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ERIC Number: EJ812709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Integrating Government and Literature: Mock Civil and Criminal Trials Based on "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Kumler, Lori; Palchick, Rina
Social Education, v72 n4 p194-197 May-Jun 2008
For many students, high school coursework consists of discrete subjects, each disconnected from the other, but together adding up to a high school diploma. Nonetheless, at the classroom level one can find many examples of integrated, interdisciplinary, or cross-subject teaching. Some pursue this approach because they consider that high school students are simply better able to understand connections between concepts and disciplines; others take into consideration research showing that integration can narrow the achievement gap and enhance student learning. In this article, the authors share one example of their integrated projects, which can be adapted and used at a variety of grade levels and circumstances. A novel served as the centerpiece of all of these projects; each novel contained strong connections to units in each class. While block scheduling and shared students in back-to-back periods increased their ability to coordinate, the authors feel that these projects can be done even without such infrastructure. In this collaborative project, the students prepared and enacted trials based on two events that did not go to trial in the novel: a civil offense involving slander of Tom Robinson and his family (by the Ewells) and a criminal offense involving the murder of Bob Ewell. Students were to enact the trials in the context of the present era, rather than the 1930s; this provided a basis for discussions on the historical perspective. A summation of the project including timeframe, materials, activity description, classroom dynamics, student work examples, assessment, and challenges is presented. (Contains 4 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A