This is to be used while reading the novel 'Speak' by Laurie Halse Anderson. This activity has students examine what their own stresses and 'crosses to bear' are. Down the center of the cross, they fill in they stresses in life. On the left-hand side of the cross the fill in positive ways they deal with stress and on the right hand side they fill in negative ways of dealing with their stresses. On the back are a few questions about how Melinda Sordino (the protagonist) deals with her stresses. I tell students that their responses will not be read or evaluated and I encourage them to answer as honestly as possible. At the end of the activity, I instruct students to tear their sheets of paper up, as a symbolic release of their stress. The kids love it!