DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

 

After reading the book to your child(ren) or class, use these questions to have a conversation with (and to teach) them about diversity and the different ethnic group we live amongst in this society.

Questions:

 

1.  What is diversity?

 

2.  What is prejudice?

 

3.  How many different forms of prejudices can you think of?

 

4.  Are all of us here exactly the same? In what ways are we different? In what ways are we alike?  

 

5.  Are differences bad? Why or why not?

 

6.  How is prejudice different from not liking someone?

 

7.  How do people become prejudiced?  Where do they learn prejudice?

 

8.  What is discrimination?

 

9.  Why do people not like people who are different from them?  Why do people call them names?

 

10.  What are some ways to overcome prejudice?

 

 

Answers:

 

1.  A variety of something, such as an opinion, color, style or ethnicity.

 

When embracing diversity these are some key words you should know:

  • Uniqueness - only one of its kind

  • Appreciate - value somebody or something highly; understand the meaning or importance.

 

The following terms prevent one from fully embracing diversity:

  • Prejudice - to judge someone or something before you know all the facts.

  • Stereotype - to group people in categories based on single characteristics.

  • Bias - an attitude that always favors one way of feeling or acting over any other.

 

2.   A word that means judging someone or having an idea about them before you actually know anything about them.

 

It can also mean having an opinion about something without knowing anything about it.

  • It seems a bit silly to have an opinion on something or someone you know nothing about!

  • Unfortunately, we don't always see that we are being prejudiced.

  • We don't always see that we have strong ideas about certain people, their culture or their religion.

  • Unfortunately, we don't always see that we have been influenced by family, friends and the media to have ideas about something or someone of whom we have no personal experience.

 

3.    Racial / ethnic, gender, religious, age, class / social status, disability

 

4.   a) No.    b) answer will vary based upon audience; some responses to being different may be skin color, weight, height, culture, religion, hair texture, language we speak, any disabilities, education and social / economic status.   c) we are human; we have feelings; we all eat, breath and sleep the same; we all have the same basic values in wanting to be loved and/or liked, respected and protected.

 

5.  Answers will vary.  Overall, differences are not bad.  Being different provides an oppoprtunity to enhance your knowledge.  There is always something to be learned from everyone.

 

6.    Prejudice is having an opinion or idea about a member of a group without really knowing that individual.  A dislike is based on information about and experiences with a specific individual. 

 

7.  Prejudice is learned through living in and observing a society where prejudices exist. Children's opinions are influenced by what the people around them think, do and say.

 

NOTE:  Even if you, as a parent, are a model of tolerance, your children are still exposed to other people who may not respect differences.  The media as well as children who have poor self images are vulnerable to developing prejudices.   All children notice differences. This is developmentally appropriate and, by itself, not a problem; but when negative values are attached to those differences, problems occur. 

 

8.  When someone is being treated badly because of their gender, race, religion, disability or being 'different' .

 

9.  Some people make judgments about a whole group people without knowing very much about them. Sometimes people are afraid of those who seem different from them and, unfortunately, they express that with name-calling and negative treatment. When people grow up with these ideas, sometimes it's hard to get rid of them.

 

10.  DON'T pre-judge people. Get to know them as individuals before you decide whether or not you like them; TREAT people the way you want them to treat you;  STAND UP for people who are being treated with prejudice;  Don't go along with the crowd when people are being unfair to someone;  LEARN about other cultures, countries, and peoples.