Final Project: The Mockingbird Monologues (500 points)

Atticus tells Scout that if she can “learn a simple trick,” she will “get along a lot better with all kinds of folks” (33). Atticus says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (33). That’s exactly what you are going to do for your final project.

As your final project, you will write and perform a monologue based on a character from Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird.

You will embody a character, taking on his/her traits, beliefs, attitudes, fears, and feelings as your own.

Choose one of the following options:

a) Write a monologue from a moment that doesn’t actually occur in the book (before the book starts, one that isn’t fully described in the book, or an epilogue that takes place after the book ends).

OR

b) The novel is told from Scout’s perspective. Choose one other character in the novel and write a monologue of his/her inner thoughts during a key moment in the plot.

 

Written Script Requirements:

The monologue must be 3-5 minutes in length (when it is performed).

Write in proper script format (use A Midsummer Night’s Dream for formatting). Use this link to the template on GoogleDocs.

Write a brief scenario (1-2 paragraphs) describing the situation or what has occurred before the start of your monologue. This comes before your description of your setting in your script. This is written only; you will not perform this introduction.

Include stage directions (describe movement, name the emotion the character is experiencing as they speak or describe the way that the character is speaking).

Your monologue must reflect your character’s life story, as told in the novel and as supplemented by you, including but not limited to the following: manner of speaking, vocabulary, voice, attitude, appearance, clothing, age, career or other community role, socioeconomic background, etc. While you may add new information to create a rounder character, you may not contradict anything in the novel.

Your monologue must be historically accurate and should reflect the historical, cultural, and social context of the time period.

Your monologue will be almost like a missing scene from the novel; we’ll see but the only person speaking will be your character. The goal is to show the audience what your character was really thinking inside when certain events from the novel happened.

You get to choose what your character says and the underlying circumstances for the monologue (when, where, and why your character says what s/he does). You even get to make up a backstory that sheds new light on your character—just so long as the new facts you add do not contradict the facts presented in the novel.

A template for writing your monologue can be found on Google Drive. Click here.

 

Performance Requirements:

The monologue must be memorized if performed live or must appear to be memorized if recorded.

The monologue must be well-rehearsed and polished.

The performance must include costumes and props appropriate to the characters and the monologue.

The performance must be in character. Use voice and movement that reflects the character.

The video and audio quality of the recording must be high; there can be no background noise, shaky cameras, and so on.

Any editing of the video must be done as seamlessly as possible. The video should look professional, not like something you hastily created at the last minute.

If you are not proficient in recording or editing movies, please ask for help from someone who is.

 

Characteristics of Powerful Monologues:

  • Have and make a clear point.
  • Reveal the character’s inner thoughts, feelings, tensions, anxieties, and desires.
  • Portray powerful and personal emotions.
  • May show change in the character – whether a change in heart or attitude.
  • Use a variety of tones.
    • A monologue that starts in one place and ends up somewhere entirely different will make the tension more dramatic, the characters more compelling, and your script much better.
    • A good monologue should be alternatively funny, harrowing, and touching, pointing on no one emotion or no one state by itself.
  • Have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
    • Even if the character is not changed significantly, perhaps their decision to speak up is a change in and of itself. A taciturn character driven to a long monologue is revealing, when deployed properly. Why have they spoken up now? How does this change the way we feel about them?
    • Consider allowing the character to change as they speak over the course of their monologue. If a character starts in a rage, it might be more interesting for their to end in hysterics, or laughter. If they start out laughing, maybe they end up contemplative. Use the monologue as a vessel for change.
    • If it’s a story, it needs to have an arc. If it’s a rant, it needs to change into something else. If it’s a plea, it needs to up the ante over the course of its pleading.
    • The beginning of a good monologue will hook the audience and the other characters. The beginning should signal that something important is happening.
    • In the middle, the monologue should climax. Build it to its maximum height and then bring it back down to lower the tension and allow the conversation between the characters to continue or end entirely. This is where the specific details, the drama, and the tangents in the monologue will occur.
    • The ending should bring the speech or the story back around to the play at hand. The tension of the monologue is relieved and the scene ends on that note of finality.

 

Reflection:

After writing and performing your monologue, you will write a two- to three-page reflection on what you have learned not only in studying To Kill a Mockingbird and completing this Mockingbird Monologues project, but all what you have learned throughout the entire year in 8th grade English. Full detailed questions to be answered in your reflection will be provided.

