Exploring Free Speech in Nothing But the Truth

Lesson Duration

Author:  Jacqueline Podolski for ReadWriteThink

After reading the novel Nothing But the Truth, students discuss the protagonist Phillip and his right to free speech as well as their own rights. Students examine various Websites to research First Amendment rights, especially as they relate to the situation in the novel. After their research, students compose a position statement regarding their opinion of whether Philip’s rights were violated then work with small groups to strengthen their statements and supporting evidence. Groups present position statement and supporting evidence to the whole class and debate Philip’s civil rights as a culminating activity.


Students will

  • analyze the theme of a novel using both personal opinion and factual information.
  • engage with the novel by making personal connections to its themes.
  • use the Internet for research.
  • use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information in support of an opinion.
  • compose a position statement.
  • synthesize their position statements with those of two to four other students.
  • present, explain, and defend their position statements.





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