Directions:

  • Groups of 2 or 3 (not 4+)
  • Building upon or revising your US History Letters from Maycomb assignment, create a presentation to a Congressional committee charged with hearing the needs of the people during the New Deal Era. Your presentation should:
    • Capture the tone and personality of the adult TKAM character you choose (see below)
    • Be historically accurate, citing local conditions or the particulars of any appropriate primary source documents from history
    • Spoken to Congress in not more than 2 minutes along with a brief Q&A session from Congress
  • Student groups not presenting will rotate in and out of Congressional seat positions

Characters to Choose and Order of Presentation

  • Calpurnia
  • Helen Robinson
  • Tom Robinson
  • Reverend Skyies
  • Miss Mayella Ewell
  • Miss Maudie Atkinson
  • Miss Caroline Fisher
  • Miss Rachel Haverford
  • Miss Stephanie Crawford
  • Mrs. Alexandra Hancock
  • Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
  • Mr. Robert Ewell
  • Mr. Walter Cunningham
  • Mr. Nathan Radley
  • Mr. Jack Finch
  • Mr. Atticus Finch
  • Mr. Braxton Underwood
  • Sheriff Heck Tate
  • Judge John Taylor
  • Mr. Horace Gilmer

Some Preparation Strategies and Tips:

  1. Divide the task between group members. Perhaps have one person responsible for accuracy to the novel, one responsible for historical documentation and accuracy, and one responsible for presenting. For the composition, perhaps have each person draft a paragraph and assemble them together, or one person write while another revises.
  2. Everyone in the group shares the grade and Standards for the substance of the presentation. The Presenter additional may score a Presentation Standard for that portion (therefore, perhaps assign that role to a group member who did not succeed yet at the R&J Debates!).
  3. For this assignment, you may choose any character from the list to the left to address any reasonable social, economic, or political concern of the time (economy, education, women’s rights, etc.). The goal is to have that character’s views accurately represent their position in terms of the novel’s presentation of the character. For instance, Ms. Fisher is a teacher, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that her views on education are typical of today’s teachers!
  4. Prepare, too, for the presentation to Congress by considering questions/comments to ask or answer.

Congress:

  • Four to six members of Congress will be addressed in each presentation. Each student in class will sit in Congress for at least one presentation.
  • Congress will have the opportunity briefly to ask questions or make comments back to the presenter. The Presenter may choose to reply to these comments or accept them without answering. However:
    • Congressional comments that cite the novel in making a point about the character may earn the Analyzing Text Standard.
    • Congressional comments that cite an appropriate historical document may earn the Organizing Text Standard.
    • Presenter responses that use either the novel or a historical document in response may also earn these standards, regardless of whether the group does or not. 

Organizing Text Rubric

Achievement Level Criterion B – Synthesizing Task Specific Clarifications
1-2The student establishes few and/or superficial connections between disciplinesEstablishes few and/or superficial connections between the 1930s and To Kill a Mockingbird to today to answer the issue chosen.
3-4The student connects disciplinary knowledge to achieve adequate understanding.Makes connections between the 1930s and To Kill a Mockingbird to today to answer the the issue chosen.

Adequately supports ideas.

5-6

The student synthesizes disciplinary knowledge to demonstrate consistent, thorough interdisciplinary understandingSynthesizes (makes connections) between the 1930s and To Kill a Mockingbird to today to answer the the issue chosen.

Consistently and thoroughly supports ideas with interdisciplinary links.

7-8

The student synthesizes disciplinary knowledge to demonstrate consistent, thorough and insightful interdisciplinary understanding.Synthesizes (makes connections) between the 1930s and To Kill a Mockingbird to today to answer the the issue chosen.

Consistently, thoroughly, and insightfully supports ideas with interdisciplinary links.