To Kill a Mockingbird isn’t a mystery novel, but this month it’s been puzzling a few Library of Congress staff members.
Harper Lee’s tale of conflict in a small Alabama town is a perennial favorite with teachers. The Library’s lesson plan “To Kill a Mockingbird: A Historical Perspective”, which uses photos and oral histories from the Library’s collections, has always been fairly popular.
This lesson plan has always been fairly popular. But in the past month, something unusual has happened.
Between October 4 and 8, and again between October 13 and 18, we saw a tremendous increase in visits to this lesson plan–more than 100 times what we usually see. Since then, things have gone back to normal, but it’s left us wondering: What’s led to this sudden increase in interest? And how can we better help teachers work with this novel and the Library’s collections.
If you’re one of the teachers responsible for this spike in use of the lesson plan, please speak up! Let us know in the comments what you’ve been doing with the lesson, and if there’s anything we could do differently. If you’re another teacher who’s taught To Kill a Mockingbird using primary sources from the Library, please let us know what you discovered with your students.
We’ll be grateful for any help in scouting out the solution to this literary mystery.