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Greensboro, Alabama

[Detail] Greensboro, Alabama

Lesson Overview

Students gain a sense of the living history that surrounds the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Through studying primary source materials from American Memory and other online resources, students of all backgrounds may better grasp how historical events and human forces have shaped relationships between black and white, and rich and poor cultures of our country.

This unit guides students on a journey through the Depression Era in the 1930s. Activities familiarize the students with Southern experiences through the study of the novel and African American experiences through the examination of primary sources.


Students will be able to:

  • learn about the history of African Americans in the South through analysis of historical and literary primary source photographs and documents;
  • demonstrate visual literacy skills;
  • master research skills necessary to use American Memory collections;
  • distinguish points of view in several types of primary sources;
  • demonstrate the technique of recording oral histories; and
  • write creative works that reflect the themes of racism, compassion, and tolerance in To Kill a Mockingbird.


Time Required

  • Four to five weeks

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12
  • 6-8


  • Poetry and Literature


  • Great Depression and WWII, 1929-1945


Kathleen Prody & Nicolet Whearty