As Fast As Words Could Fly is written by Pamela M. Tuck, illustrated by Eric Velasquez and read by Dulé Hill. Young Mason Steele takes pride in turning his father’s excited ramblings about the latest civil rights incidents into handwritten business letters. One day Pa comes home with a gift from his civil rights group: a typewriter. Thrilled with the present, Mason spends all his spare time teaching himself to type. Soon he knows where every letter on the keyboard is located. When the civil rights group wins a school desegregation case, Mason learns that now he will be attending a formerly all-white high school. Despite his fears and injustice from the students and faculty, Mason perseveres. He does well in school—especially in his typing class. And when he competes in the county typing tournament, Mason decides to take a stand, using his skills to triumph over prejudice and break racial barriers.
Welcome to Storyline online, brought to you by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. I’m dually Hill and today I’m going to read as fast as words could fly. Written by Pamela m took an illustrated by Eric. The last quiz. You ready? Here we go. Trouble was brewing in Greenville, North Carolina. By five o’clock, 14-year-old Mason still was rushing to finish his schoolwork. Power BI home from his meeting soon, bringing a new problem, new problems, men, more work from Mason. He didn’t mind though, because help him pause. Civil rights group made mason feel real important. The screen door bang sharp. Whereas Mason passed as he scanned the kitchen. Willis, the boy is doing his lessons. Ma side. I need him to write another letter for me. Mason? Yes, sir. Mason called. He hurried into the room with paper and a pencil. When his restaurant refuse to serve Matt Duncan’s boys. Pa explained. Without a form. Another city. Mason took notes while Paul rambled on about what had happened. Only mesa could make sense out of what PA said. Later. Mason turned his notes into a business letter. This sounds good enough. Descent, uh, President Lyndon B. Johnson himself, path, boasted after he read Mason’s letter. One evening. After the screen door bank shut, Mason waited for pod to calling. It stayed. He heard my pa talking quietly. When Mason finally into the kitchen, he could hardly believe his eyes. My typewriter, he gasped. Yup. Pass in. The group wanted to give it to you. Cag, being quiet, a little lawyer force, vigor to type writer might help you someday. Macy’s slid his fingers over the keys. Each row look like little steps climbing up. It’s beautiful. Mason whispered. I’ll type the civil rights group a thank you letter. That’ll be the right thing to do. Mom agreed. Soon school was out. During the summer. Mason and his two older brothers, will as Julia and Henry, pick tobacco with a few of the white boys who live nearby. Patrick and Daniel Jones were the only two who acted friendly. They often raced against Mason and his brothers to be the first to fill the Mu cart. In the evenings. Mason was weary from the day’s work. But that didn’t stop him from practicing is typing. Using his index fingers to pick out the keys. He learned where every letter in symbol was located on the typewriter. Summer flew by. Before he knew it. Macy’s started his first year of high school. After the third week, called him and his brothers into the kitchen one evening. Voice. I got some real important news for you. He began, we just won a case. We’ve been fighting for a long time. It a right for you all to be bus 12 miles to Bethel Union High School. When Beauvoir high, three miles away. The boy’s eyes widened. Pi you note and white boys ain’t going like us go into the school. Not one big Willis Julius, damage. Like it and not yours going. Power apply. Somebody’s gotta make a change. The boy stayed at one another in disbelief. The bus a b here early Monday morning. So be ready. Passe. As he got it from the table and left the room. Monday morning, Mason and his brothers were nervous. They walk to school bus come roaring up the road. The driver slow down just enough for the boys to see the white students on the bus laughing at him. Then he sped up, blowing dust in the boys faces. They just don’t one is on their bus with a Junior said, I don’t want to ride their bus. No ways. Mason added the boys trudge back to the house where they told the driver hadn’t stopped. He was furious. The next day. The same thing happened. The third day. The bus stopped. Slowly. The boys climb the steps, movie, I got all day. The driver yelled and get to the back. The boy stumbled over one another as a hustle down the aisle. Henry spot in a familiar face, a patchy, easy. Patrick, get an answer. He just look straight ahead. Still boys asking for trouble. Daniel whispered. The driver took off the sudden motion through the boys into their seats. When the boys arrived at Beauvoir high, the principal, metabolic barricaded the doorway. He looked as if he had smelled skunk. Report the class after the bell rings, he snapped a thrust their schedules toward then, how will we know where to go? Willis junior asked, you found a way to get in here. So find your way around, miscible, turned, and stormed into the building. By the time Mason located the right room, the class had already started calls theirs and grimaces created him when he entered Mason new we see Was he is the one in the back corner. Against the yards. Mason did well in school. He especially likes typing class. The teacher, Mrs. Roberts ignored him. But he page strict attention. When she helped others at home Mason practice what he had learned. It wasn’t long before he needed to earn some money to buy typing paper and other supplies. Mason found out that the Neighborhood Youth Corps sponsored an after-school program that offered jobs. He applied and received a position in the school library. What can you do, boy, Mrs. Turner the library and asked, I can tag me. Mason ended well, come over here so I can show you