Wonder by R.J. Palacio 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, use the following discussion questions after or while students read 'Wonder.' Students will explore how bullying impacts the victim while integrating their experiences and opinion to ensure they comprehend the concepts and themes outlined in the book.


Wonder tells the story of a 5th grader who faces many challenges when he enrolls in regular school. The following discussion questions encourage students to discuss the characters, themes and scenes to demonstrate their understanding of the storyline.

When They First Saw Him

  • Describe August's personality and early childhood upbringing. What about August makes his life more challenging than other 10-year-olds?
  • Explain how each of August's family members and friends support him prior to enrolling in school.
  • Describe the students' reaction when August visits his elementary school. Describe a time when a new student with a disability or deformity enrolled in your school or your friend's school. How did you and the student body treat this student? Were there things that could have been done better? Explain.
  • How does Jack and Summer embrace August? Do they remain loyal throughout the storyline? Explain.

Life in Regular School

  • Define ''bullying.'' Have you witnessed bullying in school? If so, explain the situation, the outcome and if administrators rectified the situation.
  • Most schools have a bullying policy. What would you integrate into your school's bullying procedures? Why?
  • What does August encounter in school with his peers and the administration? Identify coping mechanisms August uses to manage ridicule. Did the administration do all they could to help? Explain. What strategies would you have implemented?
  • Which holiday makes August feel more comfortable? Why?
  • How does Jack and August's friendship fare during this holiday? Explain. Did Jack receive any backlash when he befriended August again? Explain.
  • Describe one of the most horrifying scenes for August. Why did you choose this scene?
  • How did family embrace August during this time? Is everyone focused on August's needs? Explain.

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