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Literature: Research Assignment [Strand 1]

Teacher’s Guide

Name: __________________________ [ ] Class: _______________

Date: ________________


Your class will be divided into 5 groups. Each group will be assigned one topic; then, in your
groups of 3-4, each member is to do some background reading on one of the sub-points.
You should aim to understand the content of the topic you have been assigned so well that
you are able to summarise the ideas for your classmates.

1. Slavery in the United States of America

 Where did the slaves come from? Who were the slave owners? How were slaves
 What was the three-fifths compromise? How did it affect how blacks were regarded?
 Who was Harriet Beecher Stowe? How did she contribute to the abolitionist
 Who was Frederick Douglass? How did he contribute to the abolitionist movement?
 Link to the novel

2. The Civil War

 How did the issue of slavery contribute to the war?
 Who was Abraham Lincoln? What was his significance with regard to the issue of
 What was the Emancipation Proclamation and what did it accomplish?
 What was the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution and what did it
 How did the war end and what was its impact on the Southern states?
 Link to the novel

3. The Civil Rights Movement

 What were the Jim Crow laws? What did they serve to achieve?
 What is the civil rights movement? What is ‘black power’? How was black power a
part of the civil rights movement?
 Who was Rosa Parks? What was the Montgomery Bus Boycott?
 Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.? What was his contribution to
the civil rights movement?
 What was the Ku Klux Klan? When they did originate and when
did they make a comeback? What activities did they
participate in?
 Link to the novel
Prepared by Miss Huang Si Jian / HCI / February 2009 1
Adapted in January 2011
4. Southern Traditions and the impact of the Great Depression
 What was Southern pride? How does one’s family background feature in the notion of
southern pride?
 What was the ‘Southern belle’ stereotype?
 What was the Great Depression? How did it affect the Southern way of life?
 What was the impact of the Great Depression on farmers and blacks?
 Link to the novel

5. The Low-down on Harper Lee and her famous novel

 What was Harper Lee’s family and childhood like?
 What was the case of ‘The Scottboro Boys’ all about?
 Link (above 2 points) to the novel
 What critical acclaim did To Kill A Mockingbird achieve upon publication? What
accolades has it received to date?
 What are some controversies surrounding the novel?

Prepared by Miss Huang Si Jian / HCI / February 2009 2

Adapted in January 2011