Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives

Journal Writing Topics

First Nations Series and Community

  • We all belong to different communities/groups. Think about all the communities to which you belong: class, family, school, organizations like sports clubs and dance groups, and your local, national, and even global communities. What makes them communities?

  • Do you think they influence the choices you make or your perspective of the world? Why or why not?

  • How has your community shaped your identity and who you are? Has it shaped how you see and feel about the world and what you do in it? How so?

  • Think again about what "holism" means to you. How do you think it applies to your community?

  • What makes your community whole? How can your community use the concept of holism to help heal conflict?

  • How do you think this might help you resolve conflict? How would considering how someone might feel, how they might envision a situation, how they may react, and what they may already know about a topic at hand help you understand them better?

  • What makes a community a great place to live? How does it feel? What does it look like?

  • Do you think that every community member should be respected and valued? Why? Do you think it is a responsibility of all community members to choose to make their community a great place to live?

  • What does it mean to be a responsible and caring community member? What does that look and feel like? What do caring and responsible community members do?

  • Think of a caring and responsible community member you know. What actions does she/he take to ensure that your community remains a great place to live?

  • What/Who do you think helped shape your idea of what a community should be?

  • Did you learn something new about the idea of community that you had never thought of before? Has this information changed how you think a community should feel and look like? Why or why not?

  • Think about one of the biographies included in the series. What influences helped shape her/his idea of what a community should be? Has it shaped how she/he feels about and sees the world? How so?

  • Did the community in which this person grew up affect her/his identity? Did it play a central role in forming the person she/he has become and what direction her/his life has taken? How so?

  • Reflect upon the different ways stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination affected her/his life course. How did he/ she overcome these obstacles? How have her/his accomplishments added to her/his profession?

  • What can you infer about her/his values and beliefs? How do you think she/he feels about her/his responsibilities to her/his community?

  • Do you think her/his ideas of what a community should be have influenced the choices she/he has made? How so?

  • Think of the other characters mentioned in this biography. What is their idea of what a community should be?

  • Review what "holism" means to you. What do you think it means to those profiled in the series?

  • What would these individuals say makes a community whole? What would they say makes a community a great place to live?

  • Have you learned something new about the idea of community that you had never thought of before while reading a biography included in the First Nations Series for Young Readers? Has this information changed how you think a community should feel and look like? Why or why not?

  • Have you changed your mind about what constitutes a "good community"?

  • How has your new learning helped you more fully understand what it means to be a responsible citizen?

  • Did writing a biography about and learning about your subject's contributions to her/his community change anything about what you think a community should look like, how a community should feel, and/or what are the responsibilities of active community members?