the Great Depression? Who was hardest hit and how? What were some examples that you can give to make the Great Depression real to today’s audience? The Dust Bowl: The Impact on Economic Prosperity for Blacks and Whites

1. What was the Dust Bowl? Where did it take place and when? Who was directly affected by it? 2. What impact did the Dust Bowl have on life in America? How is it connected to the Great Depression? Could it have been prevented? If so, how? Have we done things since then to prevent it from happening again or could it still happen? 3. How did Herbert Hoover deal with this natural disaster and the people involved? What were “Hoovervilles” and why were they called that? Who were the “Okies”? Explain the problems that arose in the country in places like California as a result of the Dust Bowl, the “Okies,” and migrant farming.

Herbert Hoover v. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Two Presidencies, Two Policies, One Era in American History

1. When was Herbert Hoover President? What condition was the country in when he started as President? What were his major policies as President (economic and domestic policies specifically)? What major changes happened in the United States while Hoover was President? What condition was the country in when he finished as President? What was his legacy as President? (ex. What were “Hoovervilles”? What do people remember him for?) 2. When was FDR President? What condition was the country in when he started as President? What were his major policies as President (economic and domestic policies specifically)? What major changes happened in the United States while FDR was President? What condition was the country in when he finished as President? What was his legacy as President? (ex. What was “The New Deal”? What do people remember him for?) 3. Compare and contrast each Presidency and the effect both had on the country. What were some famous quotes from each President and explain the significance of those quotes.

The Rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany: Hitler’s Rise to Power, the Formation of the Nazi Party, and the Treatment of Blacks in the U.S. Compared to Jews in Germany

1. Who was Adolph Hitler? When was he born and what was his family like. Explain how he came into power in Germany (i.e. what was the condition of Germany before Hitler rose to power, what were Hitler’s policies and beliefs that gained him a following, etc.) 2. Who were the Nazis? What were their beliefs and political philosophies that appealed to Germans and gave them popularity? Why were Jewish people the target for Hitler’s and the Nazis hatred? (i.e. what did they blame the Jews for and why?) Explain how the Nazis gained a following and rose to power. 3. Compare the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany at this time to the treatment of blacks in America at the same time. Specifically look at the condition of Germany and the U.S. economically and politically and explain laws in both countries that were created in each to target Jews and blacks.

Links:  http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/98/mock/intro.html




















Project 3: Education for Blacks in the Early 20th Century

W.E.B. Dubois and the NAACP: Fighting Against Scientific Racism

1. Who was W.E.B. Dubois? Give important biographical facts of his background. Why was he so important/why is he a historical figure?

2. What ideas did W.E.B. Dubois promote that focused on improving life for blacks in America and supporting their rights? What is scientific racism and what were his views about it? Who were his main supporters and who were his main opponents? 3. What is the NAACP? What was W.E.B. Dubois’ connection with the NAACP? What was the purpose or mission of the NAACP with Dubois’ help? 4. What impact did Dubois have on the education and the general welfare of blacks in America? Do you agree with his views? Why or why not? Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute: Up From Slavery

1. Who was Booker T. Washington? Give important biographical facts of his background. Why was he so important/why is he a historical figure? 2. What was the Tuskegee Institute? Who founded it and what was its purpose? What role did Booker T. Washington have at Tuskegee and what did he accomplish while he was there? 3. What ideas did Booker T. Washington promote that focused on improving life for blacks in America and supporting their rights? Who were his main supporters and who were his main opponents? 4. How did Washington’s views differ from W.E.B. Dubois? What impact did he have on things such as education and the general welfare of blacks in America? Do you agree with his views? Why or why not? Brown v. Board of Education: A Landmark Case and Its Impact on Education Rights

  1. Explain/summarize what the case was (i.e. who was involved, what the main points of the case were, when it occurred, what the final decision was, etc.) What problems did Linda Brown encounter in Topeka that eventually resulted in this case? 2. What were “segregated schools”? Why were they created? What right does the Fourteenth Amendment give citizens? 3. Why was Brown v. Board of Education such a significant case in terms of its impact on education and the rights of Blacks? What was its connection to Plessy v. Ferguson? 4. How did Brown v. Board of Education change the legal definition of “equality” and advance the Civil Rights Movement for blacks?





Education of Blacks in the South after the Civil War Prior to the 1950s (leading up to  Brown v. Board): General History and Overview

1. Explain the laws/policies regarding the education of blacks during the Civil War. What were they/how were they any different after the Civil War? 2. For those blacks who were receiving an education, what were their schools like? What obstacles did they face in trying to get an education? Who/what opposed their opportunities to get an education? 3. What effect did their education or lack of an education have on their abilities to compete with Whites as equals in the United States? How has that had a longstanding impact on equality between blacks and whites in the U.S.?

Links:  http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/98/mock/intro.html















Project 4: The Trial of Tom Robinson: The Death Penalty and Criminal Law

The History of the Use of Capital Punishment/Death Penalty in the United States:

  1. For what cases was the death penalty initially used in colonial United States? Was it ever outlawed nationally? Why?

  2. What states currently use the death penalty and what crimes are worthy of the death penalty in those states?

  3. Has the death penalty been disproportionally used between blacks & whites? Explain the disproportionality and factors that may explain it.

