Discussion Questions from March Social Justice Reading Group

Social Justice Reading Group
Social Justice Reading Group

The March session of the Social Justice Reading Group focused on Indigenous People's rights.  Listed below are the March titles and discussion questions, broken down by age.


The Raven and the Loon (4-5 age group)

Reflection on the Story

  1. What types of birds are featured in the story?
  2. What is different about the birds in the story? What is the same?
  3. Why is Raven bored?
  4. What type of personality d
  5. oes Raven have? What type of personality does Loon have?
  6. What did Raven and Loon do to keep from being bored?

 

Reflection on Self

  1. Have you ever been bored even while playing with or talking to a friend? What did you do?
  2. Have you ever been so excited (like Raven) that you couldn’t sit still? Tell us about it.
  3. Have you ever done something nice for a friend? If so, what?
  4. Has a friend ever done something nice for you? If so, what?
  5. Are you a talkative person like Raven or more of a listener like Loon?
  6. What would you do if you were trying to do something nice for someone else, but they wouldn’t be still?
  7. Have you ever called someone a bad name? What could you have done differently? Has someone ever called you a bad name? What could you have said to them?

 

Apply to the World

  1. What would you do if you saw another child at school who looked bored?
  2. How would you respond if one of your friends got angry with you?
  3. Is it kind to throw things at other people? Why/why not?
  4. If you are in a situation where you get frustrated, what are some ways that you can respond?
  5. Is it okay to call people names when you get mad at them? Why/why not?

The Thundermaker (4-6 age group)


Thunder Boy Jr. (6-8 age group)

Reflection on the Story

  1. Where did Thunder Boy get his name from? Does he have a nickname? What is it?
  2. Does Thunder Boy like his name? Why/why not?
  3. Why does Thunder Boy want to change his name?

 

Reflection on Self

  1. Do you know where your name comes from? Do you know who named you? Are you named after anyone in your family?
  2. Do you like your name? Why/why not?
  3. Do you have a nickname? Do other members of your family have nicknames?
  4. If you could give yourself a new name, what would it be? Why?

 

Apply to the World

  1. Do people in different cultures have different kinds of names?
  2. Do you know other people your age who have names that are unique/seem different to you? (Stress that names are unique, regardless of where they come from)
  3. How can you show appreciation for other people’s names?
  4. What is the most unique name that you’ve ever heard?

Jingle Dancer (6-8 age group)

Reflection on the Story

  1. What item is Jenna missing for the upcoming powwow?
  2. What members of the community help Jenna get her jingles for her dress?
  3. How do the jingles give Jenna’s dress a voice?

 

Reflection on Self

  1. Is there a tradition in your family that you like to practice? If so, what is it?
  2. Have you ever had to practice, like Jenna, for an upcoming celebration or ceremony? Explain.
  3. Do you live in a community with some of your other relatives, like Jenna does?
  4. Do you live in a community where neighbors are friendly to each other?

 

Apply to the World

  1. What is the benefit of having friendly neighbors or community members?
  2. Why is it important to feel you have a voice and can express yourself through your dress and cultural traditions?

Copper Heart -- from Moonshot comics collection -- (9-11 age group)

Reflection on the Story

  1. What did the brother take from the mine?
  2. What did the sister do to protect her brother?
  3. What are some of the special abilities water spirits have?
  4. What do water spirits travel in
  5. What is the conflict in the story?

 

Reflection on Self

  1. Have you ever taken something that you were not supposed to take? How did you feel? Did you put it back? Did you get into trouble?
  2. Have you ever been in a position where you needed one thing to trade for something else, but you did not know how to get it? Do you know someone who has been in this situation? How did you/they handle it?
  3. Has someone ever covered up for you when you did something wrong? How did that make you feel? How did they feel? Was that the right thing to do? Explain.

 

Apply to the World

  1. Why is copper mining harmful to the Anishinaabeg?
  2. For Indigenous people, like the Anishinaabeg, how are land, water, and minerals of the earth important to their culture and survival?
  3. In what ways is the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) harmful to the survival of Indigenous people in North Dakota? (this might require you to give youth an overview of the DAPL issue and how water is sacred to Indigenous communities)
  4. Can you think of other areas of the world where natural resources are depleted from communities in order to achieve other goals (e.g., diamond mining, oil refineries in areas that contaminate land and water, etc.)?

Coyote and the Pebbles -- from Moonshot comics collection -- 9-11 age group

Reflection on the Story

  1. What kinds of roles do coyotes have in indigenous stories? What is the coyote’s role in this story?
  2. What resource did the night creatures need? Why were the night creatures collecting pebbles?
  3. Do you think the night creatures should still be angry with Coyote? Why/why not?
  4. Was Coyote, in fact, being selfish by being so focused on getting his portrait drawn that he made a mistake that messed up everyone else’s portrait? Explain

 

Reflection on Self

  1. Have you ever been concerned about finishing something because others started before you? How did that make you feel? What did you do about it? Do you think Coyote responded in the right way?
  2. Think of a time when you made a mistake or you know someone who made a mistake. Were you forgiven by others? Did you forgive the other person?
  3. Why is it important to forgive?

 

Apply to the World

  1. Both of today’s readings come from an indigenous comic collection. Have you read graphic novels before? Have you read indigenous comics before?
  2. If so, what were the comics like in terms of the stories and graphics?
  3. If not, why do you think you have not seen indigenous comics like this as much as other graphic novels you may have seen at school, in the library, or at home?

 

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