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 "My Teacher Saved Me From Solitude"
My Teacher Saved Me From Solitude
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Reading and summarizing lesson

Objective: Students will strengthen skills in reading, summarizing, and answering questions about a text.

Before the lesson: Print out the question sheet below and have it ready to give to your students. Read the story yourself.

Activity: Tell your students they are going to read a story by a girl living in an abusive home who makes a strong connection with a caring teacher. They will then answer some questions in writing about the story.

First, ask them to look at the title and the picture. Ask them, “What do you think the story might be about?” Let the discussion go for a few minutes.

Give them as much time as you think they need to read the story silently. Then hand out the question sheet on the next page, and a piece of loose-leaf paper. NOTE: The last question asks your group to write letters to the author of this article. We are eager to publish student letters in the magazine. Feel free to send your students’ letters to us.


Directions: Answer the questions about "Saved From Solitude" in essay answer format. This means you should use parts of the question to start your answer. Write 2-5 complete sentences for each question. The answer for the first question has been started for you.

1. What is the full title of this story? Who wrote the story? What does anonymous mean? Why do you think the writer didn’t want her name on the story?

Answer: The full title of the story is…

2. Many stories and books describe problems that someone tries to solve or a conflict that has to be worked out. What is the main problem or conflict described in this story? Is the problem solved?

3. Why is the writer afraid of telling her teacher more about her home life?

4. Why was the writer disappointed at her graduation? What was her mother’s reaction?

5. In the first paragraph, the author wrote: “I hid my abuse behind the façade of a stoic personality.” What do you think she meant by that?

6. List the three characters in the story. Write a five-sentence letter to one of them telling her what you think about her behavior.
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