(5) The Big Book of Lessons from Life Assignment

The Big Book of Lessons from Life

To Kill a Mockingbird

As we read through Harper Lee’s monumental novel, you will notice that Atticus attempts to teach his children lessons of morality, integrity, honesty, courage, and acceptance.  You will also notice that he is extremely eloquent when doing so—in other words, he always seems to say the right thing.  These lessons are as important and poetic today as they were when this book was first published in 1960.

Your assignment is to search not only for the lessons that Atticus teaches his children, but for the lessons that you think your parents, family members, and society have to teach you as you strive towards adulthood.  With this in mind, you will create a book of lessons from life


Assignment: Create a book of advice and instructions for living a good life.  Draw upon the wisdom of Atticus in his lessons and examples to his children and neighbors.  In addition, draw upon the wisdom of your parents, mentors, family (including yourself), or any other important figures in your life.  Think of the lessons they have to teach you, and finally, look to other important cultural figures for the wisdom they have to share with the world.

You are open to choosing your own delivery method for this assignment. You can choose to create the project as a Glogster, Prezi, Google Drawing, Google Presentation, Animoto video, or you can even choose to turn in a phsyical project to me in class.  The options are limitless!

You will need a minimum of ten (10) quotes from each category:

  • Find quotes from Atticus—you will need to look for passages illustrating life-lessons that you believe are worth remembering.  Look for passages that are important in showing Atticus’ principles and values, in showing what he believes about courage, understanding others, respect for others’ differences, compassion, fighting, shooting, justice, standing up for what you believe in, etc.
  • Find quotes from your own family or mentors—you will need to talk to your parents, grandparents, and other relatives about the lessons of life they are trying to teach you.  Write down the exact words and phrases they use, so that you might use their original and authentic wording in your book.
  • Find quotes from other important historical figures—look to noteworthy thinkers, politicians and statesmen, authors, artists, or other important people throughout history.  Find out what they have to offer about living a good life.

When you have collected enough material

You will need to select and arrange quotes you want to use in your book.  Think about how you want each quote placed in your book.  Do you want to arrange it based by character, lesson, stages for life, etc?  Or choose your own thematic arrangement!

The options for arranging your quotes are up to you.  Put some thought into this process—do not just “slap” quotes onto a page and call it good.  Put some time into not just presenting quotes, but presenting quotes in a particular way for a particular reason.  You will have to rationalize your order in a ½ page of writing at the very end or beginning of the presentation…  Creativity counts!

Decorating your project:

Make it look nice!  No good book on living a good life would be complete without aesthetic appeal.  Your project should be both pleasing to the soul and pleasing to the eye.  Take the time to decorate your project with appropriate symbols, pictures, designs, etc.  The decorations you put in the project should represent the writing on the page.

Your rationale:

Now that you have made this amazing piece of literature, it is time to write your own half-page rational (perhaps in the form of either a preface or an afterward) that discusses the following items:

  • Why you chose the quotes you chose—not every single quote needs to be explained, but do explain your reasoning for choosing the authors/speakers/figures that you did.
  • Why you arranged your quotes in the way you did.  Again, why did you lay  out the quotes in the order that you put them?
  • How you decorated your book and why you decorated it in this way.  What artistic strengths did you play to?  How are your decorations and your quotes connected to each other?
  • How did you come up with your amazingly fantastic and brilliant title?  Did I mention that your book has to have a title?  Of course not—you already knew that because you’re so awesome.

To Submit:

If you chose to do an electronic format, sumbit via this dropbox.  If you are able to embed the link into the project itself (using the old embed code), do so.  Try to err on the side of caution and share the actual link with me as well in case the embed code does not work.  

If you chose to turn in a physical project, you need to turn your project in to me in class, but also submit a notification to me via this dropbox that you turned the project in to me in class.

You will be graded on the following criteria:

  • Your thoughtfulness and creativity.  Did you put much effort into the assignment?
  • Does the choice of method for delivering the project (Glogster, Prezi, Google Drawing, Google Presentation, Animoto, pencil and paper, etc.) enhance the meaning of the project?
  • How intriguing, compelling, and accurate the quotes are.
  • The number of quotes.  Did you meet the guidelines?  Did you go above and beyond the guidelines?
  • The quality of the quotes.  Does each quote contribute something essential to the whole meaning of your book?
  • The aesthetic appeal and creativity of the book, itself.  Is it creative?  Does it look nice? (If you need to use a computer for generating graphics—by all means do so!)
  • Neatness and attention to detail. 
  • Your rationale.  Did you explain yourself fully?  Did you check for grammatical and mechanical errors?  Does it flow? 
Last modified: Thursday, 21 June 2012, 12:27 PM