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The Scottsboro Boys Trial and To Kill a Mockingbird

Learning Targets: Using Online Research Tools and Evaluating Online Resources

Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools (click here)

Explore the following online resources:

            "The Scottsboro Boys" Trials (1)

            Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2)

At the start of your online research on the Scottsboro Boys Trials open up each website IN A NEW TAB (hold down the command key and click on each link). Then hold down the command key and click on NoodleTools (also found on the main page of the class website).

1) When you successfully "arrive" at your Noodletools Dashboard, create a new project and name your project: Class Hour-Scottsboro Trial-Your Last Name => 7th-Scottsboro Trial-Wells

Then click on Bibliography and create two MLA Citations (one for each website).

Select a citation type => website

Click on create a citation and fill in the basic information that is found on the website. When you have gathered all the available information from the website then click on the check for errors button (found at the bottom of the page). Afterwards, click on Generate Citation.

2) Repeat the process for the second website.

3) Now it is time to share your project with me by submitting it to my teacher drop box. In the Dashboard you will find a link entitled Share project with a teacher's drop box. Click on that link and enter the following information in the Assignment Drop Box:

1st hour -> Scottsboro Boys-1st
4th hour -> Scottsboro Boys-4th

Be sure you include your name in the First and Last Name Box, then click the Share Project Button

4) After you have successfully created two Works Cited entries and shared your project with me, then go back to the Dashboard and click on Notecards. When you have arrived at the Notecard Tabletop, click on New Notecard.


Step One:  An Overview of the Events (Individual Research Activity ) - 10 points

            "The Scottsboro Boys" Trials (1)

            Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2)

Click on the two websites (go to each tab you opened already or if you did not open a separate tab command click on each of the websites above) and read the Chronology (1) and the Timeline (2) to get an overview of the events, but focus only on the year 1931. Then select one of the websites, go back to the Notecard Tabletop and create a New Notecard. Enter a Title, Source and URL in your New Notecard. Create one set of note cards (1 direct quote card - 1 paraphrase card - 1 ideas card with a question or observation regarding what you have learned so far). Your quote and paraphrase cards should address the following questions : What happened? Where did it happen? Who was involved?

In class on Friday, you will compare notes (and MLA Citation information) with your partner. You will also discuss whether one source includes information not found in the other source and discuss why you chose to take your notes from one source and not the other .

Step One is due by class time on Friday.


Before moving on to Step Two, give a cursory reading of the remainder of the Chronology/Timeline. Discuss which source you think is the most helpful in terms of content and form. Be specific with your reasons (you may have to agree to disagree).


Step Two: Biographical Information (Paired Research Link) - 10 points

First, open your project and once you are in your dashboard one of you should click on the add/remove link (Student Collaboration) and share your project by typing in your partner's User ID.

One of the partners should create a Google Doc - share it with your partner and with me(enable editing)
(wellslearning803 @ gmail)
Title your document: your class period-SBT-your last names (7th-SBT-Wells&Bells)

• Ruby Bates
• Judge William Washington Callahan
• Judge James Edwin Horton Jr.
• Samuel Leibowitz
• Olen Montgomery
• Clarence Norris
• Haywood Patterson
• Ozie Powell
• Victoria Price
• Willie Roberson
• Charles Weems
• Eugene Williams
• Andrew Wright
• Leroy "Roy" Wright


The links are entitled Biographies in "The Scottsboro Boys" Trials (1) and
People and Events in Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2).

* Working with a partner, each person should select one of the websites and take notes on your assigned person using Noodletools Notecards - each person should focus on one of the websites

In your New Notecard enter a Title (your Scottsboro Boys person's name), Source (selected website) and URL (enter the url for the page that contains the information about your person)

Read the entire page carefully and gather three important facts about your person by creating a Direct Quote and/or Paraphrase Card with those three important facts.

* After you and your partner have each completed your own Direct Quote and/or Paraphrase Card, share your results (read each other's Notecards)

Look for  information found in their notes but not in your notes. If you discover "new information" from your partner's notes, then discuss with your partner whether you think this information is a significant or insignificant addition for helping you gain a clearer understanding of your person. Lastly, go to your partner's website and carefully read the entry about your person and look for any additional information found in this source (think also about what may have been omitted from this source).

Write a shared reflection in the collaborative google doc based on what you learned about your individual.  What do you remember most about the person’s life experiences, the person’s attitudes and actions? Did researching more than one source alter your perception of your individual? Why? Why not? If you could ask him/her some questions, what would you want to know? Include an evaluation of the websites using the criteria and tools link (click here) Choose one of the following evaluation tools:

--- Evaluating Web Pages: Questions to Ask & Strategies for Getting the Answers:
An eight-point evaluation checklist from the UC Berkeley Library.


--- Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages (Jim Kapoun):




Step Three:  Historical Reporting (Individual Research) - 10 points

            * Go to the Letters and Accounts link "The Scottsboro Boys" Trials (1)


the Voices from Scottsboro link [found in the Special Features link of the Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2)]. 

Read some of the reports, personal letters and quotes concerning the events. 

* In your last Notecard enter a Title (the web page title), Source (selected website) and URL (enter the url for the page ). Create a Direct Quote with two important quotes from this source. After you have selected your quotes, complete an Ideas Card.

** On your Ideas Card: What insights does the information give you about some of the other individuals, organizations, and/or events involved in the trials? Why is this information important? What kind of conclusions can you draw concerning the times they lived in (1930s)?


When you have completed your shared reflection/evaluation (step two) and completed your analysis of the Historical reporting, return to your Notecard Tabletop. Click on the printer icon. Click on the printer icon. Click submit for the option export as a web page. Click submit for the option export all note cards. Leave all items checked and click submit. Cut and paste this information into the collaborative Google doc (you DO NOT need to print out your notecard information). Each person should clearly identify in the Google doc his or her individual work from steps one and three.

Remember the title of your document should be: your class period-SBT-your last names

Your final project should include your individual research Steps One and Three and your collaborative work Step Two


Steps Two and Three Due by Wednesday's Class.