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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Discussion Questions

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Teachers, students will confirm their understanding of the material while sharing their beliefs and experiences in the following discussion questions. These questions will also assess students' critical thinking and analysis skills.

The Story of Henrietta Lacks

'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' outlines the struggles of a poor black girl whose life eventually touches millions long after her death. Students' response to the following discussion questions will demonstrate their understanding of the material and allow them an opportunity to integrate their personal opinions and experiences.

The Challenges of Henrietta's Childhood

  • Who is Henrietta? Describe her childhood. Where did she grow up? What happened to her mother?
  • How was Henrietta impacted by her mother's absence? Do you know someone who grew up without their mother? If so, explain any challenges they faced as a result.
  • What do you think about Henrietta's dad? Do you believe Henrietta's dad loved his children? Explain. What struggles did he face trying to raise nine children? Do you think he should have separated the siblings? Why or why not?
  • Discuss the benefits of ensuring siblings stay together especially after the loss of a parent. How were the children impacted by their separation?

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