That Was Then, This Is Now Activities

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Assign the following activities after students have read ''That Was Then, This Is Now'' by S. E. Hinton. Students will demonstrate learning by recalling specific scenes and characters from the story and addressing a social issues that carries into modern times.

That Was Then, This Is Now Activities

Written in 1971, That Was Then, This Is Now follows the relationship of two friends that are as close as brothers. In addition to friendship, this story explores drug use. Designed for high schoolers, these activities will them them to discuss the book themes and characters.

Modern Day Social Groups

Social circles represents a major theme in That Was Then, This Is Now. In this activity, students will compare and contrast the social groups in the story line to modern day social groups.


  • Poster boards
  • Markers


Divide the class into 5 groups and distribute a poster board and markers to each. Each group will draw a large Venn diagram on the poster board. Then, students will discuss the uniqueness of social groups in the story versus social groups in today's time. They should write at least three to five points on the left and right side of the Venn diagram. Afterwards, have students analyze the similarities between the two groups and note in the common area of the Venn diagram. After all groups are finished, require each to share their analysis. Lead a lively discussion on their preference to be in a social circle in today's time or in the era of the story. Allow students to share their rationale.

The Famous Hitchhiker

Before taxes and ride share, some people hitchhiked as we read in the story. In this activity, students will role play hitchhiking and the driver will have fun guessing the character's name after a series of questions.


  • Backpack
  • Two classroom desks

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