(1) Setting the Scene - Growing up in the 1930s Teacher's Notes (The Process)

The Process
  1. Read the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird to familiarize yourself with the setting and characters in the novel.  This preparation will help you as you begin to research life in the 1930s.
  2. You will write four letters in the voice of a person growing up in the 1930s.  Before you begin your research, consider the sex, race, and age of the “character” that you will become as you write these letters. You may also want to decide on a name for your character.  Secondly, determine to whom you will be writing your letters.  You might consider writing to a friend, family member, or even your teacher.
  3. Begin your research by writing the following topics at the top of separate pages in your notebook:  Home and Neighborhood; Family and Standard of Living; School and Friends; and Social and Political Events of the 1930s.
  4. Begin exploring the resources above.  You will find that the first four sites focus on personal interviews of people who grew up or lived in the 1930s in various parts of the United States.  The last three sites focus on information concerning social and political events in the 1930s.
  5. As you explore the sites, take notes on the appropriate pages.  Some tips to make notetaking more effective include printing excerpts from the sites that you find useful and using highlighters to mark pertinent information.  This information can then be recorded, in your own words, on your notetaking pages.
  6. When you have collected information about each of the four topics, you are prepared to begin the writing process. This process begins with brainstorming and prewriting followed by the actual drafting of your letters.  Remember, you are writing from the perspective of a person living in the 30s.  You are explaining your life to a person living in 2009.  Your letters should include enough detail ad description for your reader to gain a good sense of what your life is like.
  7. When you have drafts of all four letters, you will share your letters in a conferencing session with a classmate.  After conferencing, we will spend another day in the lab to type final drafts.
  8. After your revisions, you and will work with a classmate to edit your letters before final publication.
  9. You will be required to turn in your four published letters, your notetaking sheets, all writing drafts, notes, and highlighted copies of your research in an organized, labeled folder. 


This project is worth 60 points.  I will evaluate it based on the following criteria:

1. Are there four complete, revised, edited, and typed letters?

2. Is each letter focused on the subjects described in the Task section of this assignment?

 3. Do your letters accurately describe detailed facts about life in the 30s?

Last modified: Friday, 10 August 2012, 12:53 PM