Malala Yousufzai: Standing up for your Beliefs

As we are finishing up our unit on beliefs, let’s think about some recent news where a girl, named Malala Yousafzai, took a stand for her beliefs. She was attacked by people that didn’t hold the same beliefs as she did.

Malala is a teenager who believes that everyone, including girls, should have the right to go to school. She lives in Pakistan and wrote a series of diary entries for the BBC about her life in Pakistan, starting in 2009, when she was just 11. Here are a few:

Malala is now recovering from her attack and has the support now of a lot of the world. There are many campaigns and petitions out there to help Malala. There is even one to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Watch the video and read more about her here:

How would you answer these questions?


  • How does this information connect to what you have learned about beliefs or things you have learned from our unit?
  • What new ideas came from this that pushed your thinking in a new direction?
  • What is still confusing about this information? What questions or wondering do you have now?

Malala Day from Education Envoy on Vimeo.


34 thoughts on “Malala Yousufzai: Standing up for your Beliefs

  1. I think she was really brave. This connects to our unit because we’ve been so open in talking about our beliefs. My new thoughts were that I can’t believe people would kill over beliefs.
    I’m wondering how far I would go for my beliefs? Would I take it as far as Malala did?

  2. From that video I believe that all women should have education. I also believe that people should not get shot for their beliefs. Now I am wondering if there are any women in the Talaban.

  3. It was really sad that those guys killed her for their own beliefs. I had heard about it on BBC. I learned that girls should have an education everywhere. Why did those guys kill her?

  4. Why did they shoot Malala because of a Belief?

    She was really brave so she stood up and said her belief that girls should go to school.

  5. I feel really glad I’m living in Japan because there’s no rules like girls can’t go to school and you can stand up for your belief and there’s not much tale ban’s in Japan. Why didn’t the tale ban’s didn’t go to jail?

  6. Here is some of my questions.
    1.Why does malala want to be a doctor
    2.Why didn’t they call the police
    I think she was very brave because she stood up to many people. I never knew that people stalked children

  7. Where did the bullet go?

    I think that she was brave to talk infort of the Taliban. I am still puzzled why the Talibans shot her over her belief.

  8. Here are a few of my Questions..

    1.Was she at least a little scard to speak out?

    2.How they find out she was using a fake name for her blog posting?

    3. How did the people know the taliban had shot her? Because they ran away right after they shot her.

  9. I think it was really brave to stand up for the beliefs. I was wondering at first, that they were normal people but I realized that they were terorists. I was it in the newspaper too.

  10. I think It’s good to stand up for your beliefs. This is a connection, but in one of the newspapers, I read about a woman who tried standing up for her beliefs and then she got home arrested or some thing I think she was in Vietnam.

  11. I think she took a lot of action. I probably wouldn’t be able to do this like her. I wonder why she wants to go to school? I wonder why the Taliben shot her though?

  12. I think if everyone understand other person believe, this will not happen. And also I think she is really brave, because she stand up for her believe and for other girls like her even though she knew that she will get attack.

    The question that I have is ‘ Did taleban got caught? If it’s not why they didn’t got caught?’ and ‘ How did taleban found her even she was using the fack name?’

    I hope Malala is okay!!

  13. I think it is good to follow your beliefs. But not a bad belief. I saw Malala in the newspaper and I was thinking if she was ok. But I found that she was ok so I was relieved.

  14. Hi 5B, it was really interesting to read thoughts and understandings about beliefs. My class (Gr. 3) are just beginning a Unit of Inquiry about their own beliefs and values and how they’re connected to role models. Do you mind if I use some of your information to help them organise your thoughts?

    Mr. Secomb

  15. This is a great unit. I wish we did this in our school.
    I am surprised that this girl has been nominated the Nobel Peace Prize. (They don’t just give those away!)
    I think that we should all stand up to war. (Even if it will kill you.)
    I am confused about wether the girl got her beliefs from herself or someone else.

  16. Hi,
    I read a book just like that called 1000 paper cranes. It is about a girl( Sadako) who tried to survive after the japanese bomb. She tried to fold 1000 paper cranes but when she was folding the last paper crane she suddenly her cancer got very strong and then she died suddenly. I think this relates to Malala Yousufzai because she was brave and strong and stood up her fears like Sadako.

  17. I have read this article online before, I think this blog post is very interesting and very detailed. The way you described this girl makes me think that she was very brave and very confident. I also that the video is really good. Malala Yousufzai reminds me of Sadako Sasaki. Sadako make 1000 paper cranes because she had cancer and she wanted one wish, to cure her cancer. Malala and Sadako are doing very good things at a young age. When Sadako was folding the last crane she died because of her cancer. Malala was brave and strong like Sadako.

  18. I feel very sad how she was shot but I am very glad she survived. I feel very happy that she is supporting the rights of women. Thank you for showing me that a child can make a difference.

  19. Hi 5B! This girl is really brave to stand out for her beliefs. I am happy that she survived. Thanks for telling me about sad but true story. Look forward to seeing more!

  20. I dont understand why education for girls like Malala in certain places are invalid. In my knowledge, school is supposed to be for everyone including girls. I think Malala was brave to stand up for this cause but foolish because she did not know what it would lead her life to. I support Malala’s arguement because I think that girls and boys should have the right to be educated.

  21. Cool story, nice reflection. Hope you enjoyed your unit. In my humble opinion, I think if people would just calm down and be open-minded about everyone’s beliefs, it will be perfect.

  22. She is a great example for many people. Following your own belief is the way to go, do not let anyone change who you are! Malala has changed my mind of being yourself. Malala told everyone about what she thinks and what she wants. She got shot for contesting, yet she stands strong, not holding back. I think this is a really moving and inspiring story about being yourself. I hope she wins, and grant females in Pakistan to be able to have education!
    From, Yuhan.

  23. I read this story in the newspaper. It is a sad story, but I am so happy she survived. I can’t get past the thought that she survived even though she got shot in the head. It is very good that you made a post to raise awareness of Malala.

  24. I think that this is a very sad story because people tried to hurt Malala just because she was trying to stand up for her beliefs of education. Its good that in the end she got a nobel peace prize. I think that this is a very interesting topic and unit to research and learn about. Overall I think that this is a very good and informing post.

  25. I feel that Malala was very brave. I also feel that it was very sad that other people tried to kill her just because their beliefs where different. When reading to what Malala did I now feel inspired to stand up for my self. I also feel that this blog post is very interesting and detailed.

  26. When I was watching the news this story came up. I really find it unfair how in some places people are treated unfairly. Thank you for writing this post. This story is really touching.

  27. I think its very important to stand up for what you believe in and not let anyone change your even if you get hurt, she must be very proud of what she believes in. No one has changed my mind of believing what I want to believe in. She almost died for believing to become a doctor. If you keep believing you can become anything

  28. I feel touched by the support she gets, but if you do realize. Millions of girls in Pakistan could be believing something and getting hurt. It may not be only her that is being hurt, so I think that this isn’t much.
    I wish to study the same unit you are, but it does not connect, so sad.

  29. I feel moved by the effort Malala put into getting a single message to the world. She got shot just to tell that message. I am inspired by Malala, and want to do the same, not for fame, but for Malala and others who don’t have a proper education.

  30. Hi 5B. I feel very sorry from Malala because she fought for a basic human right that everyone should have. We did a unit of inquiry at school about human rights and I think this relates to this. I think Malala was very brave to stand up for herself.

  31. This movie inspired me to fight for her. I wonder why people stalk because of beliefs. Now I know that you should not kill people for their beliefs.

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