The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "No Violence, No Silence"
No Violence, No Silence
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What It Means to “Be a Man”

Read the Story: 10 minutes

As a group, read “No Violence, No Silence” by Anonymous. Ask for volunteers to take turns reading aloud.

Discussion: 15 minutes

Ask teens to look back at the story and put a plus sign by all the parts where Anonymous shows he’s strong and responsible (e.g., breaking up the fight between his mom and dad, calling his sister for support, expressing his emotions to James, seeking help from his principal, etc.).

Then, ask for volunteers to share a part of the story they marked with a plus sign and explain why they thought the teen writer was strong and responsible in the moment they chose. Facilitate a brief discussion by asking the following questions: “What do you think people mean when they say ‘be a man’? “How is this writer’s idea of being a man different from his father’s?”

Writing Activity: 15 minutes

Ask group members to write a letter to the teen writer of this story and explain what they connected with in his story, what they think about his ideas of what it means to “be a man,” and any advice that they would give him based on their personal experiences. Tell teens that if they would like, you will mail their letters to the Represent office to be shared with the writer. Teens can choose whether or not they would like their letter to be mailed.

Pass out notebook paper and pencils. As the group begins to write, walk around the room offering support and encouragement. If group members get stuck, you can offer examples of what you might write to get them started. Give group members about 10 minutes to write their letters.

If they wish, group members can share their letters with the rest of the group. Letters can be mailed to the Represent office at this address:

Represent Magazine
242 W. 38th St., 6th floor
New York NY 10018
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