Novel Study First Chapters

As we are reading both Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and To Kill a Mockingbird, two classics in children’s literature, our upcoming lessons will be quite differentiated (meaning different variations of the lesson to meet the students where they are).  In today’s class, we did a quick recap of the first chapter of each book.  The students had the opportunity to complete discussion questions for their respective book’s first chapter.

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 Discussion Questions

1.What do you learn in this chapter about Maycomb, Atticus Finch and his family?

2.What do you learn about Dill’s character?

3.What, briefly, has happened to Arthur “Boo” Radley.

4.Why does the Radley place fascinate Scout, Jem and Dill?

5.What do you notice about the narrative voice and viewpoint in the novel?

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 1 Discussion Questions

1.Where does this story take place? In what year?

2.Describe the schools that the black and white children attend.  Who is the “white” school named for?

3.Name the members of the Logan family.  What grades are the children in?

4.Why does Little Man stomp on the school book he is given?  What does the teacher mean by “That’s what you are”?

The students finished class by sharing their initial thoughts on the story they chose to read and their observations were fascinating.  It was really nice seeing how much the students are being hooked in by each story.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
    • TKAM-Chapter 2-3
    • ROTHMC-Chapter 2


Introduction to Novel Study

On this first day back after our unexpected 4-day weekend, we jumped into the beginnings of our novel study unit. Over the next five weeks we will all be learning about The Great Depression while the students read either Harper Lee‘s To Kill a Mockingbird or Mildred D. Taylor‘s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Today, we watched a few key videos to set the stage for our novel study.  We first watched a video giving a general overview of The Great Depression era from The History Channel.

The students then saw the movie trailers for “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.”

We then completed today’s lesson with a discussion of what each student expected to discover or learn in their book of choice.


  • Read Chapter 1 of either To Kill a Mockingbird or Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.