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English Classes Read To Kill a Mockingbird

Students+in+Lorraine+Burke%27s+ninth+grade+English+class+discuss+To+Kill+A+Mockingbird.
Students in Lorraine Burke's ninth grade English class discuss To Kill A Mockingbird.

Students in Lorraine Burke's ninth grade English class discuss To Kill A Mockingbird.

Miah Thirion

Miah Thirion

Students in Lorraine Burke's ninth grade English class discuss To Kill A Mockingbird.

Miah Thirion, Staff Writer

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All 9th grade English classes at Cactus Shadows are currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird, a historical fiction novel by Harper Lee,  that is commonly taught in most high schools or middle schools.

The English department chose it for a variety of reasons, but also because “we find it to be well-written, with deep symbolism and themes, and topics that are not only important for students to learn about history, but to connect to problems in today’s society,” said  Lorraine Burke a 9th grade English teacher. “Also, we just like the book, and our former students have reported it is one of their favorite books they read in high school.”

The English classes have to read the novel with the class. They have tests, quizzes, and homework based on the reading. The English teachers assign the amount of reading they want the students to do, and then they have class discussions about the reading.

“My favorite part about reading To Kill a Mockingbird as a class has been that the tests and quizzes help raise my grade,” said Chase Ellis, a freshman.

Some students prefer to read by themselves, instead of reading as a class, and other students prefer reading as a class. The students all have different opinions, but regardless, they have to do it for the grade.

“I like reading books as a class, especially books like To Kill a Mockingbird, because they can sometimes be confusing, and reading it as a class and having class discussions helps me understand,” said Kylie Klein, a freshman.

One of the plus sides to reading the book as a class is the shared experience. When students all read the same book together, it is almost like they have all gone through the same journey. “It creates a bond between students and allows students to have adult-style discussions with shared knowledge,” said Burke. “It connects each year and the different generations to the others culturally and emotionally.”

To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Alabama during the great depression. The story is told from the perspective of a girl named Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. Jean’s father, Atticus Finch is a lawyer who takes on a rape case where a black man is on trial for the rape of a white woman. The story is about defending the innocent, finding the truth, and the struggles of the time of the Great Depression.

“I honestly love this book so far, it is very interesting,” said Klein.

One of the things the book is most known for is its characters. The story is told through the eyes of Scout, a child, and we also get to know her brother, Jem. Perhaps the most famous character is Atticus Finch, who stands for many as a model ethical character.

“In any good book, for me it is always about the characters, feeling that I know them, that they are friends and neighbors. This book makes me care about people in the book, as well as in my own world, as I see the same injustices, prejudices, and pitiful conditions of the people in our world today,” said Burke.

 

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English Classes Read To Kill a Mockingbird