article by Karen Jameyson , photos by Alamy

Learning Intention:


I am learning about the techniques used in writing a non-fiction text on a sensitive and emotional topic so that I can form a deeper understanding and connection with the content.


Success Criteria:

  • I can demonstrate understanding of the main points of the article
  • I can identify ways the author influences the audience by using emotive and compelling language.

1st Reading:

What was Malala’s childhood and family life like?


How did the Taliban change Malala’s everyday life when they arrived in her area?


How did Malala use her voice to fight back against the Taliban’s rules?


What did the Taliban do in an attempt to stop Malala from speaking out against them? What was the result of this?


Why was Malala unable to return to Pakistan?


How has Malala continued her work since moving to the UK?


2nd Reading:

What is the purpose of the blue introduction paragraph? How does it compel the reader?


One of the paragraphs has the subheading ‘Teetering’. What does the word teetering mean? What is this referring to in the article?


In the first line of the ‘Teetering’ paragraph, why do you think the author has chosen to italicise the word ‘would’.


The article ends with the words:


‘Her efforts have given millions more girls an education. But with 130 million others still out of school, more challenges await her.

And it all started because eleven-year-old Malala found the courage to speak out when no-one else did.’

What might be the reason the author chose to finish like this? What feeling does it give you?


3rd Reading:

What do Malala’s feelings about the children she saw at the local dump not being able to attend school tell us about her character? How were her feelings expressed in the article?


On page 27, the text reads ‘In the midst of that tranquil beauty, Malala and her two brothers happily spend their early childhoods. It was during this happy and carefree childhood that she discovered her deepest passion: school.’ Why has the author chosen to describe Malala’s home as having ‘tranquil beauty’ and her childhood as being ‘happy and carefree’? How does this position the reader to feel? How does this contrast her home and life later in the text?


The last line of the ‘Learning’ paragraph reads ‘But in the year she turned ten, Malala faced an even bigger shock.’ Why would the author end a paragraph like this rather than telling the reader what the shock is? What effect does this have on the audience?


In the ‘Nightmare’ paragraph, the author says Malala’s profile ‘skyrocketed’. Why do you think this metaphor was chosen? What does it suggest to the reader?