Social Justice Vocabulary In Zootopia



IG: @teach4tamara

Grade Level:

Elementary (1st-6th)



Objective: Students will be able to use social justice vocabulary and identify examples.

Day 1:

Small humans can understand big words! Yesterday and today we used Zootopia to learn new social justice vocabulary such as #ally #privilege #microaggressions #discrimination #ableism and #bias. Students wrote examples of the term that they saw in the movie. It’s always awesome to see my kids using these words accurately! They are making connections to texts and history as well! I know this works from family feedback. Don’t underestimate elementary students! These definitions are a combination of ones I made up, some I got from Liz Kleinrock , and some from the book “Open Minds to Equality by Rethinking Schools

Possible Discussion Questions:

  • What evidence does the bunny’s dad use to support his prejudice against predators? Is he right to?

  • Does her dad saying that stop predators from getting a job, going to school, or living their lives? Do you think most of their society agrees with that? So is that prejudice or racism?

  • Do you agree that only bunnies can call each other cute? Can a group own a word? Why might it be insensitive for a nonbunny to call a bunny “cute”?

  • At the precinct the chairs are for big predators. Not accessible ….Who are these chairs for? Is that fair? Why? What does this say about who they welcome and value into the police department?

  • The elephant shop isn’t accessible to smaller animals. Can’t all reach the napkins on top of the counter….Who is this store for? Is that fair?

  • Discrimination at elephant shop...Is it right to not sell ice cream only to elephants? Id the elephant trying to be helpful when he reads the sign for the fox?

  • I assumed you grew up from... fox about bunny

  • Hops is discriminated against at work because her boss is trying to fire her after catching a criminal. Never wanted her on the force. Looking for an excuse…..Systemic

  • Fox gets discriminated by boy scouts

  • Touch a sheep's wool (consent, exploited)...Black hair...Why is consent important? How does it make you feel when someone asks consent vs when they don’t? How can you let others know when they need to ask for consent?

  • How might it be dangerous to use science to describe a group of people?

  • You’re not that kind of predator = “exceptionalism”

  • How can having a friend from a particular group help you develop empathy for that group? Could you still hold bias against others from that group? (bunny and fox)

  • "Go back to the forest predator...I’m not from the forest I’m from the savanna"….What is happening here? Is that okay? Why? What do we call that? Xenophobia...

  • Who benefits when the predators and prey are fighting? Who suffers?….How might fear be used to pit two groups against each other to keep others in power?