Group Research Notes

Questions for Research:

These are Questions to Begin the Conversation with our Students...Please feel free to edit and revise...Let's be sure the questions are narrow enough, researchable, and the research level is developmentally appropriate.


(Not sure how to make this one broad enough...
In Mumbai, are there really people sitting on the streets that have just moved there?)

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Do kids live and work in dumpsites?

  • Why?

  • Where?

  • How does it impact their daily life?

  • What are the social issues that allow this to happen?

  • What are the financial issues that allow this to happen?

  • Who benefits from it?

  • Why are these children not protected in the way that our students are protected?

How can this be stopped? How can we help these children/people?

Is it possible that there are people living in our community around us whose lives are not that much different than the characters we have been reading about? If so who are they and why are they unknown to most of the people?

  • Why is tuberculosis a problem?

  • Is it still a disease that we are dealing with today and who is at risk?

  • Who is affected? Why?

  • Are there other diseases or public health crises going on today that are as serious as what was going on in City of Orphans?

What can be done to prevent it?




How does moving to a new country affect your life? (audio/video record=Documentary)

Interview children's perspective and decision maker's (parents?) perspective.
Who have you left behind? What is life like for them? Is communication possible?
  • What are the pros and cons?

  • What do you gain and what do you lose by moving?

What can be done to make it a smoother process?

Does child labor (these boss programs) happen all around the world?

  • How

  • Why

  • Are certain races more effected by child labor than others?

  • Where does child labor occur most often today?

  • What are the kinds of child labor?

How can it be stopped?

Does child labor happen in India?

(How does the government of India affect the people, and what is the cause of that type of government?)

  • What does it look like?

  • What role does the government play in protecting or not protecting the children?

  • Why does it happen?

  • How do they get forced to child labor if there are laws to protect them?

What can be done to stop it?

How have advances in medicine changed the spread and cure of disease?

(Feel free to word this better...)
  • Is the wasting disease a real disease?

  • If so, how does it differ from the time City Of Orphans was set and now? Is there a cure we have today, but not when the book took place?

  • How does one get the disease?

  • Can it be prevented?

  • Who is most at risk and why?

  • What are the symptoms of the disease and is it a disease that is terminal (can die from it)?


Were the condition of the jails in the stories true to the times of the book? Are there similar conditions today?
  • Were the Tombs a real place?

  • Who was locked up there and for what type of crimes?

  • Do the Tombs still exist today?

  • How did people get released?

  • Did they have a fair trial?

  • How did families raise the money to get an attorney? What if they couldn't afford an attorney?

  • What happened if they were found guilty?

  • How does this legal system compare to today (age of kids imprisoned)?

  • Do other jails in other countries operate like this one?
  • Is it legal to keep children in such terrible jail conditions? And for adults?


Do gangs, like the Plug Uglies, exist today?
  • Why are there gangs?

  • Do gangs still exist today?

What can we do about it?

Does police brutality exist today?

  • Are there laws regarding the treatment of children by police? (Can police actually do that to children?)

  • Why or why not?


    If a person is dangerous, does this affect how the police can deal with them? Who decides what "dangerous" is?
How can it be stopped?
How do child labor laws change and affect what kids can do and how they are treated?
  • What are the child labor laws in the US?
  • Are they different in different countries?
  • What are the ages in different places when kids can work?
  • When are parents no longer legally responsible for their kids in different places?

Where does all the trash go?
  • Does trash from one community end up in another community?
  • What happens with all of the recycling and toxic waste that a community produces? Does it always get dealt with fairly and in the same community?
  • Do some communities have to deal with trash from "richer" communities?
  • Does this affect people's lives, health, living conditions, etc.?
  • How do we deal with our trash?

Do products like the frames in BWN really come from places like in the story?
  • Where do the frames in Walmart, Target, Kohl's, etc. come from?
  • Who makes them?
  • Is it really as bad as in the story (glue, etc)?
  • Are there other products that are made in similar ways?

Does child labor still take place today?
  • How many other kinds of child labor is there?
  • Do other kids in the labory get abused like Gopal got or even worse?
  • If so, how is it different than child labor in the past?
  • What do the authorities do about it, if anything?
  • Does it exist today in the USA?
  • Why does it occur? Why are the bosses so cruel? Why don't they get arrested?
  • Has anyone been penalized for enforcing child labor? What was the punishment?

Do kids in India live in such poverty/poor conditions?
  • If so, what are the conditions?
  • Are they worse than in the past?
  • Are they sick more frequently than us from living in these conditions?
In BWN, Scar mentions that the nicer frames are going west. Are the consumers that live in the west aware of where their frames are coming from?
  • Is it true that there are companies, like Walmart that are known to use child labor?
  • How can the average American find out exactly where their products are coming from?
  • Which countries produce the most products from child labor?

Do people in the US today have as much debt as Maks' family or Gopal's family?
  • Is it worse today or was it worse 50 years ago?
  • Do all families get out of debt eventually or do they live this way indefinitely?
  • How do people cope with such debt?
To what extent are consumers willing to change their behaviors and what does it take to effect that change?
  • What organizations are there that aim to change consumer behavior?
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