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To Kill a Mockingbird in Schools Why should 'To Kill A Mockingbird' be taught in our...

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chef30 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2008 at 11:58 AM via web

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To Kill a Mockingbird in Schools

 Why should 'To Kill A Mockingbird' be taught in our schools?

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 30, 2008 at 12:11 PM (Answer #2)

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Beyond being a classic in American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird is a well-written piece of literature. Teachers are able to teach students about dialect, figures of speech, allusions and other literary devices. The characters in it are colorful and developed well enough that there is a lot of material for discussions about character. he story is touching and teaches students many lessons they may not get anywhere else.

Many people may argue that "To Kill a Mockingbird" isn't appropriate because of the use of the "n-word", an inaccurate portrayal of southern America, and discuss of inappropriate themes (racism, rape), but the good qualities far out weigh these negatives. These negatives are used to teach what's wrong or incorrect rather than give ideas. The book should be taught with an appropriate and mature grade-level, but it definitely should be taught in our schools.

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chef30 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2008 at 4:44 PM (Answer #3)

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Beyond being a classic in American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird is a well-written piece of literature. Teachers are able to teach students about dialect, figures of speech, allusions and other literary devices. The characters in it are colorful and developed well enough that there is a lot of material for discussions about character. he story is touching and teaches students many lessons they may not get anywhere else.

Many people may argue that "To Kill a Mockingbird" isn't appropriate because of the use of the "n-word", an inaccurate portrayal of southern America, and discuss of inappropriate themes (racism, rape), but the good qualities far out weigh these negatives. These negatives are used to teach what's wrong or incorrect rather than give ideas. The book should be taught with an appropriate and mature grade-level, but it definitely should be taught in our schools.

Thanks again Katemschultz for your response....... The reason i asked that question is because I am doing a senior essay on "To Kill A Mockingbird" and the thesis is whether this classic novel should or shouldn't be taught in our schools. Also I wanted to get someone else's opinion too, thanks again.

 Cheers!!!!!

Adam

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jessecreations | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted December 13, 2008 at 8:39 AM (Answer #4)

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My students asked me that same question many times when I taught that novel last year, only their question went something like, "Why are you making us read this book?!?"

My answer to them was that I did not want them to graduate from high school without having read this book.  It is such a great book to teach, because it is accessible and thought-provoking at the same time.  My students were 10th graders, and at first they were intimidated by the length of teh book and uninterested in the subject matter.  It didn't take long, however, for them to begin anticipating future scenes of the book and animatedly discussing the events of the plot.  Sure, there were poarts that confused them, but we went through those until they understood.

I agree with the first post here about the use of the n-word in the book; it often sparks controversy.  My husband's department chair did not want him to teach the book because it contained that word, but her view of the situation was narrow-minded.  Harper Lee used controversial language so she could incite discussion; she also used it to paint an accurate picture of the times.  It would be unrealistic to write a book with that particular setting and NOT use that word.  If we gloss over our history, we will not learn from it.

Because of this book, my students were able to study 1930s American history, the unreliable narrator, character development, injustice, family ties, and societal expectations.  They strengthened their reading and discussion skills, and they broadened their view of the world.  It would be a shame for any school NOT to teach this book.

I hope this helps.  I myself wrote a senior essay once upon a time (7 years ago), and I remember the joy and the pain of it well. :)

Jessica

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zeroordiesk8r | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 29, 2008 at 11:20 AM (Answer #5)

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Beyond being a classic in American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird is a well-written piece of literature. Teachers are able to teach students about dialect, figures of speech, allusions and other literary devices. The characters in it are colorful and developed well enough that there is a lot of material for discussions about character. he story is touching and teaches students many lessons they may not get anywhere else.

Many people may argue that "To Kill a Mockingbird" isn't appropriate because of the use of the "n-word", an inaccurate portrayal of southern America, and discuss of inappropriate themes (racism, rape), but the good qualities far out weigh these negatives. These negatives are used to teach what's wrong or incorrect rather than give ideas. The book should be taught with an appropriate and mature grade-level, but it definitely should be taught in our schools.

Thanks again Katemschultz for your response....... The reason i asked that question is because I am doing a senior essay on "To Kill A Mockingbird" and the thesis is whether this classic novel should or shouldn't be taught in our schools. Also I wanted to get someone else's opinion too, thanks again.

 Cheers!!!!!

Adam

Hey Man,

Im writin an essay on the same topic, "should TKAM be taught in schools?" I was just wonderin if u could give me some help on the thesis part

Mike

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM (Answer #6)

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To Kill a Mockingbird in Schools

 Why should 'To Kill A Mockingbird' be taught in our schools?

This novel is both universal and timeless. Harper Lee achieves much more than capture life in a small Southern town in the 1930s. Through her major and minor characters, she examines the human condition and helps us understand more about ourselves: what we do and why we do it. There's a line in Our Town about life being "a wonderful, terrible thing." The same can be said of the people in this novel, and therefore all of us as human beings. Sometimes we can be wonderful; sometimes we can be terrible--and there are reasons behind our behavior. Students need to read the novel because it will help them understand themselves and others.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 17, 2010 at 7:15 PM (Answer #7)

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I agree--we don’t make our students read the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird the are afforded the unparalleled opportunity of reading itJ It should still be taught in schools because the central themes are still relevant in today’s society, and a teacher can pull current events almost weekly to show how the problems still exist.

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jessege | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 6, 2011 at 6:47 AM (Answer #8)

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I teach in a suburban middle school in Virginia.  I teach gifted students.  The school is 47% white, 15% Asian, 15%Latino, 8% Black, and other.  My 2 gifted English classes have 2 Black kids out of 52 kids.

I am concerned about how the Black kids will react as we read and discuss this novel.  What feedback can other teachers give me about how to ensure the Black kids are not uncomfortable?  This will be my first time teaching this novel.

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gianfgigena | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2011 at 11:14 AM (Answer #10)

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This helped me so much but I right now am writing a business letter about if we should keep this book in school and I am having trouble. Can someone explain or help me on what to write. thanks.

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