Guided Inquiry Technology Based Lesson

Guided Inquiry Project Lesson Overview


Your Names: Anny Franz


Grade Level(s): 10


Content Topic(s): The content area is English. The specific topic is comprehension of a literary text.


Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum Standard(s): The MSDE definition for Standard 3.0, Comprehension of a Literary Text, is as follows: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary texts. The primary focus, for this particular project, will be Indicator #8.


Purpose of the Project (what skills, content, knowledge, new understandings do you want the students to take away from the project?): The primary purpose of this project will be to analyze and evaluate To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Students will demonstrate their comprehension of the text by responding to a prompt supplied by the teacher. The students will conduct internet research and then collaborate with peers to create an engaging 15 minute Power Point presentation. After completing this project, students should be able to analyze and evaluate the plausibility of the plot and the credibility of the characters. Secondly, students should be able to analyze and evaluate the extent to which the text contains ambiguities, subtleties, or contradictions. Lastly, the students should be able to analyze and evaluate the relationship between a literary text and its historical, social, and political contexts.


How is this an INQUIRY project (explain and identify level of inquiry): This project is an example of level one structured inquiry because the students will be answering a question (provided by the teacher) and presenting the response using a prescribed procedure (Power Point).


Procedures (what exactly will the teacher and students be doing, step by step? Be sure to identify specific web resources utilized): After completion of To Kill A Mockingbird, the teacher will lead a discussion about plot and characterization. Students will be asked to identify highlights of the plot and connect this to the theme of the novel. Students will be asked to identify the main characters and auxiliary characters and their importance in the novel. The aim of the discussion is to guide students with their project. Upon conclusion of this discussion, the teacher will assign the requirements for the project and the rubric for grading. Students will work in groups of three or four (group size will depend on the amount of students in the class). After choosing groups, each group will select a prompt.



Students will choose among these four prompts:

1. Why does Lee narrate the novel from the perspective of a child? How does this add strength to the story? Using internet and library resources, research the stage of cognitive development of a child Scout’s age. How does her level of development make her a reliable or unreliable narrator? You may also want to take into consideration the fact her mother had passed away. With your group members, create a Power Point presentation that discusses these questions.

2. To Kill A Mockingbird makes bold statements about racism and civil rights--not to mention society in general. Using internet and library resources, investigate the era the novel focuses upon. What key historical, political, or social events were taking place at the time? How does Lee incorporate these events into the novel? With your group members, create a Power Point presentation that discusses the time period of To Kill A Mockingbird and how these events connect to the theme and/or plot of the novel.

3. The legal system in the Deep South was very biased in the early 20th century. It was almost guaranteed that if a black man was indicted on any charge against a white person he would lose. Using internet and library resources, investigate legal cases whose outcomes were linked to racism. Cite at least 3 examples with detailed explanations of the trial. With your group members, create a Power Point presentation that discusses the legal cases. Also, discuss the similarities/differences between these cases and the one in the novel.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee, who only published this one novel. Why did she not continue to write after the success this novel attained? Using internet and library resources, investigate the life of the mysterious Harper Lee. With your group members, create a Power Point presentation that discusses her background, impetus for writing To Kill A Mockingbird, and reasons for disappearing into obscurity. If applicable, connect Lee’s personal background to the characters, plot, and/or theme of the novel.


Students will have several class periods for research and collaboration with group members. On the day of presentations, groups will be required to turn in a 3-5 page paper discussing their topic and research. A bibliography citing all sources used must be attached to the final paper. Power Point presentations must be printed out for the teacher (hard copy) as well as on a disk. Students will present their projects to the class; the presentations will be followed by a class discussion.


Evaluation (specifically how would you grade this project?): Projects will be evaluated according to the stipulations of a rubric. The students will receive the rubric and the assignment together. Students will have a chance to receive anywhere between ten to zero points for each part of the rubric. The total for the project will be 100 points.


Rubric Categories

1. Completion of internet and/or library research.

2. Sources are identified in proper bibliographic format.

3. Final paper is 3-5 pages in length. The paper discusses research and prompt thoroughly.

4. Power Point presentation shows effort, clarity of thought, and satisfies all parts of the prompt.

5. Power Point is used effectively to integrate research.  

6. Presentation displays a clear understanding of the novel. Students show clear connections between their research and the novel.

7. Presentation demonstrates creativity and originality.

8. All group members actively participate during presentation.

9. Presentation is at least 15 minutes in length.

10. Presenters are able to facilitate a class discussion with peers.


As with any rubric, ten points would be synonymous with a perfect score, five would mean satisfactory, and zero would be unsatisfactory. The teacher would emphasize the importance of the Power Point presentation, as this is the main vehicle to show that all group members understood the novel and prompt.


Relative Advantage of Technology Used (tie to one or more of those discussed in class and explain): The relative advantages of using technology would be as follows:

1. Students would have visual examples to clarify concepts.

2. Students would have the chance to create a polished product.


Students would have the opportunity to make “text to world” connections using technology resources, in this case the internet. Furthermore, students would feel good about their work because they would have a clean finished product--a Power Point presentation. Students would not feel demoralized if they could not manifest an art project or something very abstract. Technology helps to equalize students and make them feel they can contribute freely.