 

Rubric:

Mockingbird Monologue Rubric PDF

 

DUE DATES:

1ST ROUGH DRAFT OF MONOLOGUE DUE: FRIDAY, MAY 30TH.

2ND ROUGH DRAFT OF MONOLOGUE (REVISED FROM 1ST ROUGH DRAFT) DUE: MONDAY, JUNE 2ND.

IN-CLASS PERFORMANCES FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO PERFORM: FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH.

FINAL DRAFT OF ENTIRE PROJECT, INCLUDING SCRIPT, VIDEO, AND REFLECTION DUE: MONDAY, JUNE 9TH.

IF YOU COMPLETE THE PROJECT EARLY AND WOULD LIKE TO PERFORM OR SHOW YOUR VIDEO TO THE CLASS BEFORE FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE EXTRA CREDIT. EXTRA CREDIT WILL BE AWARDED BASED UPON THE QUALITY OF THE PROJECT. FINISHING EARLY DOES NOT GUARANTEE EXTRA CREDIT.

 

HELP:

The Horton Foote script of the film version of TKAM

Template for monologue script formatting

Pre-Writing Help: Mockingbird Monologue Pre-Writing Worksheets — These are Word docs that you can upload into GoogleDocs.

 

Dr. Walczak adapted ideas found in these sources:

wikihow.com/Make-a-Monologue

msgallin9300.wordpress.com

mathman.dreamhosters.com

mrfidlerswebsite.net

 

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5 thoughts on “Final Project: The Mockingbird Monologues (500 points)

  1. Mayella’s perspective during the court case.
    Boo Radley when he’s saving the kids.
    Boo Radley when he goes back in his house.
    Aunt Alexandra giving Scout that overalls to put on.
    Atticus right after the court scene.
    Atticus right after Boo Radley carries Jem home.
    Scout on the Radley porch.
    Heck Tate arguing with Atticus about what the “official story” is going to be.
    Boo Radley when he watches Scout take the first gift.
    Dill’s perspective in the mob scene.
    Boo standing in the corner of Jem’s room.
    Epilogue of Scout standing on the Radley porch.
    Mr. Cunningham in the mob scene.
    Mayella before the novel begins.
    Judge Taylor after the case.
    Boo during the fire scene when he gives Scout the blanket.
    Scout reflecting on all of the events leading up to the end of the story.
    Dill under Scout’s bed.
    Atticus when he and Heck Tate are arguing about what they should say about Jem.
    Dill when he first finds out about Boo Radley.

  2. Jem at the trial.
    Tom Robinson during the reading of the verdict.
    Miss Caroline’s interaction with Walter.
    Mayella during the trial.
    Mrs. DuBose listening to kids reading.
    Boo Radley watching the kids.
    Boo Radley when the kids sneak into the yard and Nathan shoots at them.
    Atticus when he’s guarding Tom Robinson in jail.
    Mr. Gilmer when he finds out he’ll be prosecuting Tom Robinson.
    Boo Radley’s plea of innocence if he were to go to trial for killing Bob Ewell.
    Aunt Alexandra’s perspective on what’s going on in the Finch family.
    Scout reflecting on Boo Radley and how she used to think about him versus how she sees him now.
    Calpurnia during the rabid dog scene.
    Jem or Dill running away from the Radley house when Nathan has the shotgun.
    Reverend Sykes during the trial.
    A townsperson in the audience at the trial.
    Bob Ewell when he’s preparing to testify.
    Judge Taylor when he chooses Atticus for the case.
    Tom Robinson when he’s in prison.
    Calpurnia when he enters the court room to tell Atticus she doesn’t know where the kids are.
    Tom Robinson when he’s helping Miss Mayella.
    Tom Robinson when he’s escaping prison.
    Tom Robinson’s ghost.
    Boo Radley when he’s saving the kids from Bob Ewell.
    Boo trying to figure out what to put in the tree for Jem and Scout.
    Heck Tate in court.
    Tom Robinson’s wife, Helen.

