Activity Overview

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.

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.

Examples of Quotes from Sylvia & Aki

"Sylvia never imagined the one thing that actually happened even before her first day of school: she was turned away."

"Is this why they would take Alice and Virginia but not me? she wondered. Is it because my skin is too brown? Is this why me and my brothers were told to go to the Mexican school? But I'm not even Mexican. I'm American."

"We're being treated like second-best people, she thought bitterly."

"Aki never expected the one thing that actually happened: she was forced to leave behind her home, her school, her father - her whole life."

"What does a war being fought in places I've never heard of have to do with us?"

"The war will be over someday, Aki thought, but so many of our beautiful things may be gone forever."

"This isn't just about you three anymore. It started out that way, but now it's about all five thousand Mexican students in Orange County."

"Every child deserves a chance."

"Sylvia, there cannot be justice for one unless there is justice for all."

"Each one of you has a mission in life. Your mission is not something you learn in school. It cannot be told to you by someone else. It comes from deep inside of you. It is the thing you have been put on this earth to do."

Proverbs at the beginning of each chapter

Ch. 1: "He who doesn’t look ahead remains behind." - Mexican Proverb

Ch. 2: "Fall seven times; stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

Ch. 3: "He who labors and thrives spins gold." - Mexican Proverb

Ch. 4: "If you stand up like a nail, you will get hammered down." - Japanese Proverb

Ch. 5: "That which isn’t in books, life will teach you." - Mexican Proverb

 Ch. 6: "Adversity is the foundation of virtue." - Japanese Proverb

Ch. 7: "Do the good and don’t look at who receives it." - Mexican Proverb

Ch. 8: "One kind word can warm three winter months." - Japanese Proverb

Ch. 9: "God does not hear if you do not speak." - Mexican Proverb

Ch. 10: "Love and a cough cannot be hidden." - Japanese Proverb

Ch. 12: "Continuance is strength." - Japanese Proverb

Ch. 11: "Talking about bulls is not the same thing as facing them in the ring." - Mexican Proverb

Ch. 13: "Hope dies last of all." - Mexican Proverb

Ch. 13: "Bad and good are intertwined like rope." - Japanese Proverb;

Epilogue: "There is no bad that something good doesn't come from it." - Mexican Proverb

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies your favorite quote or scene in Sylvia & Aki. Illustrate your quote and write what it means to you.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose a favorite quote or scene from Sylvia & Aki.
  3. Create an image that represents this quote using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
  4. In the description box, write the quote and at least one sentence about what this quote means to you.

Requirements: Quote or Scene, Illustration, 1-2 sentences about what it means to you.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/3] Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/6/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/1] Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/7] Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/9] Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

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Sylvia & Aki

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