The Scottsboro Case: A Landmark Case and Its Impact on Capital Punishment Cases

1. Explain/summarize what the case was (i.e. who was involved, what the charges were, when it occurred, what the final decision was, etc.)

2.   Why was this case such a significant one in terms of its impact on capital punishment?

3. What were the mistakes made in this case by prosecutors, defenders, witnesses, etc. that indicate this may have not been a fair case? How does this case illustrate how race impacted the outcomes of many court cases?

Major Criminal Court Procedures: Sixth Amendment: Right to Counsel (Atticus defending Tom Robinson) and Right to a Jury Trial (Right to a Jury of Your Peers)

1. Summarize the major points of the amendment and explain the rights it ensures/protects for every individual charged with a crime.

2. What challenges to the amendment have been raised and how has the amendment been interpreted differently over history?

3.   In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson is a black man who has been charged with rape. His jury will be all white farmers. Based on your research for the sixth amendment, what are some problems you can see coming up in his trial that would show he won’t be tried fairly and his rights may have been denied?

The Fairness of Capital Punishment: Under the Eighth Amendment, is the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment?

1. Summarize the major points of the amendment and explain the rights it ensures/protects for every individual charged with a crime.

2. Under the amendment, how can capital punishment be viewed as cruel and unusual punishment? How is it viewed as falling outside this amendment, and, therefore, still used by certain states?

3.   How has your research changed or informed your own views on capital punishment? How has it changed your view of the prisoners sitting on death row who are facing capital punishment? What are some of the major obstacles that come up in a death penalty case that makes them complicated instead of clear cut?

Links:  http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/deathpenalty.htm











Project 5: The Rise of Black Identity and Culture after The Civil War

The Great Migration: Blacks Moving From the South to the North after The Civil War

1. What was The Great Migration? What started it? Where did it occur and when? 2. How did The Great Migration change/affect life in places where blacks were migrating from and where they migrated to? What changes can we still see in America today as a result of The Great Migration? 3. What effect did it have on the blacks who decided to stay and not join the migration? What connections does this have to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

The Harlem Renaissance: The Rebirth of Black Arts and Culture in the North

1. What was the Harlem Renaissance? Where did it occur and who/what did it involve? Name some major people/results of it? 2. How did the Harlem Renaissance change life for blacks in America? Can we still see evidence of it in America today? If so, how/where? 3. Does it go against what many people in America believed about Blacks at the time/today? If so how? 4. How did the Harlem Renaissance affect the politics of the decades leading up to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s? The Black Church: The Rise of the Church in the Southern Black Community and in Educating and Organizing Black Communities for Civil Rights

1. What were some of the earliest black churches in the U.S.? Who started/founded them? Give some history of some of these pioneering churches including dates, locations, Christian denominations, and early church leaders. 2. What role did black churches (particularly in the South) play after the Civil War in educating African Americans? How did singing in the church help reading and literacy? Discuss “call and response” and early Negro Spirituals. 3. What role did the black churches play in organizing the Civil Rights Movement for blacks in the U.S.? Who were some of the famous Civil Rights activists connected that were also church leaders? Explain how the black church was critical to educating and organizing blacks in the South after the Civil War. The Evolution of Black Music: Negro Spirituals/Field Music to Modern Day Hip-Hop

1. “Strange Fruit” by Abel Meeropol/performed by Billie Holliday 2. What were the early forms of black music? What were its roots and how was it evolving in slaves in the U.S.? 3. What were the messages and what was the power of black music to its people in America, especially early on? 4. What has been the evolution of Black music from its roots to modern day styles such as hip hop? How has it influenced other kinds of music that has become popular in America? Who were some of the most influential pioneers of it throughout its history?

Links:  http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/98/mock/intro.html












Project 6: Beyond the Book: The Culture of To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee Biography: How her life connected to story she wrote

1. Provide a clear biographical profile of Harper Lee both as a person and as a writer. What are some myths about Harper Lee that exist that are not true? 2. How did her childhood and upbringing influence her writing of this novel? What major characters, elements of its setting and plot emerge directly from real experiences in her childhood? 3. What connections did Harper Lee have to the Civil Rights movement? Was she trying to make some political/social statements with this book? If so, what were those statements? What impact has her book had on American culture? The Movie of To Kill a Mockingbird: The Making of the Movie, Actors, & Its Impact

1.   Explain the goals that the producers and directors had in making this film adaptation of the book. What were they trying to preserve and what were they able to achieve? 2. Who did they get to play the key roles in the film? Explain their importance and share any later insights they had about the book and the film (i.e. interviews, etc.) 3. What about the book/story was changed in the movie (i.e. how is it different)? What key elements of film should a viewer take note of to better appreciate the movie and its production/existence as a piece of art? What impact has the movie had on American culture and other movies? Role of Women in 1930s South and Women Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird

