Outcasts United Discussion Questions

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been part of the whirlwind world of teaching middle school for 20 years. She has a Master of Education degree in instructional design.

'Outcasts United' tells the story of Luma al-Mufleh and her work using soccer to help young refugees acclimate to life in the United States. Use these discussion questions to guide your middle or high school students through this inspiring story.

Outcasts United by Warren St. John

In Outcasts United, Warren St. John retells the story of Luma al-Mufleh, from her time as a child of privilege to her life and work coaching a refugee soccer team. Coaching teaches her quite a few lessons. It also brings the community together in inspiring, unexpected ways. Use these discussion questions after or during the reading to help your middle or high school students understand the book and apply its lessons to their lives.

You may want to engage them in a whole-class discussion or provide a list of questions to student teams. After discussion is complete, consider asking students to craft a written response to one or more questions. This exercise can serve as an excellent summative assessment.

Part One: Changes

  • How do the members of Luma's family affect her education? Her compassion for the poor? Her goals for the future? Do you think she should have returned home? Why or why not?
  • How does Rhonda Brown influence Luma? What skills does she instill that Luma later passes on to her soccer players? Do you think Luma would have been comfortable coaching the Fugees if she hadn't played sports on Brown's teams as a student?
  • St. John tells not only Luma's story, but also the story of several refugee families, namely Beatrice Ziaty and her sons. How does interlacing these stories help frame the narrative? Does it have a positive effect on the reader's understanding of Luma's impact?
  • When large groups of Somali Bantu were sent to live in Georgia, was the community prepared for this influx? How could the government have better prepared for the refugee relocation effort?
  • How did Tracy Ediger help Luma with the Fugees? Do you think Luma could have continued her work without Tracy's help? Why or why not?

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