Skip to Main Content

American Like Me: CU Families Edition: Discussion & Activities

This guide extends the 2021-2022 CU One Read conversation around the book American Like Me to CU and Community Families.

Prompts for Parents & Caregivers

 

Ask some questions & start a conversation about the Buffs OneRead

We've designed some prompts to help families within and beyond the CU community to engage with the 2021 Buffs OneRead book. For parents and caregivers, it can be valuable to look back at how your own experience of America, of nationality, and citizenship may have shifted over time, at different life stages. These questions may be starting points for storytelling and conversation within your family, or as personal reflective prompts. For more discussion prompts and facilitation tips, or to join the conversation, please view our discussion guide or, for CU affiliates with Identikey credentials, join the Buffs OneRead: Who is America Canvas Community Course.

 

Discussion questions

How did you experience the book?

Did you recognize yourself or your experiences in the collection? How would you describe the sensation when you did or did not? 

American Like Me is a collection of stories from different people who have experiences growing up in America between cultures. What cultures have you experienced simultaneously? How did you experience the cultures?

The different stories challenge the notion that there is a common, or typical understanding of what it means to grow up in America. How would your experience contribute to the definition of an “American identity”?

As a parent or caregiver, how would you describe your American identity to your children? How do you think they would describe their American identity, or how would it differ from your own?

Which story from the book resonates the most with the experiences that you and your family have had in America?

If you were asked to contribute an essay to this book, which key experiences would you include, to illustrate to your children the important aspects of the cultures that represent your life?

Prompts for Older Children

 

Ask some questions & start a conversation with older children about the Buffs OneRead

We've designed some prompts to help families within and beyond the CU community to engage with the 2021 Buffs OneRead. You are encouraged to use the perspectives from the stories to help you start and navigate conversations with your young child(ren) about the American experience. Stories in American Like Me can be great for engaging older children. We've also included several middle reader children's books in the Related Reads for Families to help support these discussions at home. These questions could start discussion within a family, within a classroom, inspire art projects, or serve as personal reflective prompts. The questions sampled here focus on reader experience and connection. For more discussion prompts and facilitation tips, or to join the conversation, please view our discussion guide or, for CU affiliates with Identikey credentials, join the Buffs OneRead: Who is America Canvas Community Course.

 

Discussion questions

How did you experience the book?

American Like Me is a collection of stories from different people who have experiences growing up in America between cultures. “Culture” is a set of characteristics that are unique to a group of people. This can include language, religion, food, music and art, to name a few. How would you describe your culture? What part of your culture do you find the most interesting?

The different stories in American Like Me show us that there are many ways that people experience growing up in America. How would you describe your experience? You can try to think of three things that make your experience unique and interesting. 

Ask a person in your life that is older than you to describe what is most important to them about their life in America. 

Which story from the book sounds familiar to you? In what ways is it similar to your life?

If you were asked to write a story about your life for this book, what are some parts of your life that you would want to include in your story? If you like to be creative, either by drawing, music or dance for example, how would you represent your life growing up in America?

 

Prompts for Younger Children

 

Ask some questions & start a conversation with younger children about the Buffs OneRead

We've designed some prompts to help families within and beyond the CU community to engage with the 2021 Buffs OneRead. You are encouraged to use the perspectives from the stories to help you start and navigate conversations with your young child(ren) about the American experience. We've also included several children's books in the Related Reads for Families to help support these discussions at home. These questions could start discussion within a family, within a classroom, inspire art projects, or serve as personal reflective prompts. The questions sampled here focus on reader experience and connection. For more discussion prompts and facilitation tips, or to join the conversation, please view our discussion guide or, for CU affiliates with Identikey credentials, join the Buffs OneRead: Who is America Canvas Community Course.

 

Discussion questions

What is one of your favorite family memories?

Make a "Me Pocket": Gather photos, drawings and other things that help others get to know you, place them in a gallon ziploc bag or baseball card sleeve for sharing stories with family, friends, or at school.

Ask a person in your life that is older than you to describe what is most important to them about their life in America. 

Read one of the books together on the Related Reads tab. What do you notice about the stories of the people in the books? How are they similar or different to your life?

 

 

Reflect and Create

Reflect & Create

These writing or creative expression prompts might be used for formal assignments or informal exercises. For more reflective and creative activity prompts, please see our Activity Guide or, for CU affiliates with Identikey credentials, the join Buffs OneRead: Who is America Canvas Community Course.

 

Write a letter to your ten year old self and describe your experience in the intervening years. Consider what you want to tell yourself. Think about what you have learned about yourself and life since then. What do you wish you’d known or understood sooner? Think back to a time in your life when you could have used advice from a wiser you. You might use America Ferrera’s first essay as inspiration.

 

Consider whose story you wished had been captured in the collection. Who are they? What characteristics best describe them?  Why does their story compel you? What is missing without that voice? What would be gained by sharing that voice? What element of the American experience might they best speak to? How might readers respond to what they might contribute?

 

Compose a story of yourself. Who are you? What is American like you? How might you describe your identity to others? Is it most influenced by your talents, by your faith, by your family, by your country? How does your identity inform your participation at CU?

 

Ask A Librarian

Make an appointment

Chat, Call, Text

Email: libraries@colorado.edu