Learn about the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and consider the racist themes that were on display.
Read the case of Carrie Buck to learn about sterilization laws in the United States and to consider the impact that eugenics had on laws and public policy.
How can Harper Lee’s newly published novel Go Set a Watchman deepen students’ engagement with To Kill a Mockingbird? Watchman is not a sequel to Mockingbird, but it is a companion work that can shed light on the characters, context, and themes that Lee explores in To Kill a Mockingbird and that Facing History examines in the Teaching Mockingbird study guide.
In these lessons, we offer two approaches for integrating Go Set a Watchman into the teaching of Mockingbird, by featuring excerpts of both novels, historical sources, poetry, discussion questions, and activities that connect the two books, the world of the novels, and our own world today.
These materials were selected to help readers contextualize the setting and understand the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. There are videos on themes ranging from growing up in the south during the Jim Crow-era, to the history of lynching in the United States, to the role of stereotypes and bias in our culture, and on Scout's character. You can also find photos, art, and audio interviews here to help stimulate discussion and understanding of the many themes of the novel that continue to resonate today.