December 12

I thought Jem was counting his chickens.

Tonight, you don’t have any new reading to do.  Rather, I’d like you to review the last few chapters (annotate some more if you are minded to do so) and prepare two EXCELLENT discussion questions for your table.

  • Remember, a good discussion question does not have a single answer.  Good questions lead to interesting conversations.

Also, rather than comment on anyone else in general, look to see if anyone at your table has already commented and look at their questions.  Make sure that yours are not mere repeats.

Once you’ve made sure you have original questions for your table (and no fair just taking a great question from another table, unless you genuinely thought of it yourself), write your questions in the comment box and explain why you think they would be good questions.  In addition, please write each question on a separate piece of looseleaf paper.  We’ll be using them in a class activity.

Mockingbird blog #8

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted December 12, 2018 by equinson in category To Kill a Mockingbird

22 thoughts on “I thought Jem was counting his chickens.

  1. Myles Ng

    1.Will win the court case, and how?
    -Atticus on what grounds?
    -Will the jury be swayed by emotion or fact?
    -What proof does Bob Ewell have that will get Tom convicted?

    2.If Tom is convicted or not convicted, will the lynch mob come back and bring their own “justice.”
    -Will Scout be able to stop them if they come back?

  2. Emily

    1) Although the class has noticed that the mockingbird is a symbol for something, of what is it?

    2) Throughout the novel the readers are introduced to many characters and a good deal of them have nicknames (Scout, Boo, etc.). Do you think they signify something? If so, what?

  3. Kate

    1. I’ve noticed that Boo Radley has faded in and out of the novel. What is the significance of his character and what will his effect be later on in the story? How will Lee tie in his character to the book?

    2. Do you think Aunt Alexandra will have an influential role on Scout while she’s visiting? So far she hasn’t influenced Scout to be more “feminine” yet so I wonder what her character will bring to the novel.

  4. Sophie

    1) Boo Radley was included a lot in the earlier chapters, but lately the importance of his character has died down. While he was still around, he was shown as mysteriously putting a blanket around cold Scout. Do you think that the blanket had a further meaning? Do you think that if he were to return, if he’d positively impact Scouts life any more?

    2) Why does Aunt Alexandra have such a problem with Calpurnia’s existence, Atticus’ parenting, and Scouts personality? Do you think there is a reason behind it?

  5. janem

    1. Mayella Ewell apparently has well-kept geraniums. This contrasts greatly with the trash-covered Ewell property. Are these geraniums possible symbolism for Atticus, Jem, and Scout’s lack of racism? They are surrounded by people that have negative things to say, (representing garbage), whereas Atticus, Jem and Scout don’t have anything bad to say about someone regarding their race, which represents the clean, pleasant geraniums.

    2. Miss Maudie refuses to attend the trial because she sees how cruel the trials are. She also has many, well-kept, beautiful, clean flowers in her garden. Are flowers in the book symbolic for those who aren’t racist? The flowers in the Ewell yard are beautiful despite being surrounded by trash. Is Harper Lee using flowers to represent those who are kind to all in an extremely racist town, such as Atticus, Miss Maudie, Jem and Scout?

    1. Emily

      If the flowers symbolize racism then in the Ewell yard it could be showing how Tom Robinson was helping Mayella and in return, he was faced with an unjust trial where people are unable to look past the fact that he is black and see that there is evidence that proves he is innocent.

  6. Emma Garbowitz

    1) Why is Boo Radley no longer mentioned in these past few chapters? He seemed to be very important to the plot and provided a lot of mystery for the reader. However, is he still as significant as he was in the past chapters and will his importance come back and provide further insight and mystery for the reader?

    2)After Aunt Alexandra moved into the house with Atticus, Scout and Jem it seems as though Atticus’ personality changes when he is in front of her. However, I sometimes observed that Atticus doesn’t seem to always agree with her. I wonder why Atticus even brought her to their home in the first place and if he really agrees with her or is just putting a fake face on for the “benefit” of having Aunt Alexandra as a role model for Scout and Jem?

  7. Casey

    1) I wonder if Scout and Jem will continue to go to church with Calpurnia, even against Aunt Alexandria’s wishes. Could this be the start of Scout’s rebellion against her aunt and becoming a “lady”?

    2) When Atticus is defending Tom Robinson in court, he brings up how it would make most sense if a left-handed person had beat up Mayella Ewell. We haven’t found out yet whether or not Tom Robinson is left-handed but if he isn’t, who else could had beaten up Mayella and why would they do that in the first place, then frame Tom Robinson?

  8. Laila Sayegh

    1. Although Atticus already proved his point about Bob Ewell being left handed and not calling a doctor, it doesn’t seem like enough to convince the people that Tom isn’t guilty. What exact evidence can be used in the case to help change peoples views on Tom Robinson?

