Debate... Would you share this with 5th graders?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mrs Teacher, Oct 11, 2013.

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Would you share this article with 5th graders?

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    25.8%
  2. No

    23 vote(s)
    74.2%
  1. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2013

    Down below I have copy and pasted an article found at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/2012/10/14-year-old-girl-shot-for-going-to-school-in-pakistan/

    I got into a discussion with some teachers at my school regarding whether it is appropriate to share this with 5th grade students. It was presented as an example for a writing prompt. I was just curious about some other opinions. What do you think? I have my opinion, but figured I'd open the discussion to others first.

    14-Year-Old Girl Shot For Going To School in Pakistan

    Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who dared to speak out against a ban on female education, was shot in the head by gunmen who stopped a school van and asked for her by name.

    Pakistani doctors removed a bullet from 14-year-old’s Malala’s head. The Taliban shot the child campaigner in a horrific attack condemned by national leaders and human rights activists.

    Reports say a masked man stopped the school van in the Swat Valley, a beautiful mountainous part of Pakistan where extremist Islamic militants affiliated with the Taliban have been fighting for control.

    Another gunman jumped in the rear of the van asking for Malala and as the driver tried to speed away, he shot her and escaped. Three other students survived.

    Doctors have successfully removed the bullet from Yousafzai’s head, but she remains in critical condition.

    Her father, an educator and a member of a local peace Jirga tribal council, told reporters that “She is all right…. Please pray for her early recovery and health.”
    Who shot Malala?

    Various extremist groups that unite under an umbrella organization known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or the Pakistani Taliban, have bombed hundreds of schools in the tribal regions and in the Swat Valley.

    In 2007, the TTP ruled the area with an iron fist, destroying non-religious schools and setting up independent courts that administered a harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

    Taliban militants specifically targeted Yousafzai for her work to encourage women’s education and rights.

    Three years ago, Yousafzai won international recognition for writing a blog about her experiences for the British Broadcasting Corporation. In her diary, Yousafzai chronicled life in the Swat Valley under the brutal rule of the Taliban, who carried out public floggings, hung dead bodies in the streets and threatened families that allowed their girls to go to school.

    In recent years, nearly 460 schools have been damaged or destroyed in the tribal regions.


    Malala’s diary described injustice

    In one entry, she wrote: “On my way from school to home I heard a man saying, ‘I will kill you.’ I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else.”

    In 2011, Malala was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize for the blog she wrote under a pseudonym to protect her identity. She also received the National Peace Prize in Pakistan, had a school named after her and quickly became an outspoken critic of the Taliban in Pakistan.

    She began writing the diary for the BBC when she was just 11.

    Read her blog in its entirety here.
    Taliban says she is a target because she is a “Western-minded girl”

    A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said the Islamist group carried out the attack after repeatedly warning Malala to stop speaking out.

    “She is a Western-minded girl. She always speaks against us. We will target anyone who speaks against the Taliban,” he said by telephone from an undisclosed location, according to the New York Times.

    Ehsan added that if she survived, the Taliban will try again to kill her.
    “Even adults didn’t have a vision like hers”

    Pakistan’s prime minister and U.S. officials condemned the attack.

    “We have to fight the mindset that is involved in this. We have to condemn it,” Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf told the Pakistani Senate. “Malala is like my daughter and yours, too. If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?”

    Pakistan’s top military official, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, called the shooting “inhuman” and a “heinous act of terrorism.”

    Kayani quoted the Prophet Muhammad: “The one who is not kind to children, is not amongst us.”

    Documentary filmmaker Samar Minallah, who worked with women in the region, told the Times that Malala “symbolizes the brave girls of Swat.”

    “She knew her voice was important, so she spoke up for the rights of children. Even adults didn’t have a vision like hers.”

    – Compiled by Thaisi H. Da Silva and Allison McCartney for NewsHour Extra
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2013

    I chose not to read the whole article. I can see where it's going, and choose not to subject myself to reading it. I know that what's in the article would keep me up at night.

    If I gave it to my 10 year old, 5th grade daughter, she would be in tears. Tonight. And tomorrow. And unable to sleep in between. And, at 10, she is totally helpless to do anything but lose sleep and feel bad.

    So, NO, I would not subject 10 year olds to that article. If the idea is to get them writing, there are lots and lots of other options that would, in my opinion, be far more appropriate.
     
  4. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Oct 11, 2013

    I would not share it. I agree with Alice...it would have the kids in tears. When big things happen in the world, like the Newtown tragedy last year, I leave it up to the parents to decide what to tell the kids. I would not want my son hearing the details of that in school for a writing assignment.
     
  5. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2013

    Yeah my opinion was to NOT share it. I just think the imagery is too graphic. I'm not a parent, but I could imagine what a parent would think about their 10 year old child reading about a girl being shot in the head and about dead bodies being hung in the streets. What irked me was the response from some of my colleagues. I think they interpreted this article as rigorous because of the complexity of the issue. In this situation, it seems like they're confusing risque with rigor. The main argument they had was that in our population (inner city, high crime, high poverty) our students are already exposed to violence. Also they probably watch R rated movies and play video games like Call of Duty. I don't buy that as an acceptable reason. I chimed in and said that if I read this in 5th grade I would be especially upset. They replied "Well you were raised differently" (i.e. upper middle class suburbs). So you're saying that because these kids come from broken homes we can expose them to violence and disturbing content?? Not to mention the fact that some of my students are just as innocent as I was and have parents who do not let them play Call of Duty or watch R rated movies. The whole conversation still bothers me.
     
