Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan

Author: Jeanette Winter
Grade Level: 4-6

Element 4: Social Movements and Social Change



Throughout Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan, Malala, a young girl from Pakistan, faces many challenges in fighting for her right to be educated as a female. Malala was shot by the Taliban on her way to school but miraculously survived after many doctor visits. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, Malala continues to speak out and teach children around the world to use their voices and take a stand in social justice issues. Ultimately, Malala teaches children to be brave and stand for what they believe in.

Element 4: Social Movements and Social Change

Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan shows how an everyday, school-aged girl made an influence and change in not only her community, but across the world. Malala is known world-wide as a modern day heroine for oppressed children across the globe. As a current and powerful figure, Malala's story can help children understand that by working together, ordinary people have the power to create a change in the world outside of the classroom.

In the Classroom

Using Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan, students can become activists in their school or community. Before, during, and after reading the story, words such as activism, courage, and bravery should be discussed along with an explanation about the United Nations. After reading Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan and possibly watching or reading along with Malala's United Nations speech, the teacher can ask the students to come up with current issues (in pairs or small groups) in their school or community that they would like to change. As a class, narrow down the issues to a list of about 4-5 and create individual plans of action to tackle or handle the issues. Through such an activity, students can learn to become activists in their own lives.

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