Having students choose a favorite quote or scene from the book allows them to express which parts of the story resonated with them on a personal level. In this way, students are making a text-to-self connection that demonstrates their understanding of the characters and their development or the themes of the novel. Students can share their storyboards afterwards and have a short discussion about what the quotes mean to them. In this activity, students will select a quote or scene from the novel and illustrate its importance.
Some students may end up choosing the same quote, but have different perspectives. This is always interesting for students to see and can open up a discussion as to how not everyone can read the same lines in the same way based on their own perspectives and personal experiences.
"Had our hearts really become so numb that we needed dead bodies in order to feel the beat of compassion in our chests? Who am I if I need to be shocked back into my best self?"
"In 2012, in the United Kingdom, the number of people (regardless of race) shot and killed by police officers: 1. In 2013, in the United Kingdom, the number of times police officers fired guns in the line of duty / the number of people fatally shot: 3/0. In the United States, in the seven year period ending in 2012, a white police officer killed a black person nearly two times a week. "I’m not much of a talker," she finished up. "You know that. But I know numbers. The numbers don’t lie, kids. The numbers always tell a story."
"Sometimes, when people get treated as less than human, the best way to help them feel better is to simply treat them as human. Not as victims. Just you as you. Rashad Butler, before all this."
"Rashad is Absent Again Today"
"Nobody says the words anymore, but somehow the violence still remains. If I didn’t want the violence to remain, I had to do a hell of a lot more than just say the right things and not say the wrong things."
"This is a roll call! SEAN BELL!" Then she followed with "Absent again today! OSCAR GRANT! Absent again today! REKIA BOYD! Absent again today! RAMARLEY GRAHAM!" She paused, and at that point the rest of us knew exactly what to do. "Absent again today!" "MICHAEL BROWN!" "Absent again today!" "TAMIR RICE!" "Absent again today!" "ERIC GARNER!" "Absent again today!" "TARIKA WILSON!" "Absent again today!" And Spoony kept feeding Berry the papers, one after another, as she continued to read down the list of unarmed black people killed by the police."
"Our silence is another kind of violence."
"Paul’d gotten it all wrong. Becoming a cop would not make him a hero - but what kind of cop he became could have."
"The way he said it was as if the lack of ROTC had a direct connection to why my older brother worked at UPS. As if only green and blue uniforms were ok, but brown ones meant failure."
"For all the people who came before us, fighting this fight, I was here, screaming at the top of my lungs, Rashad Butler. Present."
"IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICE, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR." - Desmond Tutu
"He wasn't strong because he wasn't afraid. No, he was strong because he kept doing it even though he was afraid."
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies your favorite quote or scene in All American Boys. Illustrate your quote and write what it means to you.
Requirements: Quote, Illustration, 1-2 sentences about what it means to you.
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment IndividualCommon Core Standards