Metro Reads!


Faculty--check with your faculty secretary to borrow a copy of The Try to see how you might use it in the classroom.  If you decide you would like to use it in your classes, contact Michelle Rule to obtain a personal copy. Let's improve our students' reading and their motivation to succeed!!

Check out this video made by a Metro INFO student for his class project over our previous Metro Reads! selection,  The Green Book.  Let your students get creative with projects for The Try and see what they can do!

Classroom Ideas for Using The Try

General - Would Work With Any Subject Matter

  • Have a “what is your motivation today?”  moment at the beginning of class
  • Summing Up quote—put one of the Summing Up quotes (found at the end of each story) on the board or screen as students enter class—start with brief discussion of the quote—possibly have students keep a “motivational quotes" notebook for the Summing Up quotes and have them add other motivational quotes they find. Share new quotes with the rest of the class as students bring them in.
  • Offer an extra credit assignment to your classes, including online courses. To get credit online, students will need to read enough of the book to write a discussion post of at least 100 words about what they learned and how they might tie it into the course content
  • Read in class and discuss one of the stories from the book. Ask students how they can apply the Summing Up quote in their lives.
  • Ask students to brainstorm other quotes that they could put into practice
  • Make students promise to make one positive change from the book for the quarter—such as a promise to memorize a Summing Up quote and repeat it to themself in tough times
  • Have students keep a journal about ideas they are using from The Try--this could be part of their Summing Up quotes notebook
  • Bring in an outside speaker to talk to class about their story and what gave them "The Try"
  • As students read "The Try," they need to actively think about text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections. The following connections will give students the opportunity to think critically about opportunities to become healthy-eating conscious at many levels.

    1. Text-to-self - Students will critically think how a story or Summing Up quote in this book connects to their own lives. They will compare their current behavior and how they could change using the quotes in "The Try" using a three-column chart, with the following headings: QUOTE, CURRENT ACTION, IMPROVED BEHAVIOR ACTION.
    2. Text-to-text - Students will locate articles through newspapers, magazines, online, etc. and connect that information by comparing and contrasting (using a graphic organizer) to what they have read in "The Try."
    3. Text-to-world - Students will read current events and look for stories about people who are doing things that show they have "the try".


  • Use cloth/canvas grocery bags and have students paint a favorite motivational quote on them. Students end up with a recycle bag they are proud of and that will remind them to keep their "try".


  • Discuss in class or have students write a paper about how ideas from "The Try" apply in a business setting
  • Problem-based learning—how could someone starting a new business incorporate motivational  ideas into the philosophy of the company?

Criminal Justice

  • Discuss how community service projects could use ideas from The Try

Early Childhood

  • Simplify some of the quotes and have students brainstorm ideas for how they could be part of the curriculum for children
  • Discuss how ideas from the book could be used in a day-care setting


  • Have students look for historical figures who showed "The Try".  What was their motivation for accomplishing great things in history?

Hotel Management

  • Now more than ever, as a hotelier we are asked how we provide top quality service for customers staying at our hotels. This can sometimes be the deciding factor on whether or not we win a piece of business. It will be important to show future event planners what they should be looking for in a "quality service" hotel. Currently the students are asked to participate within a number of events within the local community and then they must create a PowerPoint about their experiences. I think that we could tie the Summing Up quotes from The Try into their project by having them point out what employee experiences they encountered and what could have been different about their experiences to promote more "try" in all employees in a hotel.

Human Relations Skills

  • Discuss the effects and benefits of people who are using "The Try" on individuals, families, communities and nations
  • Discuss how ideas from the try apply in human relations--how can they improve the way humans relate to each other?


  • Usie Summing Up quotes from the book, and have students write papers on what differences in a person's overall health would result from following the motivational ideas in "The Try"


  • Have students research how people become motivated--are there any differences in brain scans of people who are highly motivated?


  • Have students translate parts of the book into Spanish


  • Assign one speech to be done on the topic of motivation—have students use The Try to get ideas for topics


  • Have students research motivational ideas from The Try that apply to the industry they are studying


  • Assign writing project using The Try quotes
  • Have students create and write about what motivates them. Do they have a story like one of the ones in "The Try"?
  • Have students choose a person from the book to use for a research paper
  • Use as a text from Comp l or Comp ll—students can spend a quarter researching & writing about motivation and/or one or more of the people in the book

Featured Book


We will be using
The Try
by James P. Owen for the 2013-14 academic year. This book supports MCC's mission to prvide a positive learning environment that promotes student success. It is an inspiring read for staff, faculty and students!

Metro Reads! book for 2013-2014, is The Try by James P. Owen.