Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 5-11, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the Harper Lee novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Students will:

  1. Understand and explain the key themes in the Harper Lee novel "To Kill a Mockingbird."


  • Computer with internet access for BrainPOP
  • Class set of photocopies of the Graphic Organizer and Worksheet.
  • Class set of the Harper Lee novel "To Kill a Mockingbird"


We recommend that you have students watch the movie after reading the book, as the movie explains key themes that students should come to realize and construct themselves. Alternatively, if you believe your students will struggle with understanding the book, the movie can provide a solid overview to help them notice key themes and character development as they read later on.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. After students have read the novel, play the To Kill a Mockingbird Movie on BrainPOP. You may want to pause the video periodically to discuss with students.
  2. Use the Graphic Organizer as they read the book, or use it as a summary tool afterward.
  3. You may want to have students add to the Worksheet to compare and contrast characters from the book. For homework, challenge students to use the internet to explore questions in the "Further Research" section.
  4. Assess student understanding of the book using the Quiz or use the Make-a-Map tool to create a concept map that uses images and video clips from the BrainPOP movie to illustrate the plot and themes of the book.

Extension Activities:

Extend student learning by having the class explore the Primary Source Activity. Students should click on the quill icon to read a magazine article by Harper Lee, then respond to the questions.