  6. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2013

    Perhaps not this specific article, but I really like what Malala stands for. I know a lot of kids would be shocked to hear that there are kids out there fighting to go to school. Malala was 11 when she started writing for the BBC, the same age as many 5th graders. I think her story is an inspiring one that would put things in perspective for a lot of students.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2013

    Isn't that even more of a reason NOT to bombard them with still more violence??? Isn't there enough in their young lives already????
     
  8. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2013

    My thoughts exactly. I was trying to explain that there are equally rigorous articles on the same story that exclude some of the disturbing content.
     
  9. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2013

    I wish I thought of saying this in the midst of the argument. Ugh so true... :dizzy:
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2013

    I wouldn't share the whole article, but I would share a bit of it.

    I did share a bit about Malala with my 5th grade students. It is that fine line that we walk as teachers to share the truth about this courageous 14 year old girl yet make sure that we are sensitive to not scaring our more delicate students.
     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Oct 11, 2013

    I agree, microbe! Also, it's all over the news, so many kids have already at least seen or heard something about her. One of my third grade kids asked me about her before I had seen the story!
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2013

    :thumb:Malala has become quite the phenomenon...I'm sure there is a less violent, positive message story out there about er tat is appropriate for young middle school students.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 11, 2013

    Just as when I taught the Holocaust and civil rights to my students, I would be careful about how I shared the facts. I would give a general overview of the state of female children in other countries, particularly in regards to education. They are old enough to hear that.
     
  14. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Oct 11, 2013

    I teach 5th grade, and NO, I would not share this article with my class. I teach in the inner city, and I cannot understand why your colleagues would choose this article to promote a writing activity. I would imagine your colleagues would have a lot of explaining to do to parents.
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 11, 2013

    Malala was just on 20/20, and wow...that girl is a powerhouse. I would definitely share her story, just not THAT one.
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 11, 2013

    I just read the title and decided no. My child was learning about suicide bombers in 5th grade and had to call home and we had to come get him because he was so upset.
     
  17. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2013

    I'd have to say no for 5th graders. High schoolers could handle it, and maybe some middle schoolers, but I don't think it would be appropriate for a 5th grade classroom. Some students might be mature enough, but I would leave it up to their parents rather than taking the risk myself
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 12, 2013

    I agree with some others here: I would share her story, but not necessarily this version of it. This girl is amazing. I would focus less on violence of the event and more on her incredible attitude and hopefulness after the event.

    If you haven't seen the clip of her on The Daily Show the other day, you are missing out. The best bit starts at about 4:30.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjGL6YY6oMs
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oct 12, 2013

    I agree with those that are saying that I would share her story, but not *this* story. She's an amazing young woman and her courage and positive attitude in spite of horrific circumstances are worth talking about, but 10 year olds don't need to know the brutal details.
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 12, 2013

    There has to be a way to tell about her passion and struggle for education without talking about the particulars of her injuries. You can mention she was hurt but rescued, and then she moved to England where she could continue to fight for the right of every child to go to school.

    Malala is remarkable despite the attack on her life, not because of it.

    I learned a no-holds barred account of the Holocaust when I was in 5th grade. My Hebrew school teacher decided it was the only way to get my class to be serious and behave in class. To this day, I strongly question his showing "The Twisted Cross" to 10-year olds. It gave me nightmares for years.
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 12, 2013

    I wouldn't show graphic, brutal images of violence about any topic. The worst images I shared with the class were of groups of people being sprayed with water hoses. The kids were astonished that police or their government would do this to its own citizens.
     
  22. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2013

    I didn't read the article, but I agree that the story itself can be told. I use a site called www.teachingkidsnews.com with my fourth graders. It uses stories specifically written for students. I have gotten positive feedback from parents who are surprised their children can contribute to a discussion on current events.
     
  23. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 12, 2013

    This is for high school kids, who can process things better than 5th graders. Not jr. high either - they are sooo emotional and this is not a good thing for them to know in detail.
     
  24. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 12, 2013

    I agree with others who have said yes to her story, just not using this article. People magazine just did a story about her as well. There are plenty of other resources that could be used.
     
  25. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Oct 12, 2013

    When we study this region in geography class, I share a children's book called Nasri's Secret School. It is a very engaging true story of how girls would study secretly in Afghanistan. I'm interested in the discussion here because I was trying to decide if I would use Malala's story. I intend to buy her book anyway.
     
  26. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Oct 13, 2013

    Thanks for the link mt! :)
     
  27. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Oct 13, 2013

  28. musicgirl094

    musicgirl094 Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2013

    I don't think I would show the article to grade 5 students, but you could discuss Malala and what she stands for, sparing the graphic details. Try finding another article that discusses her philosophy on girls' education, or another article on the importance of education, or something to that effect.
     
  29. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 13, 2013

    You're quite welcome! I hadn't visited the site for a while, so it was funny that there would be a story about Malala on the front page. I believe it's a Canadian site, but there are a lot of stories there.
     
  30. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 13, 2013

    I would have had nightmares for days if I had to read and then write about that article in the 5th grade. I agree with the others in that there are much better articles to give to these young kids.
     
  31. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Oct 13, 2013

    5th grade is a tough age, and I think sometimes it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking they are older than they really are. By 5th grade, they look more like adults, they have sophisticated language skills, and some of them have been exposed to... well... things they probably shouldn't have. Ultimately though, they are still kids. I don't know when the magic age would be for an article like the one here, but I think it's more high school.

    Drives me crazy as a third grade teacher. I have two young ladies reading at a high school level, but everything that's at their reading level is too mature for them. Argh.
     

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