1. What was the typical role of women in the South in 1930s America? What limited rights did they have and/or what were they expected to be in the South at this time? 2. The character of Aunt Alexandra in the book To Kill a Mockingbird is often thought of as a “proper” Southern lady. Based on your research, what was a “proper” woman of the South supposed to be like? What was the “social code” she was trying to uphold in the South? Look for descriptions of clothing, behavior, personality, and social roles. 3. The character of Miss Maudie, the main character’s neighbor, is considered by many to be a woman who defied the typical role of women in the South. Based on your research, what would a woman be doing and behaving like that would be considered “improper” or “breaking the code” of a Southern lady. Are there any examples in history of such women? Who were they and what did they do to break the code? Civil Rights Defenders for Blacks: Atticus Finch as a Reflection

1. Who were some of the key historical civil rights defenders during the real Civil Rights movement in America? What ideas were they trying to promote and what support did they get? 2. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is the father of the main character, Scout, and he is a defense lawyer for a black man, Tom Robinson. Despite all the racism and ignorance that surrounds him, Atticus fights strongly to defend Tom Robinson. What did white people who fought to defend the rights of blacks face in terms of hate and violence? Are there historical accounts of white defenders of blacks who faced the hate and violence? Explain who they were and the details of their experiences. Provide quotes when and if you can. 3. Based on historical accounts and opinions in research, have all black people looked at white characters like Atticus positively? Do some have negative perceptions of him as a character? Explain why.

Links:  http://www.neabigread.org/books/mockingbird/













Project Rubric

Part I - To Kill a Mockingbird - Poster Presentations (20 points total) Posters (30 points):

1. Each student should purchase a standard 22 X 28 inch piece of poster board. Bring poster board to class to begin work! 2. The title of your topic should be centered in large letters at the top of the poster. Just below that (still at the top) should be your name as the presenter. 3. Posters should present the topic you researched and should represent answers to each research question through:

    - Bulleted Points – 18 point font minimum

    - Downloaded/printed pictures or images – large enough to see from a distance

    - Enlarged graphs or tables – again, large enough to see from a distance

    - ALL ITEMS SHOULD BE LABELED OR CAPTIONED!!! 4. The poster should NOT include your full report or any other large sections of text! Presentation (20 points):

1. The presenter should first introduce the overall topic and explain the overall design/layout of the poster. 2. Each individual presenter should then begin with, “Hi, my name is _________. My research for this project focused on _________ and answered the following questions….” 3. The presentation should be no longer than 5 minutes.

4. Students should give the presentation without merely reading from a paper. Rehearse your presentation and use notecards with notes to help cue you to maximize eye contact! 5. Each presentation should conclude with, “This concludes my presentation. Are there any questions?” Three audience questions will be allowed. Only serious, thoughtful questions should be asked and answered!

Poster/Presentation – Grading Rubric            Poster:

18 – 20 =    Visually Effective/Appealing         Attractive Layout/Colorful         Informative/Easy to Read         Helpful Titles and Captions 14 – 17 =    Somewhat Visually Effective         Decent Effort on Layout/Color         Somewhat Informative/Somewhat Difficult to Read         Few Titles and Captions 10 – 12 =    Not Visually Effective         Little Effort on Layout/No Color         Little to No Information Provided/Illegible and Difficult to Read         No Titles or Captions

Presentation: 18-20 =    Loud, Clear Voice/Solid Eye Contact Throughout         Introduced Self and Topic Clearly         Informative and Clear in Explanation of Images and Text         Clearly Explained Answers to Research Questions         Answered Questions from Audience Clearly and Confidently 14-17=        Audible Voice/Decent Eye Contact Throughout         Introduced Self and Topic Somewhat Clearly         Somewhat Informative Explanation of Images and Text         Somewhat Explained Answers to Research Questions         Somewhat Answered Questions from Audience 10-12 =     Difficult to Understand Speaker/Failed to Maintain Eye Contact         Failed to Introduce Self and/or Topic         Failed to Explain Images or Text of the Poster         Did Not Satisfactorily Explain Answers to Research Questions         Unable to Answer Questions from Audience   

Part II - TKM Research Paper Writing Assignment:

    Write a 2-3 page research paper on the topic you have been assigned that answers the essential questions you have been given. For additional ideas, see the teacher and discuss further questions and ideas that you may want to address in your paper. Your paper should include a clear introduction with thesis statement, a well-organized body separated by paragraphs, and a distinct conclusion which confirms that you have answered the essential questions that you have been given. Paper Format:

    Paper should use MLA standards: they should be typed, double-spaced (including proper title page with title, name, course, and date all centered in middle; body; 12-point Times New Roman font. Information from other sources should be properly cited using parenthetical citations (see below). Margins should be 1-inch on all sides. 3X5 notecards must be used while compiling research for paper and the notecards must be turned in with the final paper (at least 5 different sources, and 10 notecards). See additional handouts and information from librarian for MLA formatting requirements.


Research Paper Due Dates:

*Works Cited Page (typed, double spaced) due Friday, March 28

*Final Paper with notecards due Monday, March 31

Research Project Presentation Date:

Monday, March 31

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