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Chapter 1-11 Questions

Chapters 1-3

1. What do you learn in the first chapter about Maycomb, Atticus Finch and his family? 

2. What do you learn initially about Dill's character?
3. What, briefly, has happened to Arthur “Boo” Radley?
4. Why does the Radley place fascinate Scout, Jem and Dill? 

5. What do you notice about the narrative voice and viewpoint in the novel?
6. Why is Scout so looking forward to starting school?
7. Why does Jem not want anything to do with Scout at school? Is his behavior typical of an older child?
8. What do you think of Miss Caroline Fisher as a teacher? What qualities would make her a good or bad teacher? 

9. Who is Calpurnia? What is her place in the Finch household?
10.What is Walter Cunningham like? What does his behavior during lunch suggest about his home life?
11.What do you think of the way Atticus treats Walter?
12. Does Scout learn anything from Walter's visit? What do you think this is? 

13. Atticus says that you never really understand a person “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” What does this mean? 


Chapters 4-6 (lovingly borrowed and adapted from Mrs.Wallace)

Chapter 4 

1. What does Scout think of current fashions in education? What do her opinions reveal about Scout's character?

2. What risky behavior do Scout and Jem engage in?

3. Why do the children make Boo's story into a game?

4. How does Atticus react to the game? What does his reaction tell us about his character?

Chapter 5 

1.Describe the relationship between Dill and Scout. Include how he treats her and how she reacts to his treatment. How is this treatment typical and atypical (not typical) of this setting? 

2. Characterize Miss Maudie Atkinson (characterization=personality traits, actions, thoughts/ feelings, other people's points of view). How typical is she of Maycomb's women? What do the children think of her?

3. What reasons does Atticus give for the children not to play the Boo Radley game? Do you think he is right? Why?

Chapter 6 

  1. What happens when the kids trespass on the Radley's property? How do they explain it? 
  2. Who is blamed for trespassing on the Radley Place? What does this blame reveal about the setting (time and place) of the novel?

3. What causes fear in the hearts of Scout and Jem?


Chapter 7


So, who’s smarter? Jem or Scout? 

In a one-paragraph response, provide textual evidence (at least two pieces) and commentary to support your answer. 

Chapter 7

  1. Jem has been acting odd ever since he went to retrieve his pants from the Radley's fence. What surprised him that night, and why is he frightened by it?
  2. Scout and Jem find several more items in the knot-hole of the tree. Briefly list the things that they find.
  3. Which item do they consider their "biggest prize”?
  4. Previously, the children had assumed that the knot-hole was someone's hiding place. What evidence now suggests that the items in the tree are meant specifically for Scout and Jem?
  5. Who do you suppose is responsible for the gifts in the knot-hole? Why do you think the person is leaving these things?
  6. When Jem and Scout return to the tree with the idea of placing in it a thank you note for the anonymous gift giver, they find the knot-hole plugged up with cement. Who plugged the knot-hole, and why?
  7. How does Jem find out that the explanation for filling the knot-hole is false? What do you think the real reason is?
  8. When Jem finally comes in for the night, Scout notices that he had been crying. Why do you think he was crying?

Chapter 8

  1. At the beginning of the chapter, Scout mentions that old Mrs. Radley died but her death "caused hardly a ripple" in the neighborhood. Why was this case?
  2. What dramatic event causes Atticus to wake up the children at one o'clock in the morning?
  3. Why does Atticus make the children leave the house and stand in front of the Radley house?
  4. As Jem and Scout drink hot chocolate with their father after the fire, Scout noticesAtticus looking at her with curiosity and sternness. What does he see? How does Scout react?
  5. Who put the blanket around Scout's shoulders, and how does Atticus reach this conclusion?  What is Scout's reaction when she hears the information?
  6. Up to this point in the novel, Boo Radley has been perceived as a lunatic or a monster. What evidence in the past two chapters indicates that he is not at all the threatening figure that people have made him out to be?

Chapter 9-11

Chapter 9 

1.) Why does Atticus feel he should defend Tom Robinson?

2.) Scout and Jem have "mixed feelings" about Christmas. What are these feelings and why do they feel this way?

3.) Uncle Jack Finch tells Scout that she is growing out of her pants. What does this mean and why might he say it?

4.) Describe Aunt Alexandra and explain her negative feelings about Scout. How does Aunt Alexandra perpetuate (promote and continue) stereotypes?

5.) What does Scout learn when she hears Uncle Jack and Atticus talking?

Chapter 10 Questions

1.) Scout says that "Atticus was feeble" (weak). Why does she call him this, and do you think he deserves it?

2.) In this chapter Atticus tells his children that "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. What reason does he give for this?

3.) What does the shooting of Tim Johnson (dog) reveal about Heck Tate and Atticus? How does Atticus feel about how well he can shoot?

4.) Jem and Scout have different views about telling people at school how well Atticus can shoot. Explain this difference. Which view do you agree with more?

Chapter 11 Questions

1.) How does Atticus advise Jem to react to Mrs. Dubose's taunts?

2.) Characterize Mrs. Dubose. Characterization includes personality traits, actions, thoughts/feelings, and other people's points of view.

3.) What request does Mrs. Dubose make of Jem? What does Mrs. Dubose gain from this "punishment" to Jem? What does Jem gain?

4.) What does Atticus teach Jem and Scout about understanding antagonizing and belittling language and people like Mrs. Dubose?

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