  3. Boo talking about being confronted by Nathan for putting things in the tree.
    Miss Caroline and how she feels in a new town.
    Court case, if there is one, about the stabbing of Bob Ewell.
    Miss Caroline ranting about her kids.
    Thank you note from Jem or Scout to Boo Radley or from Boo Radley to Heck Tate.
    Miss Stephanie gossiping about the stabbing of Bob Ewell.
    Bob Ewell’s perspective on Mayella and her relationship with Tom.
    Atticus during the rabid dog scene.
    Mr. Ewell’s perspective when he’s attacking the kids.
    Boo Radley reflecting on killing Bob Ewell.
    Bob Ewell getting drunk on the night of his murder.
    Reverend Sykes.
    Mrs. DuBose’s perspective on things.
    Boo Radley on when the kids try to lure him out.
    Epilogue, Scout fifteen years later, Scout and Dill are married and live in Maycomb.
    Boo Radley’s perspective on kids trying to get him to come out.
    Dill running away back to Maycomb.
    Boo Radley watching the kids take things out of the knothole.
    Boo or Bob Ewell’s perspective on when Bob tries to kill the kids.
    Boo Radley when the kids are telling stories about him.
    Burris Ewell being confronted by Miss Caroline.
    Mrs. DuBose’s backstory.
    Dolphus Raymond’s perspective.
    Tom Robinson in his jail cell after he was found guilty.
    Reverend Sykes after the verdict.
    Bob Ewell spitting in Atticus’s face.
    Helen Robinson on losing her husband and having to raise three children alone.
    Calpurnia’s perspective on Boo Radley.
    What Mr. Radley was thinking when he decided to lock up Boo Radley.
    Atticus visiting Helen Robinson.
    When Tom Robinson tries to escape.
    Police officer who kills Tom Robinson.

  4. Reverend Sykes at Scout and Jem’s visit to First Purchase Church.
    Heck Tate looking back at Atticus’s actions from the rabid dog through to the end of the story.
    Jem at the trial.
    Jem on what he thinks led up to getting his arm broken.
    Boo Radley on the items in the tree.
    Boo’s father and why he locked up Boo.
    Judge Taylor during the trial.
    Boo Radley’s perspective on the trial.
    Dill running away to Maycomb.
    Boo Radley when Jem and Scout get attacked.
    Mr. Ewell when he’s attacking Jem and Scout.
    Atticus preparing for Tom Robinson’s trial.
    Mayella Ewell during the trial.
    What Dill thinks when he finds out about what happens at the end of the story.
    Boo Radley after he closes the door when Scout brings him home.
    Boo Radley on what led up him protecting the kids.
    Nathan Radley.
    Jem destroying Mrs. DuBose’s flowers.
    Epilogue what happens after the book ends.
    Boo Radley before he was locked up.
    Relationship between Scout and Boo Radley after the book ends.
    Atticus when he finishes his closing statements and when Tom Robinson reappears in the court room and then when he hears the verdict.
    Boo Radley when he’s locked up.
    Aunt Alexandra’s perspective on Maycomb.
    Miss Caroline’s perspective.
    Atticus when he accepts the case.

  5. Atticus when shooting the rabid dog.
    Miss Maudie’s view of her house burning down.
    Boo Radley’s view of Miss Maudie’s house burning down.
    Boo Radley before he was locked up inside his house.
    Tom Robinson during the mob scene.
    Tom Robinson after he’s found guilty.
    Reverend Sykes after the trial.
    Mayella’s thoughts on her father beating her.
    Miss Caroline when she moves to Maycomb.
    Mrs. DuBose in her dying state.
    What Boo Radley does in the house all day.
    Mayella during the trial.
    Miss Caroline on the first day of school.
    Jem’s perspective on their mother dying.
    Calpurnia’s view of their visit to the church.
    Mrs. DuBose when Jem and Scout are reading to her.
    Scout in the ham costume as they are being attacked.
    Heck Tate during the trial.
    Jem while he’s unconscious at the end.
    Tom Robinson during the verdict.
    Lula at First Purchase Church.
    Judge Taylor’s perspective on the court case.
    Bob Ewell when he attacks the children.
    Boo Radley giving the kids the stuff in the knothole.
    Boo Radley watching the kids take stuff out of knothole.
    Atticus missing his wife.
    Jem and Scout building the snowman.
    Bob Ewell during the trial.
    Bystander at the church.
    Dill hiding under Scout’s bed.

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