Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-12, students explore BrainPOP resources to learn about Malala, human rights activist and youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Students use what they learn about Malala’s brave and extraordinary efforts to write and present a speech announcing her as a recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.   


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm the concept of human rights.
  2. Use the Make-a-Map tool (or offline graphic organizer) to construct a concept map about Malala.
  3. Complete a cause and effect graphic organizer identifying events in Malala’s life that affected her actions
  4. Write and present a speech awarding Malala a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
  5. Take action to help Malala’s cause.



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Lesson Procedure:

  1. Write “Human Rights” on a whiteboard or other display. Ask students to brainstorm what they think of when they hear the words “human rights”. Write down everyone’s ideas.
  2. If you were able to collect articles, pictures, etc. featuring Malala, pass them around the class now.
  3. Tell students that today they will learn about a brave young human rights activist named Malala who has worked tirelessly for educational rights and to improve conditions for women and children around the world, even at the risk of her own life. Point out that Malala is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Explain that they will use what they learn today to write and present a speech awarding the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Malala.
  4. Show the movie Malala on an interactive whiteboard or other large display to the whole class once through without pausing.
  5. Next, if you have access to multiple computers, divide the class into pairs and have them open the Make-a-Map feature on individual computers. [NOTE: If limited access to computers, pairs can do this step offline using the Character Map graphic organizer]
  6. Pairs watch the movie again within the Make-a-Map feature. As they watch, tell them to construct a concept map about Malala, including her character traits, events in her life, and the actions she’s taken as a result of those events. Encourage pairs to pause the movie as they construct their concept maps, and remind them that they can incorporate clips from the movie into their maps.  
  7. Distribute the Cause and Effect graphic organizer. Prompt students to think about events that happened in Afghanistan and later Pakistan that affected Malala and led to her to speaking out for educational rights, despite the risk. They may also use the graphic organizer to identify the effects, both positive and negative, of Malala’s actions, such as the attempted assassination by the Taliban (negative) and providing funding for schools in war-torn areas (positive). Students may need to watch the movie again to identify the causes and effects.
  8. Have students imagine it is the year 2014 and that they are a member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee who will announce Malala as one of this year’s recipients of the award. If time allows, you can show the Nobel Prize movie. Explain that they are to write a speech describing why the committee is awarding Malala this coveted honor. Have them use details from their concept map and graphic organizer in their speech. Encourage pairs to review and edit each other’s speeches.  Allow time for this process and for revisions.
  9. Finally, have students present their speeches to the class.

Extension Activities:

At the end of the movie, students learned about the Malala Fund, its mission, and how they can get involved. Encourage students to try one of the ideas Tim suggests, such as signing Malala’s online petition to provide free schooling for all girls or raise awareness by writing their local paper. They may also complete the "Write It" section of the Worksheet and create slogans for a poster supporting Malala’s advocacy for girls’ education.