In preparation for our final project where I will have my high school seniors write their own commencement speeches, students completed this engaging activity where they made personal connections to motivational quotes. Students will later incorporate the quotes they found in to their final speeches.
Before completing the first side, our class read the famous "Wear Sunscreen" editorial published by Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune. (The text can easily be found online). Students chose their five favorite quotes, paraphrased the quotes in their own words, and connected the quotes to their past and to their future.
In order to complete the back, students looked up famous motivational quotes online. Students enjoyed researching the quotes of famous people who they look up to, including Gandhi, JFK, Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and many others. Students copied the quotes, paraphrased them in their own words, and connected the quotes to their past and to their future.
My students enjoyed this activity, which may take between one and two class periods. This can also be a great print-and-go sub plan. I used this assignment as a follow-up to Laura Randazzo's Words to Live By Assignment (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Compare-Contrast-Texts-Poetry-Drama-Non-Fiction-in-CCSS-Lesson-Fun-Stuff-2266101). Nevertheless, struggling readers may find her texts (Rudyard Kipling's "If" and an excerpt from Hamlet) to be too difficult.