1. Charades. In order to focus students on using the text during the seminar discussion, we played a few rounds of charades in which students drew quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird to act out.
2. Favorite lines. Next, students found one line from “The Courthouse Ring” to share with the class.
3. Freewrite. Just before our discussion started, all students wrote to the question: Are some lives more valuable than others? What determines that value.
4. Seminar discussion. We discussed the freewrite question as well as the question of whether or not Atticus did enough in Mockingbird (this is the question Gladwell poses in his article) and whether the novel encourages readers to believe that some lives are, in fact, not valuable. As we discussed, students participated via a backchannel and took notes here: Seminar notes mockingbird.
5. Closing question. Students wrote the answer to one of the following questions: What do you want to remember from this discussion? Did Bob Ewell deserve to die? Is Atticus a true hero or not?