At age fifteen, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban after speaking out for equal educational rights. By reading her story together, we aim to unite students and staff for readings, discussions, and activities centered around a core theme: "the power of education."
A young girl raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan now transformed by terrorist activity, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believed in: the importance of education. Despite threats to her and her family, she continued to speak out for her right to attend school. Her courage nearly cost her her life. One day, while riding the bus home from school, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Today, she continues to be a strong advocate for equal access to education around the world.
Read about Malala's "Books Not Bullets" campaign.
Can I keep my book?
Can I write in my book?
Why was this book chosen?
Will I be graded on I Am Malala?
In which classes will I be expected to show my understanding of I Am Malala?
I am confused about an assignment or the book itself. Where can I ask questions?
Can I read the book online or find my own copy?
What if I have lost my copy of the I Am Malala book?
Where can I find more about Malala?
I want to talk to others about Malala's story. Will there be an opportunity to share my opinions and perspective?
As you read, consider these questions, and challenge yourself to read deeper.
Check your understanding with the questions below:
Part 1: Before the Taliban
Part 2: A Shadow over Our Valley
Part 3: Finding My Voice
Part 4: Targeted
Part 5: A New Life, Far From Home
Due Monday, August 14th in your Helix First class.
Choose an activity from the options below. The guidelines for each activity are intentionally “loose” in order to encourage creativity and individual expression. While we expect that you will challenge yourself and do your best work, we’re less concerned with page length, word count, and formatting, and more interested in a thoughtful, reflective response to the book.
Use your imagination. Be creative. And allow the power of Malala’s story to inspire you.
Your creative response assignment will become part of a “I Am Malala Gallery Walk,” to be displayed in the Helix Library during the first month of school.
Questions about the summer assignment? Please contact:
SPEECH TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Watch Malala’s speech to the United Nations (available on YouTube here). Then, write your own speech, focusing on an issue that’s important to you. If you had the attention of the world’s leaders, what would you say? What’s your message to the world? You may turn in a written version of your speech, or you may record yourself delivering the speech.
Choose an event from the book and “report” on this event in the style of a newspaper article. (Stretch your imagination on this. Although Malala’s shooting is a powerful and emotional moment in her life, there are many other significant moments in the book that you could use as inspiration.) Your article should be written in the style of professional news articles. (Read articles in The San Diego Tribune, New York Times, or Los Angeles Times for examples. Think of the Who, What, When, Where, and Whys.)
GRAPHIC NOVEL / COMIC
Create your own graphic novel / comic book adaptation of Malala’s story. Choose the major events of the book and do an “abridged” graphic novel version, OR choose a major scene / event and illustrate it in graphic novel format.
CREATE A 3-D SCENE
Choose an important scene, or setting, from the story and create a model of that scene using clay, a shoebox, balsa wood, or other materials of your choice.
VIDEO BOOK TRAILER:
Create a “book trailer” (similar to a movie trailer) that promotes the book I am Malala. Use live actors, puppets, stop-motion, or a “slide show” format...or use a free online tool like PowToons or GoAnimate to create an animated trailer. Upload your finished video to YouTube.
COLLAGE OF PICTURES AND WORDS:
Create a collage that portrays a character or theme from the novel. The collage should be larger than 8” X 10” and should provide insight into the personality and development of a character, or illustrate a major theme (the power of education, social justice, etc.) of the book.
LETTER TO MALALA:
Write a letter to Malala that includes the following:
Your reaction to her story / what her story means to you
What you felt was the most powerful message in her book and why
Questions you’d like to ask her
Create a timeline outlining major events of the book and their significance. The timeline should have at LEAST 10 events and include photos, drawings, clipart, or other graphics that help illustrate the events you choose to include.
DRAWING / PAINTING:
Create a drawing or painting inspired by the book. This could be a scene from the book, a thematic response (focusing on education, social justice, response to terrorism, etc.), or something else that sparks your creativity.
POEM / SONG / RAP:
Write a poem, song, or rap inspired by the book. You could re-tell part of Malala’s story, or write a “social message” piece that helps further her message about the importance of education or individual rights, or do something else connected to the book. Record a performance of your piece and upload it to YouTube.
Create a website inspired by Malala’s story or her commitment to educational opportunities and social justice. Your website could call attention to her work, provide ideas for teens to get involved in their own communities, or focus on another area of the book that you found interesting or important. Google Sites is a great platform for Website creation.
We have listed links to videos, articles, and blogs to help you better understand the book.
You will also find volunteer opportunities to help our own community.
New York Times Article: "Malala Yousafzai, Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Adds to Her Achievements and Expectations"
New York Times Article and Video: "Taliban Gun Down Girl Who Spoke Up for Rights"
Time for Kids: Malala Yousafzai voted Person of the Year 2014.
Illiteracy in San Diego - A volunteer organization for Refugee Outreach