what to do. Mrs. Turner took a stack of index cards and sat down at a typewriter. Pay attention because I’m not going over this with you. A second tab. Mason had to transfer the information on the spines of the books onto the cards. Mrs. Turner typed one card and left him without further instructions. Two hours later, Mrs. Turner approach mason has a common boy. She demanded Mason handed her his stack of index cards. Mrs. Turner’s eyes bulged. Mine. Goodness. How many cards did you type? I think about 100 me. Missing. Replied Mrs. Turner, check the cards. She couldn’t find a single mistake. Gracious boy. She said you type faster than Mrs. Roberts. Mrs. Roberts was pleased to be relief of the library work. She became friendly to Mason and type in glass. She even allow him to use the new electric typewriter. The first time mason use the electric typewriter, the letters jumped onto the paper with the slightest touch. He had to get used to pressing a button to return to the left margin of his paper. He could type faster and more quietly on the electric typewriter. But he missed the tinkling bell on the manual typewriter. They signal the new line. May see continue to improve his typing skills. Before long, he could type 40 words per minute. His job was going well too, and he was earning the money he needed for typing supplies. Then mason was fire without explanation. They don’t mess with the wrong fella, perfumed when he found out what had happened. I’m going to call golden offerings on this one. He’s a field secretary for the SCLC. Mason at her plenty of past always about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization that coordinated nonviolent action to end segregation. Pa has said that field secretaries interviewed people who complained about unequal treatment. Then he organized a march, a sit in our protest. Golden freaks was personally selected by Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior pirate. And believe me, son, Mr. Franks, shakes ground. The next morning is golden Frank’s PA and other civil rights workers went to the Board of Education and investigation began. The Board of Education discovered that Mrs. Turner’s husband didn’t want her to stay at a school with a ***** boy. The federal government was funding the youth corps and now threatened to stop giving the school money for the program because Mason was treated unfairly. Mason was rehired. One day in typing class, Mrs. Roberts announced there was going to be a typing tournament among some of the high schools in the county. The fastest type is in the class will represent Beauvoir. The students fiercely compete against one another. Mr. bullet, review the scores. Then he announced the winner. Mason steel will represent our school in the tapping tournament. How can a ***** represent our school? A student blurted out, we can’t afford anymore trouble with the Board of Education. Mr. bullet responded, stealing a glance at Mason. Do I really want to do this? Mason thought. But then he recalled pause words. Somebody’s gotta make a change. On the day of the tournament, Mr. Bullock and Mrs. Roberts drove mace into Farmville high school. Upon entering the auditorium, Mason scan the room. He tried to ignore the stairs of the white students. As he considered the selection of electric and manual typewriters. Mason knew if he chose a manual typewriter, he would lose time. He would have to take his left hand off the keys so he could hit the lever to start each new line. All the other students sat down at electric typewriters. Mason had to make a decision. He calls his eyes to think. His typewriter at home flash before him. Mason sat down at the manual typewriter. The judge went over the rules, then shouted begin. Mason finished his first line. He couldn’t hear how fast the other students were typing. He focused only on his paper. Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da. That makes sense. Fingers flew over the keys, is typing a go throughout the auditorium. Turns up the judge yield. All eyes were on Mason. As the judge collected the papers. After a long wait, the results were announced. I can’t believe this. I really can’t believe this. The judge sent to the microphone. Mason steal from Bell var high has broken all previous records with a typing speed of 65 words per minute. No one chair. Mason, just stare straight ahead. Mr. Bullock accepted the typing championship plaque for Beauvoir high. Not a single person in the audience applauded. Mason receive nothing. That some skill you have more. Misses, robbers, compliment and Mason on the drive back to school. Thank you, ma’am. Mason responded. I just have one question. Mr. Bullock. See why in the world did you choose a manual typewriter? Mason cleared his throat because it reminds me of where I come from. Say neither the adults had anything more to Mason for the rest of the way. But Mason knew his words. Typed on that paper. Had already spoken for loud and clear. This is a great book. What I love about this book is yes, words do matter, but actions matter that much more. Mason’s father and the civil rights group gave him a little gift of a typewriter. The mesa receive that gift, work that gift, and in the end, use that gave to change the minds of others. You need to talk about it. You just had to do. So no matter what people think about you, but they say about you. You don’t already to respond. Just do you live your life? Just like Mason. Thank you for watching Storyline online. Make sure to check out all of our stories. Keep watching, and keep on reading. See you soon. (As provided by SchoolTube video transcript.)
Suggested Grade Level: 3-4
The standards listed below are for the third and fourth grades.
CCSS.SL.3.1, SL.4.1, CCSS.SL.3.2, SL.3.3, RL.3.2; CCSS.SL.4.2, SL.4.3, RL.4.2, CCSS.RL.3.2; CCSS.RL.4.2, CCSS.RL.2.1; RL.3.1, CCSS.SL.2.2; SL.3.2, CCSS.ELA.W.3.2; CCSL.ELA.W.4.2
View the activity guide here: wordscouldfly
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