Young Girl Writes a Book on Being Fat (Tutor)

October 19, 2011

Tutor Preparations
 Useful Links:

 Related Articles: 

Warm-up (2-3 minutes)
Use the questions to lead your student to the article topic.

     Have you ever been teased in school? Would you like to share what happened?
     Is bullying a serious problem in schools in your country? Please share some thoughts about this.

Unlocking Word Meanings (5 minutes)
Let your student read the items below. Confirm that your student understood each word. Use additional info/definition/question only when necessary.

     1. teased (adj.) – to be annoyed or made fun of with harmful words
Example: I get teased when I make a mistake.
Additional information: The word teaser (noun) is used in a more positive sense than the definition previously mentioned. Teaser refers to a part of a movie, advertisement, or event shown to the public to make people curious and interested. (e.g. After watching the teaser of the new action movie, I immediately invited my friend to watch it with me.)
     2. struggle (n.) – problem or battle (which someone experiences)
Example: I was able to deal with my struggles in school by studying well.
Additional question: What struggles have you experienced as a student? 
     3. bully (v.) – to scare or frighten someone with words or actions
Example: Some say that children who bully others lack attention at home.
Additional definition: Bully can also be used as a noun referring to “someone who scare or frighten other with words or actions usually to show his/her power.” (e.g. The school principal punished the bully who pushed me.)
     4. disorder (n.) – a disease; specifically, a lack of order in the function of the body
Example: People with disorders should seek for immediate treatment.
Additional information: The prefix dis is attached to a word to mean “lack or absence of or away from” (e.g. disappearance – lack of appearance or presence; discontentment – lack of contentment)
     5. retain (v.) – to hold or keep something for a long period of time
Example: I was able to retain a healthy lifestyle through discipline.
Additional definition: Retain can also mean “to continue doing something.” (e.g. We retain our tradition so we will not forget who we are.)

Article (10 minutes)
Let the student read the article aloud. For the Comprehension Questions, you may:
     (a) Ask the questions in between. Tell the student ahead of time when to pause from reading.
     (b) Ask the questions after he finishes reading everything. 
For the words difficult to pronounce, pronunciation guides are provided beside the word.

Six year old LaNiyah Bailey [la-nahy-yuh bey-lee ] is one of the many young girls who gets teased at school for being fat.

But instead of feeling sorry for herself, LaNiyah chose to write a book retelling her struggle with kids who constantly bully her. With the help of her mother, LaToya White, LaNiyah created the book entitled “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be.” LaNiyah said that through this book, she hopes to let other children understand that bullying others because of how they look is wrong.

Q: What is LaNiyah’s reason for writing the book “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be”?
A: She is writing the book to let other children know what teasing others because of how they look is not good.
LaToya revealed in an interview that her daughter’s weight is not something controllable by diet nor exercise. At a young age, LaNiyah is suffering from a number of health problems and one of those is a disorder called Polydipsia [pol-ee-dip-see-uh], a condition similar to ‘water diabetes’. Polydipsia, a disease unknown to many, causes a person to experience excessive thirst, forcing them to drink lots of fluids. Despite healthy diet and regular exercise people suffering from this disease usually become overweight because their bodies retain too much water.
Q: What did LaToya White reveal about her daughter’s condition?
A: LaToya said that her daughter is suffering from health problems and one of which is a sickness called Polydipsia. This illness makes her daughter fat because she needs to drink a lot of liquid and most of what she drinks stays on her body.
Both mother and child were interviewed in CNN and they shared their experience which inspired them to write the book.

Excerpts from “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be” by LaNiyah Bailey:

I always tried to hold back my tears, but they came anyway. "BJ called me a big-fat elephant girl."

I sobbed. "And they all call me fatty pants."

My mom would hug me tight and say, "Don't cry honey. Don't give them the pleasure. People often judge others by how they look on the outside. They don't take time to discover the beautiful person that's on the inside."
Q: What does LaNiyah’s mother do to her every time she comes home crying?
A: She would give LaNiyah a hug and tell her that some people only judge others by the way they look and not how they are inside.

Follow-up (optional)
Use the question below to check if your student understood the article.

What is the article all about?

Viewpoint Discussion (7-8 minutes)
Lead the discussion using the questions below.

Discussion A
  • What do you think of the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover”?
  • How do you usually judge a person? (Do you judge them by the way they look, the way they act, their activities, etc.)
Discussion B
  • What do you think can parents do to prevent their children to bully or to get bullied by others?
  • Do you think it is okay for parents to encourage their children to fight back when they are being bullied? Why or why not?