• To Kill a Mockingbird WebQuest


    You are about to read the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The story is set in the sleepy town of Maycomb, Alabama.  In the novel Atticus Finch is asked to defend a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the young eyes of his children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the South during the 1930’s. The consciousness of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is underscored by the quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice. To best understand the lessons of this great novel, you must first understand the author, the times, and the place in which the story is set.


     Please visit each website and answer the questions for the site.


    You should answer all questions thoroughly. You have ample time to complete ALL questions; so be sure to SPEND YOUR TIME WISELY. The questions will be graded for correctness!

    The Process

    You will be working with a partner for this assignment. One of you should be in charge of finding the appropriate websites and the other should record  the answers; nevertheless, both of you should observe the websites and both of you should provide input for each answer.


    After completing this activity, you should have learned the following:

    · Background information of the author, Harper Lee

    · Historical background for the novel

    · Insight into some of the events in the novel



    Website #1 – The History of Jim Crow

    1. Where did the term, "Jim Crow," originate from?

    2. After the year 1900, what did the term "Jim Crow" become identified with?

    3. What Supreme Court case upheld segregation, or "separate but equal"?

    4. Who was Booker T. Washington? What was his stance on the segregation debates?

    5. What was the name of the new literary movement, based in Harlem, New York, which featured "New Negro" poetry and literature that emphasized self-respect and defiance under the Jim Crow laws?

    6. How did some Southern black people try to resist and escape the Jim Crow laws?


    Website #2 – The Murder of Emmett Till


    7. Why was Emmett Till murdered?

    8. Why did the prosecution have trouble finding witnesses?

    9.  Why was the casket left open?

    10.  Why did the jury claim that the accused were not guilty?

    11.  What was the real reason the men were found not guilty?


    Website #3 – American History 1930-1939


    12. During the Great Depression, many Dust Bowl farmers packed their families into cars and headed where?

    13. Why did the farmers go?

    14. Who were the Presidents during the 1930’s?

    15. What did the sculptor Gutzon Borglum create?

    16. Observe the painting American Gothic (on the website). Describe Grant Wood’s famous work. What does it look like? What kind of life does it portray?

    17. What was fashion like during the 1930’s? Observe the pictures on the site and read about the trends during the times. 

    18. Who were some of the prominent authors of the time? What famous works did they write?


    Website #4 – The Scottsboro Boys


    19. Who were the Scottsboro Boys? What did they do? How did they get in so much trouble?

    20. The Scottsboro Boys’ attorneys were extremely incompetent. How did the defense attorneys show their lack of experience?

    21. Were the Scottsboro Boys ever pardoned of their wrongful convictions?


    Website #5 – Harper Lee


    22. What work is Harper Lee most famous for writing?

    23. When did she win the Pulitzer Prize and for what piece of literature?

    24. What famous Civil War general is Harper Lee related to?

    25. Where and during what time is Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, set?


    Website #6 – Growing Up White in the South


    26. How did the African Americans care for the whites after the Civil War?

    27. What was the dress code for a young lady in the 1930’s?

    28.  Name 3 restrictions that were placed on little girls.

    29.  What experiences would a young, white girl have with African Americans as she was growing up?


    Website #7- Prints and Photographs


    30.  What activities were segregated?

    31.  Segregation was not limited to African Americans.  Who else was discriminated for being “colored”?


    Website #8- Growing Up Black in McCauley’s Quarters


    32. How did Mrs. Burge’s race affect her childhood?

    33.  Describe McCulley’s Quarters.


    Website #9 - Truman Capote


    34. Who is Truman Capote?

    35. What is his relationship to Harper Lee?

    36. Is Dill patterned after a real life character? Explain.


    Website # 10 - Lynching



    37. Define lynching.

    38. How did lynching get its name?

    39. Describe what happened to Elijah Parish Lovejoy.

    40. What is the main objective of the Ku Klux Klan?

    41. What did George Henry White propose?

    42. Why was Henry Hayes executed in 1997? Explain the situation.

    43. What was the Costigan-Wagner Bill?

    44. Why did President Roosevelt fail to support the Bill?
    45. Why was Michael Donald killed?
    46. Who was Beulah Mae Donald  and how did her actions affect the Klan?