I. Nuclear Energy and Renewable Resource Discussion Questions
- Chernobyl was the result of human error while Japan’s nuclear disaster was the result of a natural disaster. In what other ways are they similar and different?
- How did the Chernobyl disaster impact the world? The people who lived there? Are there any concerns today?
- How does Whitney view the handling of the Chernobyl reactor accident? Do you agree?
- Are there other possible sources for energy other than nuclear energy? What are they and why are they are they not being pursued?
- Why would the discovery of pure energy be such a valuable commodity? What would the social, political and financial ramifications be?
- Investigate one of the possible renewable energy sources. How much of this source currently supplies the energy needs in the U.S.? What would it take to increase this supply? What is its potential? What are the pros and cons of this energy source?
For more information on energy sources, please visit this interactive guide:
II. Food Allergy Discussion Questions
- What are some valuable survivor skills a person with food allergy learns at an early age? How does this prepare them for adversity?
- Is social isolation a problem for those with food allergy? If yes, how can it be overcome? Is someone with a food allergy at greater risk for bullying in high school? Why or why not? What are signs someone with a food allergy might be being bullied?
- Why would Reid not tell Whitney about his peanut allergy? How is dating more complicated for someone with a food allergy? What would you do if someone you wanted to date had a food allergy?
- High school kids with food allergies feel their school environment has the most unpredictable variables. How does a food fight affect someone with a food allergy? How does the cafeteria line look to someone with a food allergy? How does going out to eat with friends present unique obstacles?
- Close friends need to be allies for those with food allergies. Do you know what can you do to help protect a life? Has your friend ever shown you how to use his or her EpiPen? Are you willing to select a different snack if you knew it could hurt someone? What do your choices say about YOU?
- Can you predict the severity of the reaction someone will have to a food? Even the first time? Is there a cure for food allergy?
- Why do you think food allergy is increasing in children? What would you do if your child had a food allergy?
Exercise in social isolation:
- Is a food allergy a social challenge? Divide students up with a special bracelet. Have them eat at only one table in cafeteria and have to abide to avoiding their allergen (milk, peanut, soy) for two weeks in and outside of of school.
III. Holocaust & Genocide Discussion Questions
- What is the difference between a holocaust and genocide? How would you classify witch doctor’s hunting Tanzanians with albinism?
- Discuss the Japanese American Internment Camps that resulted from the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Do you agree with the action taken by the Federal government? Was this necessary in the name of national security? What role did fear play?
- Genocide is always organized. Usually, government power plays a part in identifying “enemies of the state” and death lists are constructed. Carson Noir is in a position to identify the Clarion psychics and advocate that the ends justify the means. Do you agree? How does power and fear become unstoppable? Can one person make a difference?
- Hitler tried to create a “pure and perfect” Aryan race and Carson Noir seeks to destroy a possible “super race.” How does the classification of groups create an “us versus them” mindset? How important are universal institutions or identities? Do people need a sense of belonging to thrive?
- Why is vilifying a group of people dangerous? How does dehumanization overcome the normal human revulsion against murder? Why is the term “extermination” used?
- What is the role of the international community when there is a holocaust or genocide going on? What is the purpose of the Genocide Convention signed in 1948 after the Holocaust occurred?
- Ask students to watch Hotel Rwanda (PG-13) and write a response explaining how–in the communication age that we’re in–did the rest of the world not notice one million people being brutally murdered in three months. How can one person make a difference?
For more information on the Tanzanian Albino Association, please visit:
IV. Survival Discussion Questions
- How would you define a survivor?
- Whitney has had extensive survival training. Does this automatically make her a survivor or is she a survivor for other reasons?
- Discuss whether Helga, Mr. Parks and Vlad are survivors and why. What other characters would you consider survivors?
- Reid and Whitney are living with a nut allergy that requires constant diligence on their part. Are people with food allergies survivors?
- What psychological and physical characteristics does it take to survive? Is survival an issue of mind over matter? Does luck play a role?
- The Japanese have a saying “Get knocked down seven times, get up eight.” What does this mean in terms of survival?
- History is full of great survival stories. Pick one and describe how these people prevailed? What physical and mental conditions were they faced with? What do the survival stories have in common? How are they different?
Students can pick their own events or pick an example below:
- Prisoners of War (i.e., John McCain)
- Holocaust / genocide (Armenia, Cambodia, Bosnia)
- Poon Lim
- Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571
- Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition
V. General Discussion Questions
- Whitney’s family is not available to her for a variety of reasons. Can your family be present but still unavailable? Is it a survival skill that she has found other sources of support? In this way, does Whitney accept she is responsible for creating the best situations she can for herself?
- Whitney does not wear a watch but believes life is all about timing. Is this a contradiction? How does this relate to her personality?
- Whitney sometimes has to go with her gut instinct, even when there is evidence to the contrary. What does that say about her? Is it easy or hard for her to do?
- Whitney’s friends are all unique in their own way. How important is it for her to have good friends who accept and help her? Does this increase once she learns she has a macadamia nut allergy? Can friends be important for survival?
- Reid has to “find” Whitney’s empathy since she has buried it deep in her mind. Why would she have done that? Why is empathy so important for the survival of the human race?
- Dr. West is an intellectual while Mr. Parks is a realist. How well do these two characters bridge theory with reality? Do you agree with Mr. Parks that everything is a lesson?