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October 3, 2013

Why is it important to educate girls? – Lesson Plan

By 10 x 10


World, Education, Social Issues

Estimated Time

One 30-45 minute period

Grade Level

Grades 7 – 12


Students will:

  • Explain the positive impact that educating girls has on families and communities.


Students will learn and think critically about the variety of reasons why it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure that all girls, across the globe, have access to an education.


When girls are allowed to go to school, they have a significant impact on their family and community. According to Camfed, when you educate a girl she will earn up to 25 percent more and reinvest 90 percent of her income in her family. This reinvestment in her family means her children will be more likely to go to school and be immunized, leading to healthier, more productive individuals and communities. The spreading of prosperity and influence is called the ripple effect. A girl’s education is about more than just the individual; it is about the future of her family and her community.


Explain to students that they will be reading an article about a woman who was determined to finish her education.

Ask students what they believe is meant by the term ripple effect when it refers to educating girls. Record answers on the board. This is an important concept -ensure that students understand that when one positive change happens, others follow and the impact grows.

A good analogy is tossing a pebble into water. The effect grows as the ripples keep spreading and have an impact far beyond the spot where the pebble originally fell. The same is true for educating girls. One girl’s education affects not only herself, but her family and community. Encourage students to keep this concept in mind as they read.

As a class, read the following article: $5 Changed My Life.

The article tells the story of a woman who, against tremendous odds, finished her education.

After reading the article, encourage students to list the obstacles the woman faced.

While the obstacles are important, the critical point is the positive impact these women’s choices have had on others. Ask students:

  • Who helped this woman be successful?
  • How is this woman impacting other young girls?
  • How is she educating the rest of the world about issues related to girls’ education?
  • How is she influencing public policy?
  • How do you believe this woman’s family has been impacted by her education?

Have students write an essay describing the woman’s ongoing impact on others, otherwise known as the ripple effect. How is this woman’s life an example of the ripple effect of educating girls? Encourage students to predict how they believe they can impact the world once they complete school. What do students believe their ripple effect will be?

Extension Activities

  • Encourage students to write about what their future might hold if they finish high school versus their future if they do not graduate.
  • Have students write a research paper on a woman making a difference in the lives of others.
  • Encourage students to research an international aid organization and learn about its impact on others.
  • Investigate the Girl Effect website and the 10 x 10 website.

10 x 10 is a feature film, Girl Rising, and a social action campaign, created and launched by an award-winning team of former ABC News journalists in association with The Documentary Group and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions. We use the power of storytelling and the leverage of strategic partnerships to deliver a single message: educating girls in developing nations will change the world

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