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Discussion questions for middle schoolers

When seventh graders at Mill River Union Middle School in Clarendon, Vt., were invited to participate in a reading and discussion of The Revealers in spring 2004, nearly all students volunteered. Project organizers, led by retired teacher Louise Duda (see her letter), prepared 10 suggested questions to begin the daily discussion, to be led by each "TA" or homeroom teacher.

Here are those questions:

  1. What type of student in your school seems to get the most respect from peers? How can you tell?
  2. Should there be any consequences for a student teasing another student? Why, or why not?
  3. At school, what is the most comfortable room for you to be in? Why?
  4. What style of clothing would not be 'cool' at your school? Why?
  5. How many people know your locker combination? How safe do you feel with that?
  6. What can someone in your school do to become popular? Why is that effective?
  7. In your school, is it important for students to be aware of cultural and ethnic differences? Why, or why not?
  8. How do you know when you are sitting in the wrong place in the lunch room?
  9. Do students in your classes treat each other with enough respect? How can you tell?
  10. A new student, who cannot speak a word of English, joins your class. What your behavior or reaction be to this person? Why?
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