    2. What exactly does the mockingbird symbolize and how can it relate to what we’ve read so far?

  9. stephaniec

    1) Will Atticus, Jem, and Scout be treated differently after the case ends? If so, in what ways?

    2) For both testimonies, why did Atticus ask multiple times if anyone called a doctor? How could the fact that no doctor was called help Tom Robinson’s case?

  10. MadiR

    1. Why is Harper Lee keeping the story of Boo Radley separate from the happenings of Tom Robinson’s trial? Why didn’t Lee write about Boo Radley in part 2 of the novel? Will the author connect Tom Robinson’s trial with Boo Radley’s story later in the novel? How does the first part of the novel influence the chapters we are reading now?

    2. Why is Atticus respected throughout the town of Maycomb even though he is criticized openly all the time for representing Tom Robinson? Is it possible that the town’s people believe that Atticus is a good man who is only taking his obligation of professional duty seriously?

  11. jaclynl

    1)If it turns out that it was actually Bob Ewell who committed the crime and not Tom Robinson, why would Mayella be so set on lying about the whole situation? Maybe she is trying to protect him, or maybe was she embarrassed about her relations with Tom? Both?

    2)Boo Radley has not been mentioned in a while. Will he return and if he does, what significance would he have in the storyline? Will we find out more about his character, and why he stays hidden all of the time?

  12. Hannah Pitkofsky

    1. Why has Boo’s character and importance in the novel died down? Will his character come back in a major role, one that is more than it was in the past?

    2. Will the lynching mob come back after Tom and Atticus since they failed the first time they tried?

  13. josepha4

    1) Is Christianity properly represented by the people of Maycomb county or do they take things to far? They are supposed to be kind to everyone yet they try and lynch Tom, however they go to church and pray so are the people classified as good Christians?

    2)Is Tom Robinson in a lose lose situation? if he is innocent he will most likely be killed by a lynch mob but if he’s guilty he is sentenced to death

  14. Brishti Sarkar

    1) There seems to be two storylines in the novel: the one with Jem, Dill, and Scout as they try to get Boo Radley to come out, and the one between Atticus and Tom Robinson. Will these two storylines ever merge?

    2) How is the theme of innocence reflected between Tom Robinson and the Mockingbird? It is explained that it is a sin to kill a Mockingbird because of its innocence, but it is okay to kill Tom Robinson, even though he is innocent?

  15. Mikayla Friedman

    1. Aunt Alexandra and Atticus sometime have a tense relationship, like when they don’t agree on something, but Atticus sometimes defends Alexandra, as shown when he demands that Scout apologize to her. Therefore, I wonder what they were like as children. Were they close, the way Jem and Scout are, or did they argue and disagree with each other?

    2. How has growing up in the midst of their father’s important case involving Tom Robinson impacted Jem and Scout? Have their childhoods almost been robbed of them because they were forced to see such horrible problems at such a young age? They were forced to deal with adult problems and ideas, ones that you and I never grew up around, so has that changed them for the better or for worse?

  16. trinityt

    1. Why does Mayella keep saying that people were mocking her when they called her miss or ma’am (when people were showing her courtesy)? Does it have something to do with her family’s status? Like how people said the Ewells were the worst in Maycomb? Is this the reason why she didn’t have any friends?

    2. Is Mayella saying the truth? Is she hiding something? Is she saying these things to cover for her father? Is she trying to cover up what really happened? If so, why?

  17. Zoe

    1) How does the way adults feel about racism and the court case differ greatly with the views of Scout and Jem, and Dill now that he had been influenced by Scout and Jem? Why is it different and which side has “stronger feelings about It? Could it be because it was Atticus who brought the children up and your influence is very important in this book?

    2) Why did Harper Lee decide to include the misfortune of snow and ice occurring within the town and the incident with a fire burning a house down so close together? Does this show a symbol for something or someone within the town or did she write it merely for a good “scene”?

  18. angelicac1

    1) Are there any elements in To Kill a Mockingbird that you find memorable or inspiring?

    2) Scout ages two years-from six to eight-over the course of To Kill a Mockingbird, which is narrated from her perspective as an adult. What event or episode in Scout’s story do you feel truly captures her personality?

  19. maxwellw

    1.Is Reverend Sykes right to help the children see and hear the children.

    2. What does Robert Ewell’s behavior towards his own lawyer suggest about his personality?

  20. Maddie

    1. Jem seems sure that Atticus has won the court case. Why is he so sure of himself and what evidence led him to believe this?

    2. In court, why did Mr. Ewell continuously make funny remarks after the judge had instructed him not to do so twice already? Did he not understand the judge?

  21. Hannah M

    Do we believe that Tim is really guilty? What will make the judge claim he is guilty or not guilty?

    Why did all of the Ewells have a suspicious tone when speaking? Do they have something to do with this felony? What does Mr.Ewell being left handed have to do with this case?


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