To Kill a Mockingbird Chapters 28-31: Mood and Morality

To Kill a Mockingbird lesson plan

In this lesson, students will read through the pivotal moments of To Kill a Mockingbird Chapters 28 – 31, exploring the intricate dynamics of mood shifts, motivations behind characters’ actions, and differing perspectives on human nature. Through detailed examination and discussion, learners will gain insights into the thematic depth of the novel, understanding how Harper Lee crafts mood to enhance storytelling, explores the consequences of vulnerability and revenge, and presents complex views on morality through her characters.

Learning Goals

  • I will be able to identify and analyze words and phrases that create mood.
  • I will be able to explain the motivations behind Bob Ewell’s attack on Scout and Jem.
  • I will be able to interpret Atticus’s and Heck Tate’s views on human nature, supported by evidence from the text.



  1. Read To Kill a Mockingbird Chapters 28 – 31
  2. Complete your preferred activities below:

Activities and Questions

  1. From Chapter 28, find specific words and phrases that contribute to creating the mood. Describe how the mood changes from the Halloween pageant to the walk home and discuss how this shift affects the reader’s experience during the attack on Jem and Scout.
  2. In small groups, discuss why Bob Ewell attacked Scout and Jem, exploring the aspects of vulnerability and Atticus’s misjudgment of Bob Ewell’s intentions. Each group will present their thoughts, supported by evidence from the text.
  3. Create a T-Chart comparing and contrasting the children’s imagined Boo Radley with the Boo Radley Scout describes after he rescues her and Jem.
  4. Debate Atticus’s and Heck Tate’s perspectives on human nature, using evidence from Chapters 28 and 29 to argue which view they believe is more accurate and why. Students should be encouraged to share their personal views and how they align with or differ from the characters.
  5. Why do you think this situation is so challenging for Atticus? Does going along with the lie force him to “live one way in town and another way in my home”? If he goes along with the lie, will he be consistent in the way he lives according to the law? Will he be consistent in the way he lives according to what is right and what is wrong?
  6. Write a journal entry from Scout’s point of view using the following quote as a starting point. Your journal entry should be a minimum of 2 paragraphs long. She says, “I thought Jem and I would get grown but there wasn’t much left for us to learn. . . .” 

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