To Kill a Mockingbird Celebrates 50 Years

First published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird has endured as one of those rare books that is both a critical and personal favorite of many readers. A National Book Award finalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, our audiobook version narrated by Sissy Spacek also won an Audie Award.

Bookstores and libraries all over the country are planning events on July 11 to commemorate and celebrate To Kill a Mockingbird, and many schools added it to their summer reading lists to tie in to the public recognition.

We’ve gathered some resources, including a free RB Teacher Guide, for you to use with the book. If you have an additional resources, feel free to share them in the comments!

WIN To Kill a Mockingbird! Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird on CD. Tell us how you’d integrate the audiobook into your teaching strategy, or how you already use it to teach the book. Entries will close and the drawing will end on July 16, 2010.

Congratulations to the winner of To Kill a Mockingbird on CD, commenter JoBeth Roberts!

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12 Responses

  1. My very favorite book of all time and my students love it always!

  2. I always use recorded books as part of what good readers do strategies. Good readers reread. Audio books are a great way to take a second look at a book, hear it from a second voice, notice something new. It is a great tool to nudge kids and encourage them through the reluctance of rereading. Especially when a book is assigned.

  3. Hope the drawing is in July and not June – would hate to miss this opportunity. I would use the audio book of TKAM to teach students how to visualize. This novel is full of powerful sensory language and imagery, and I think if students could close their eyes and listen to a great reader read the words, students would be better able to connect with the setting, which is of primary import to the themes found in this story. I would select segments to play for students and have them recreate the image through either a drawing or collage, and then I would have them talk about their pictures and make connections between the images and the characters and attitudes in the novel.

  4. TKAM is a powerful novel with many themes and is rich with historical time period background information. An audio book would allow me to expand lower level readers to words on thier grade level. Strategies incorportated through the audio book would include decoding, fluency, visualization and an opportunity for comprehension of grade level material.

  5. I love the book To Kill a Mockingbird. I would use the audiobook to enhance our discussions. I would play a significant passage and then discuss it with the students.

  6. This book is wonderful but may not be accessible all students i.e visually impaired, learning disabled, auditory learners, etc. This is a required text in our school and having a copy of this book in audio format would enhance the experience for those able to follow the text in print and allow access to those who struggle with the vernacular and the length of the book- it can seem overwhelming. This is clearly a book that all young people should have the opportunity to “read” but readng can be defined in many ways!

  7. @Rebecca – Oops! You caught me – I am still stuck in June. The drawing will indeed be held on JULY 16 and I have updated the post to reflect such. Thanks for catching my mistake!

  8. Believe it or not, I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time in my life last night and I am 55 yrs. old! I don’t know why it was never assigned reading in my HS English classes? I was not aware that the book is celebrating 50 years but, what a book! I cannot stop thinking about it. As was mentioned by others, the word imagery presented is phenomenal! Since I teach science, I would allow teachers of Developmental English classes at my college use it to show the 99% ESL students we teach how words can create mental images that can be much more powerful sometimes than visual images. The students understand spoken English much better than they read it and having the Audiobook version would increase their understanding significantly!

  9. Some of my students are not able to read fluently enough to create the mental images and pictures that are so important to good reading comprehension. Listening to TKAM on CD allows them to get into the mental image zone. This is turn improves their reading levels and comprehension, and they are in turn more likely to want to read and to find it a valuable activity once they have been “in” to a book we’ve read. I would find the new CD and teacher resources very valuable.

  10. Listening while (or in place of) reading builds active visualization with many of our 21st century students. What a great classic, introduced in a new format!

  11. I enjoy listening to books when I am driving or relaxing. I use them in class to introduce literature to students or to “tease” our next reading. My students have come to me after class and told me, “Thank you for letting us listen to a CD, Mrs. Motton. I was so confused.” It aids the students who refuse to read, helps my auditory learners and clarifies like a “second read”. I just wish I had access to more. It’s difficult to find the time to run down to my local library.

  12. I am a school librarian and I would have it playing at the circulation desk. That way the students would hear “snippets” of the book, which hopefully would encourage them to check it out.

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