by NPR Staff
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
In Pakistan, a Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class for 150 in a Cowshed
- Philip Reeves
This article reports on the efforts of Aansoo Kohli, a 20-year-old Pakistani woman, to bring education to her rural village in Pakistan.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A ‘Normal,’ Yet Powerful Girl” with “In Pakistan, A Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class for 150 in Cowshed” and ask students to discuss the circumstances of education in Pakistan.
Sometimes, History is Sadness
- David White
This account of the tragic historical events of September 11, 2001, explains that sadness is a part of life and that time can reduce the impact of grief.Pair “Sometimes, History is Sadness” with “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” and ask students to consider the ways in which terrorism and violence can motivate people to do extraordinary things. How is the story of Malala’s life and activism an example of a positive response to cruelty? How does Malala’s story support the idea that we must accept tragedies as an unfortunate but inevitable part of life?
Resistance to the Vietnam War
- Jessica McBirney
This article discusses the reasons behind popular resistance to the Vietnam War along with the ways people showed their disapproval (and, eventually, helped bring the war to an end).Pair “Resistance to the Vietnam War” with “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” and have students compare the descriptions of activism in each piece. Malala Yousafzai overcame incredible adversity to fight for the rights of girls to be educated; during the Vietnam War, many Americans feared the draft and were opposed to the brutal tactics the United States army was using. In the context of the article about Malala, how do people create change? How is this similar to the way in which Vietnam War protestors convinced the United States government to pull troops of out Vietnam more quickly than they otherwise would have?
Why Afghanistan’s ‘Underground Girls’ Skirt Tradition to Live as Boys
- NPR Staff
In this informational text, how young girls resist oppression in Afghanistan by dressing up as boys, also known as “bacha posh,” is explored.Pair "Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl" with "Why Afghanistan's 'Underground Girls' Skirt Tradition to Live as Boys." Teachers may choose to have students compare and contrast the experiences of young girls living in Afghanistan with those of Malala Yousafzai, who grew up in the neighboring country of Pakistan.
First Lady Barbara Bush's Commencement Address at Wellesley College
- First Lady Barbara Bush
Former First Lady Barbara Bush, addresses Wellesley College in “First Lady Barbara Bush’s Commencement Address at Wellesley College”, in which she discusses the opportunities and status of women during the early 1990s.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “First Lady Bush’s commencement Address at Wellesley College” and ask students to explore the similar themes of the two texts. How do Malala Yousafzai’s outlooks on education compare to Barbara Bush’s opinions? What do the two texts reveal about the accomplishments of women in the world?
Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
- Malala Yousafzai
In “Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Acceptance Speech,” Yousafzai accepts the Nobel Peace Prize and speaks about the importance of education.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize Lecture” to provide students with additional information about Yousafzai. What has contributed to Yousafzai’s beliefs and passion for education? How do the two texts explore the various forms of gender inequality that exist in the world?
Fame is a Bee
- Emily Dickinson
In Emily Dickinson’s poem “Fame is a Bee,” a speaker describes fame as a bee.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “Fame is a Bee” and ask students to discuss how Malala has used her fame. What has her fame allowed her accomplish in the world? In what ways do students think fame has presented challenges for Malala?
Yesees and Noees
- Shel Silverstein
In Shel Silverstein’s poem “Yesees and Noees,” a speaker describes three different types of people: the “Yesees”, the “Noees”, and the “Thinkforyourselfees”.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “Yesees and Noees” and ask students to discuss how Yousafzai is a “Thinkforyourselfee”. What has Yousafzai been able to achieve by thinking for herself?
Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy on Young People and International Service
- John F. Kennedy
In “Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy on Young People and International Service,” Kennedy addresses students of the University of Michigan on how they can contribute to their country.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy on Young People and International Service” and ask students to discuss how Malala Yousafzai and John F. Kennedy believe peace can be achieved. How do both believe education contributes to their ideas of peace?
Most Valuable Player
- Sarah Van Arsdale
In Sarah Van Arsdale’s poem “Most Valuable Player,” a speaker describes what it would be like to have a trophy.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal yet Powerful Girl” with “Most Valuable Player” and ask students to compare the two girls’ vision of success. How has Malala been successful in spite of the obstacles she has faced in her life? How does each text reveal that both girls are working hard towards their dreams?
The Lighthouse Lamp
- Margaret E. Sangster
In Margaret E. Sangster’s poem “The Lighthouse Lamp,” a brave girl saves sailors during a storm when she keeps the lamp burning in her family’s lighthouse.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “The Lighthouse Lamp,” and ask students to discuss how the girls in the two texts exhibit bravery. How does their bravery impact other people? Does their gender have any influence on what they are able to accomplish?
The Peace Corps Journey
- Jennifer Borgen
In the informational text “The Peace Corps Journey,” Jennifer Borgen discusses what the Peace Corps is and what Peace Corps volunteers can expect from volunteering.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “The Peace Corps Journey” and ask students to discuss how Malala Yousafzai’s desire to create positive change compares to the intentions of the Peace Corps. What similar values do Malala and the program have?
Marley Dias: The 13-Year-Old Author Who Made a Difference
- Barrett Smith
In the informational text “Marley Dias: The 13-Year-Old Author Who Made a Difference,” Barrett Smith discusses the activism of a young girl who collects and donates books with black girls as the main characters.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “Marley Dias: The 13-Year-Old Author Who Made a Difference” and ask students to discuss how both young girls created important change. How do the movements that Malala Yousafzai and Marley Dias lead compare? Ask students to discuss how both texts encourage young people to engage in social activism.
Girls of the Crescent: Meet the Two Teenagers Fighting for Better Representation in Books
- Girls of the Crescent
After discovering the importance of making books with female Muslim available in schools and libraries, two girls living in Michigan create a non-profit organization to pursue their mission.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “Girls of the Crescent: Meet the Two Teenagers Fighting for Better Representation in Books” to provide students with an informational text about another young woman who fought for change. Why were the girls inspired to make changes in their communities? What do the young women have in common? What changes were the girls able to make? What gives the girls the courage to stand up for their beliefs? Use evidence from the text to support your thinking.
Drum Dream Girl
- Margarita Engle
In “Drum Dream Girl,” a young girl dreams of playing drums in a society that only allows boys to play the drums.Pair “Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl” with “Drum Dream Girl” and ask students to compare the father in each text. How do the fathers contribute to the dreams of their daughters? How do Malala and the speaker in “Drum Dream Girl” work to create change? Why is it important to view Malala and the girl in “Drum Dream Girl” as both normal and amazing? Why is it important for girls to know that they can create change and achieve their goals?