Charge into Malala’s mission to change world for the better-

How teachers and students grades k-12 can curate and collaborate with her using chromebooks.


What reader would not be attracted to the magically inviting cover with its golden pencil that seems to do its magic as images of golden notebooks, pictures and birds ascend from it.  Even if she is not already recognized by target audience, the beautiful image of the single female with her uplifted eyes focused on the magic of her pencil capture the potential reader.  Check out Malala’s latest picture book at book stores or in the library.  If you can hold it in hand go to the title page with the illustration of Malala writing from the floor with her magic pencil onto pages of her notebook from which the words ascend as golden images showcasing  writings and the tools needed to write, inspires the lucky readers and their literacy focused teachers and family readers.  Finally look at the  opening line  of the book with Malala out in her native Pakistan,  still writing magic pencil in hand as she asks: “Do you believe in magic?” ; seals the reader’s engagement in the mix of fictional but actually autobiographic  tale she narrates.  Malala soloing without the help of any coauthors is off to a truly enthralling storytelling start.

But even as teachers and students hold the gorgeous printed text, they can join her immediately using their Chromebook as they create word docs or scan their hand drawn art in which they interactively respond to Malala’s posed picture book question.  They can upload these to special folders on their chromebooks or the teacher can post a collection of  their aggregate responses to be shared on the school website with invites to a circle of chromebook community distanced peers and educators.

Young readers and beyond can meet Malala before they get into her story by watching the trailer for the documentary about her , He Named Me Malala (2015) directed by David Guggenheim or the documentary itself if they are on middle school and beyond.  Again, unlike waiting for a likely author visit, students can immediately reference the three family photos in the picture book or the photos of Malala online to the accessible 88-minute documentary.   Using their Chromebook, teachers can even differentiate and excerpt portions of the documentary that suit the needs of their middle and beyond students.   This target audience can view and discuss with teacher support the visceral realities of the Taliban foe faced by Malala and others who protest against their regime’s laws against among other concerns, girls access to education.

Teachers can upload audio files of the student responses and discussions as they as more mature middle school and beyond students talk about how the “real” Malala on film and her story contrast with either the new picture book- which does not or detail the actual violence and shooting of Malala versus the adult co-authored with Christina Lamb published book (2013).  In what ways does “seeing” Malala for “real” in this documentary differ from reading what happened in her own words retold for readers?  Which format of her story- digital or print or picture book is more inspiring?  Students could reflect on which has the most impact on them for readers and in doing so would be reading  and writing across a spectrum of digital and print texts that represent CCSS writing and reading standards.


While Malala’s familiar story is told in her own picture book in a grade and age sensitive way, she makes clear her mission to help all children have the opportunity to learn, for girls to go to school to realize their potential  and to give a voice through her writing to speak up for all in danger comprehensible to young readers grades K-4.  She does this through using the conventions  of the picture book format to access young readers to how she as a child realized how to use her writing and speaking ability to speak out about injustice to girls in Pakistan.  The work shows Malala with her brothers watching a TV show in which Sanju a boy got in trouble with his friends, but would use his magic pencil to draw himself out of his troubles.  Malala then shares with her young readers how as a child she came to realize that by writing and beginning to publish plus appearing on television to talk about the plight of girls in Pakistan denied the chance to go to schools, she was able to make her writing  an actual magic pencil.  The story also conveys through Malala’s taking the time to watch a girl sorting trash and a boy collecting scrap metals, how empathy for others can help inspire even young children to make the world a better place.

Older readers and even younger children can research from the web resources actual images of Malala speaking out and images of her town in Pakistan which make the picture book illustrations come live.  They can develop picture files that make the illustrations come to life and save them as reader researchers on their chromebooks for their readings.  These can become the basis with their art and recorded reactions to Malala’s challenge to change the world to create a student grade or age centered personal Malala Multimedia web resource providing a student perspective on this young woman just entering her twenties with worldwide recognition and a Nobel Peace Prize.  This would be the version of an author fan site but the student centered chromebook developed and designed pages would also mirror the global activism Malala advocates.

Of course, Malala herself is a web presence with a blog and a fund ready student who want to actively follow her and perhaps individually or as classes contribute to her fund Prompted by teachers, students can examine other children’s picture books about Malala but not by her.  As writers and readers they can evaluate these works which cover the same achievements she does and for her target middle school and elementary audience to consider whether Malala does a better job of writing about herself than do other authors in the picture book field and biographical field.  There is of course no single correct response to it.  But it can invite a rich reflective student web or personal word doc response which of course adds a reflection layer to their chromebook portfolio.

Students can do grade and age appropriate first research about Malala through her fund https: and see her holding up her picture book -look/ or hear her talk about her first book  Older students can listen to an interview she gave BBC news  Again they can debate how powerful she is as the marketer of ideas which match those of other peace activists who are not recognizable world wide.  They might want to identify the ways an reasons Malala is effective as a media presence and what they can learn from her appearances, blog, and use of social and digital media to further her mission.  Students can do independent reading on the topic of how young people can change the world using books from the following lists that are age and grade appropriate. -to-inspire-kids-to-make-a difference-in -the world-45828.  They can also author and illustrate their own magic pencil stories.  These stories can be posted on their blogs or websites as well as displayed at school and of course shared with the Malala blog.  The art and layout as well as text for them can be designed on their chromebooks and saved as picture files.

Of course, the most meaningful literacy and life lesson from this work would be for its readers to make Malala’s example a part of their reality by doing a service learning project or creating writing s or posters or funding local changes in libraries, in their neighborhoods or beyond that “make the world a more peaceable place.”

Since this book beautifully explicates Malala’s story behind quote “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world,” it is a needed work for its target readers and beyond.  All teachers of literacy and those who educate students for citizenship can use it to inspire students with “the magic . . . of words . . .work” that enabled Malala and other young writers (Anne Frank, Zlata, Elie Wiesel) to “write alone” and have people respond to their stories.  In contrast to even Zlateh, Malala has deliberately engaged multimedia platforms and a mix of print sources to craft a persona that uses a magic literacy pencil to reach and to inspire the digital generation to join her in transforming the world.  In this use of multimedia for social good, she shows yet another powerful form of political leadership.  This one educators can use for not only multiple literacy learning but student global citizenship.  Who says a pencil has to be confined to writing on paper alone?  Malala’s multimedia pencil reaches the masses with strength and immediacy!!

Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 and coauthored for adults with Christina Lamb the best seller I am Malala in 2013.

Yousafzai, M. (2015). The Malala Yousafzai Blog and Story.  Retrieved from

Yousafzai. M. (2015). Quotes Retrieved from

Yousafzai,M. (2012). Portrait of the Girl Blogger.  Retrieved from

Langston-George, Rebecca (2015).  For the right to learn-Malala Yousafzai’s story. Calif: Capstone Press.

Yousafzai, M. (2017) Malala’s Magic Pen. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Yousafzai, M. and Lamb, C. (2013). I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.  New York: Little , Brown and Company.

He Named Me Malala.

Dr. Rose Reissman,

Academic and Grant Funding Director for Sector 5

About Sector 5,

Sector 5, Inc. (OTCQB: SFIV), is a Proud American Corporation, that sells, manufactures and develops new innovative consumer electronics under Sector 5 and other brands. The Company markets its partnership with Google approved Chromebooks to educational organizations, other B2B and B2C sales channels, with retail sales on Amazon. It is in development of several new products to serve the educational, business and retail markets. Follow the company on and and find further information at For Sector 5’s Forward Looking Statements, click here.







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