Nothing But the Truth by Avi

Before Reading:
I. Anticipation Guide and Introductory questions

i. Students fill out the Anticipation Guide (.pdf file).
ii. Students answer the following questions:

a. What is freedom of speech? Define it and give an example.
b. What would happen if you were told repeated not to do something by a teacher but continued to do it anyway? Give an example and the consequences.
c. What should happen to students at the high school level who refuse to follow basic rules? Give an example and the consequences.

 II. Point of View assignment and paradigm shifts

i. The teacher will read Jack & the Beanstalk and Giants Have Feelings, Too.
ii. A discussion on point of view and its relation to Nothing But the Truth will follow.

 III. Problematic Situation in a group format

i. Students are placed in groups of four.
ii. Students read the scenario and decide what to do.
iii. The students have to come to a consensus in their group.
iv. Students present their group solution.
v. The class as a whole comes to a consensus on a solution.


You are a high school freshman who doesn't like school very much—especially your English class. All you want to do is run track on the high school team. You are sure you will really shine there. However, because of a school rule, you can't even try out for the team because you are failing your English class. This rule makes you really mad. You want to get back at the teacher for ruining the one thing you were looking forward to in high school. The track coach suggests you talk to the English teacher and ask if you can do any work to raise your grade. This way you can be part of the track team. What do you decide to do?

Things to keep in mind:
You don't like the English teacher. You don't want to look like a wimp in front of your friends.
You hate English class.
You think the rule about having to pass every class to be on the track team is stupid.

During Reading:
I. Quiz on pages 1 - 62

 II. Point of View assignment and paradigm shifts

 i. The teacher will show the pictures from Zoom.
ii. Students will write down what they see on each page.
iii. After viewing all 30 (31 for Re-Zoom) pages, students will write a few sentences on how their point of view changed from picture to picture.
iv. Students will then share how their point of view changed from the beginning to the end of Zoom.
v. A discussion on point of view and its relation to Nothing But the Truth will follow.

 III. Quiz on pages 63 - 125

 IV. Discussion on Personal, civil, and human rights

 V. Quiz on pages 125 – 188

After Reading:
I. Read “Batgirl” by Angela Johnson p. 193 and “Biderbiks Don’t Cry” by Avi p. 197

i. Quiz on “Batgirl” and “Biderbiks Don’t Cry”
ii. Compare and contrast Batgirl and Philip
iii. Compare and contrast the father/son relationships

II. Free Speech and connecting to the novel

i. Using the Internet, students will research the rights of teenagers focusing on free speech as related to schools.

a. Stand Up with the ACLU
b. ACLU Student’s Rights
c. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
d. Free Speech
e. First Amendment Center
f. The Free Expression Policy Project

ii. Students will cut and paste the information they find into a text document. In a different font or in italics, students will explain why the information is important. They must correctly cite their sources immediately following the explanation.
iii. Students will respond to the statement “Explain whether or not you feel Philip’s free speech rights were violated.” They will use evidence from the information they have found on the Internet and the novel.
iv. Students will create a position statement that defends their choice in the above statement.

III. Final Test—students will need their novels for the test.

Handouts for Nothing But the Truth are listed below. All are .pdf files.
Anticipation Guide
Nothing But the Truth Responses
Before You Read and Active Reading pages 1-62
Responding pages 1-62
Before You Read and Active pages 63-125
Responding pages 63-125
Before You Read and Active Reading pages 125-188
Responding pages 125-188
“Bill of Rights”
Supreme Court cases regarding free speech in schools
Free Speech assignment
Position Statement