Digital Age Teaching and Learning

Inspire Your Students with these Great Quotes

Inspire Your Students with these Great Quotes

Quotes can be a great way to teach.

They are succinct, present interesting points of view, inspire, motivate and shake things up. You can use quotes that are appropriate for students as young as first grade or use them to create a challenging activity for high schoolers. How?

Activities Based on Quotes

Journal Prompts:

  • Ask students to write a free response to the quote, however they’d like.
  • Ask students to write how they could apply the quote to their life or how they have applied it in the past.
  • Ask students to defend or refute the quote

Discussion Topic:

Begin a class discussion based on the quote using similar questions to the journal prompts above.


Ask students to find quotes or reading passages that relate to the quote already given. Then ask them to explain their reasoning. This is a great reading activity that requires higher level thought processes of comparing, analyzing and evaluating.

Get Creative:

Have students respond to the quote creatively using art (paint, drawing, collage), music or dance.

Make a Poster:

Ask students to promote the quote by designing a poster.

As you can see, you can make this an extended activity, or keep it as a short and sweet opener or closing for your class. To help you get started, I’ve gathered together some great quotes that can help you prepare for an activity using quotes:

Quotes to Use in the Classroom

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.” – Helen Hayes

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.” – Mark Twain

“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

“We all can dance when we find music we love.” – Giles Andreae

“Being kind is never wasted.” – Anonymous

“No one is perfect – that’s why pencils have erasers.”  – Wolfgang Riebe

“Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little thing.” – Frank A. Clark

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Saying

“The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything” – Bishop B.C. Magee

Funny Quotes

“What should you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?” – George Carlin

“Try an internship! Internships give you all the experience of a summer job without the hassle of a paycheck.” – Stephen Colbert

“I have never worked out the moral to Humpty Dumpty. Is it, “Don’t let horses perform medical procedures”?” – Ricky Gervais

“I got my hair highlighted because I thought some strands were more important than others.” – Mitch Hedberg

“When it comes 
to candy bars, the term fun-sized 
is misleading. There is nothing fun about your candy bar being ⅛ the size of a regular bar. You should call them what they are: 
“disappointment-sized.”” – Jimmy Kimmel

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, 
I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain