2017-2018 Primary (K-2) DQ’s

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

September: Excellent Ed

  1. What are some things that Ed does well? What are some things that members of Ed’s family do well? Have you found what you are “excellent at”? Or, are you still looking?
  2. What does Ed do when someone in the family is better than he is? How do you remind yourself to keep trying your best even though someone else does something better than you?
  3. How does Ed finally find what he is “excellent at”? What do you do when you feel left out?
  4. How do the text and the illustrations work together to tell this story?

 September: School’s First Day of School

  1. What are some examples of the school acting like a person?
  2. What do the illustrations show the reader about how the school feels?
  3. How does the school change its mind about the freckled girl and other characters?
  4. How would the story be the same or different if told from the janitor’s perspective?

October: When We Were Alone

  1. What is your favorite story from your grandparent or from an older community member?
  2. The grandmother in the story has kept many of her cultural traditions. What are some of your favorite family traditions?
  3. How do you think the illustrations in the book reflect the feelings of the grandmother?

October: Little Cat’s Luck

  1. How does the text, written like a poem, help the reader to visualize the story?
  2. How do Patches’ feelings about her home change by the end of the story?
  3. Explain how Gus, the humans, and Patches all say the kittens are, “Mine”. Why do you think they feel this way?


The Hole Story of the Doughnut

  1. Captain Gregory spent a lot of time on large ships, what is the largest vehicle you’ve ever seen, and where were you when you saw it?
  2. Why is Captain Gregory considered a hero? What is he remembered for?
  3. In the book, what is the problem Hanson Gregory was trying to solve with his invention? How does his invention help the sailors?
  4. How do the sailors’ stories differ from Hanson Gregory’s story (How do tall-tales differ from non-fiction?)

 Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

  1. In the beginning, how does Mira show kindness and make her neighborhood less gray?
  2. What does the painter see when he looks at Mira’s picture?
  3. “Art followed the man and Mira, like the string of a kite.” What do you think that means?
  4. What ideas do you have for ways you can work with your community to bring more beauty to the place where you live?


The Princess and the Warrior

  1. What is a legend? Connect the names of the volcanoes to the story. What are some other similar stories you know?
  2. How are Popoca’s words “music to Izta’s ears”? How are they different than her other suitors’ words?
  3. How does Popoca show that he is brave, courageous, and loyal to Izta?

Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass

  1. Why were Susan and Frederick friends? What did they have in common? In what ways were they different? How did they help each other?
  2. How do the author and the illustrator show that words are important in this story?
  3. What do the two candles symbolize?


The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

  1. What are some ways Tina shows her curiosity and individuality?
  2. How do the illustrations help the reader make predictions?
  3. How do Tina and her sisters see the world differently? In what ways have the sisters changed at the end of the story?
  4. Have you ever been told that something you wanted to do is silly (similar to Tina) and how did you respond?

The Infamous Ratsos

  1. What are the differences between being a bully and being tough? Use examples from the story.
  2. What do you do to make life easier for your community?
  3. Have you done something differently than you expected?


The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

  1. If you were going to try out for the Olympics, what event would you choose?
  2. How and why does the relationship between Alta and the new girl change?
  3. How do the girls see Wilma Rudolph as a role model? How does she inspire them?
  4. “Shoes don’t matter. Not as long as we’ve got our feet.” — Do you agree or disagree with this quote?
  5. What role does the setting play in the story?

A Bike Like Sergio’s

  1. How does the author let the reader know Ruben’s family does not have a lot of money?
  2. How do Ruben’s feelings change throughout the story? How does Ruben show empathy?
  3. What do you think Ruben would have done if he had not seen the lady again at the grocery store?
  4. What do would you do if you found something valuable like Ruben, but you did not know who had lost it?


When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

  1. What is your favorite poem in the story? How does it make you feel?
  2. What is your favorite season? If you were writing a poem about your favorite season, what would you include?
  3. Choose a poem and talk about what you see in your mind when hearing it. Ask others what they see in their mind when they hear your poem.

The Sound of Silence

  1. What is your favorite sound and why?
  2. What words does the author use to describe the sounds in the city?
  3. Have you ever heard silence like Yoshio?
  4. Throughout the story, what is the connection between the setting and Yoshio?
  5. In what ways is Yoshio’s home similar and/or different from your home?


Daniel Finds a Poem

  1. How does Daniel show that he is curious?
  2. What did you learn about poetry from Daniel’s experiences at the park?
  3. What looks like poetry to you?

Freedom in Congo Square

  1. How do the illustrations help the reader understand the text?
  2. Using the text and illustrations, compare what the slaves are doing on Sunday versus the rest of the week?
  3. How does Congo Square represent freedom? What makes Congo Square unique?


Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super–Soaking Stream of Inventions

  1. How did Lonnie overcome the challenges in his life?
  2. Have you ever invented something or do you have an idea for an invention?
  3. If you had the opportunity to meet Lonnie Johnson, what questions would you ask him?

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea. (A Narwhal and Jelly Book).

  1. What are some ways Narwhal’s imagination makes the story funny?
  2. What information about Narwhals do you find the most interesting in this book?
  3. At first, Jelly did not understand Narwhal’s book. At the end, he wanted to borrow it. What changed?
  4. If you had a blank book like Narwhal, what story would you tell?
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