Step Two: Choosing Power Passages and Power Lines



Learning Targets — I can…

  • Identify meaningful passages in a novel.
  • Read closely and critically to analyze and determine the meaning of a passage, not just literal meaning but more metaphorical and symbolic meaning.
  • Properly cite lines from a novel in MLA format with correct attributive tags, quotation marks, and page numbers by following instructions and examples given.

What do you think are the most important passages or lines in Mockingbird? What passages or lines stop you in your tracks when you read them, hit you deeply, make you re-read them, and strike you as extremely important? What are the key passages — the power passages? What passages include truly meaningful and impactful lines — the power lines? You will choose the power passages and power lines we will closely read and analyze together in small groups and as an entire class. In sketchnotes, handwritten notes, or a GoogleDoc, do the following…

Step One: Choose up to TEN power passages from Mockingbird.

  • Note: A passage should be around TWO to THREE PAGES long.

Step Two: List the page numbers.

Step Three: Briefly summarize the passage in a sentence or two.

Step Four: Thoroughly explain in a paragraph your reason for choosing the passage. Why is this a power passage?

Step Five: If there is a particular power line in the passage, write it out, citing it in quotation marks and its page number — and an attributive tag if necessary.

  • Remember, if you are citing a quotation, meaning if you’re quoting dialog or something that is said out loud or appears in quotation marks in the book, you need to use both double and single quotation marks!
  • Remember, in MLA format, the period goes all the way at the very end of the sentence after the page number in parentheses.


Examples of citing Power Lines in MLA format:

Atticus says, “‘Son,’ he said to Jem, ‘I’m going to tell you something and tell you one time: stop tormenting that man’” (54).

“How would we like it if Atticus barged in on us without knocking, when we were in our rooms at night?” (54).

Jem argues, “‘We weren’t makin’ fun of him, we weren’t laughin’ at him’” (55).

“Jem decided there was no point in quibbling, and was silent” (55).

“When Atticus was out of earshot Jem yelled after him: ‘I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but I ain’t’ so sure now!’” (55).

Click here for the GoogleDoc of this assignment!