The Challenge of Sharing Soul Stories Discussion | Facing History & Ourselves

The Challenge of Sharing Soul Stories Discussion

This handout helps students reflect on Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi’s ideas about "soul stories" in a small group.
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At a Glance



English — US
Also available in:


  • English & Language Arts
  • Culture & Identity

Teaching Note: What appears below is a preview of this reading. Please download the PDF or Google Doc to get the full reading, which includes additional elements specifically designed for student use.

Directions: Discuss the following questions with your group members and record ideas on this handout. Support your thinking with evidence from the video, as well as other readings, class discussions, and your personal experiences.  

  1. Choose a color and a symbol or image to represent the idea of ego stories and soul stories.

    For color, write the name of a color or fill the cell with the color. 

    For symbol or image, sketch your ideas in the chart using a stylus, your finger, or your mouse. To access the Google Docs scribble tool, click into a cell on the chart. Then, click Insert/Drawing/New. Click Line, and select Scribble from the dropdown menu. Do this for each cell.

    Ego Stories

    What color represents ego stories? 

    What symbol or image represents ego stories?

    Soul Stories

    What color represents soul stories?

    What symbol or image represents soul stories?

    Why did you choose those colors, symbols, and images?
  2. Why do you think ego stories are easier to tell than soul stories?
  3. What factors can make it difficult for young people to share their soul stories with one another, in person and online?
  4. Review Rudy Francisco’s “My Honest Poem” and the personal essays from Adiah, AJ, Lauren, and Zöe that you read in recent classes. How do one or more of these texts connect to ideas about identity in Priya Vulchi and Winona Gao’s TED Talk? How does the TED Talk extend your understanding of identity? 


  5. List three concrete steps that we could take in this class to create a space where everyone feels like they can share the stories that matter to them and shape their lives. Then explain the impact that these stories would have on the classroom community. 

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Most teachers are willing to tackle the difficult topics, but we need the tools.
— Gabriela Calderon-Espinal, Bay Shore, NY