I am so excited because my freshman classes have finally started reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and not a moment too soon. I looked at my old lesson plan calendar, and we're basically starting at the same time as last year. That stresses me out a little because we were so pressed for time before, but I think this group is up to doing some reading at home. We watched the opening credits to make predictions about what point-of-view the book is from, the characters, setting, and so forth, and every class asked, "Are we going to watch the whole movie this time?" Every time we've watched film in class, it's only been clips here and there, but I told them that if they're willing to put in the work on the front end by finishing reading from home, then we'll be able to fit in the movie. Watching the opening credits, I started to get really choked up by the music and gravity of the plot. I'd forgotten how much I love this book.
We started chapter one yesterday, and they seem to be interested. I do a lot of work in the beginning making sure they understand who the different characters are, otherwise they get lost in the language of the book. It's sad to me that so many kids can't easily understand the words of a book that's only fifty-four years old, but what can you do? I'm sure that back in the day my freshman classmates struggled a bit too, but not to the extent of my kids now. I think I have my love for musicals and old movies to thank for exposing me to a wider vocabulary.
Anyway, they laughed at the right parts of chapter one, so I think that's a good sign. There's a funny part where it talks about Atticus' crazy first clients as a lawyer and of course the part where Dill wants to make Boo Radley come out even after Jem's grisly description of the man. Of course there were some curse words involved.
Overall, I'm really going to miss my group from this year. I've been spoiled with pretty well-behaved students and a handful of very bright, hard-working individuals. It will be hard for me to say goodbye. I only hope that they come away from this year with an understanding of the quote below.