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Lesson Plan #:AELP-LIT0011
Author: Linda Burton
School or Affiliation: Condon Elem., OR
Endorsed by: These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teachers from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western United States, particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops. Date: May 1994

Grade Level(s): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


  • Language Arts/Literature


This lesson is designed to review a literary work or unit before an exam. Students should have already read and discussed the literature. They need to understand in advance that a knowledge question simply involves recalling a fact from the literature. An interpretation question involves expanding the facts and offering some insight and/or explanations. A judgment question calls for an opinion supported by evidence from the story. This example is for To Kill a Mockingbird, but similar questions can be designed for any novel, play, or unit of short stories. 

Purpose: This lesson gives students an opportunity to review details and to become familiar with the types of questions they will be asked to answer on their exams.

Objective: Students will demonstrate the ability to answer knowledge, interpretation, and judgment questions by participating in an activity that requires these skills.

Materials: Teacher-made questions covering the literature.

Activities and Procedures:

Three students are chosen as judges. The remaining students are divided into two teams. Students are called on in order to choose a category and then answer the question asked by the teacher from that category. Knowledge questions are worth one point; interpretation questions, three points; judgment questions, five points. When the student answers, the judges hold up a card indicating the score they have assigned to the question. They may assign any portion of the possible points for that category. If the student answering the question does not know the answer, members of the other team may raise their hands and be called on by the teacher to answer. Their answers are then judged by the student panel. When all questions are used up from one category, students are forced to choose from the remaining categories.

Tying It All Together:

A few minutes should be set aside at the end of the period for students to ask questions or discuss any question they did not understand.

Sample Questions:

Knowledge Questions –

  • What is the name of the little gentlemen who tried to protect Miss Caroline? (Chuck Little)
  • What is Jem’s punishment for destroying Mrs. Dubose’s camelias? (reading to her)
  • What is Atticus carrying when he heads for the jail that concerns the children? (an extension cord)
  • Interpretation Questions –

  • Why are the Ewells allowed to live outside the law?
  • How is Mrs. Dubose a winner?
  • Describe Mayella Ewell as she appeared on the witness stand.
  • Judgement Questions –

  • Why did Atticus defend Tom Robinson?
  • How can a jury ignore all the facts and find a man like Tome Robinson guilty?
  • Will Jem grow up to be like Atticus or will he resent the way Atticus is treated and try to protect himself from the pain?