Discussion Questions: Roger Thurow's The First 1,000 Days


Image by Roger Thurow. Uganda, 2013.

Introducing The First 1,000 Days:

Research has shown that the first one thousand days of a person’s life (birth to second birthday) are the most important because of the rapid mental and physical development that happens during that time. In an October 2015 report, UNICEF wrote that “Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition.This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year.” The report continues, “Poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can also lead to stunted growth, which is irreversible and associated with impaired cognitive ability and reduced school and work performance.”

The First Thousand Days investigates what babies need during the first 1,000 days of their lives, the barriers that some families face in providing those things for their babies and the different ways that people are working to combat malnutrition and stunting around the world. Use the questions attached to guide a discussion about the themes of The First 1,000 Days. In addition to reading the novel, review the resources attached and the introduction to the novel posted on The Chicago Council on Global Affairs website to help guide your discussion. 


Teachers, if you are interested in connecting Roger to your students, contact education@pulitzercenter.org

Educator Notes: 

The questions attached can be used to guide a discussion about Roger Thurow's The First 1,000 Days. Click here for a Common Core standards-aligned lesson plan that also includes extenstion activities to continue engaging students in the book.

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