Schools for Girls

3, 4, 5

Respond to the text of Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter, a picture book about a school in Afghanistan. This book inspires a discussion around the importance of education and what people can do to promote schooling for all around the world.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session
  • Identify Afghanistan on a world map.
  • Name obstacles faced by some children trying to get an education.
  • Describe the work of a nonprofit organization to help people meet their needs.
  • Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter
  • privilege: an advantage that some have and others do not
  • rights: things or services that are owed to you as a citizen or member of a society
  • service: taking action to benefit the well-being of others
  • philanthropy: giving time, talent, or treasure or taking action for the common good
  • Winter, Jeanette. Nasreen's Secret School. Beach Lane Books, 2009. ISBN: 978-1416994374


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Locate Afghanistan on a map and name some of the countries and topography surrounding it.

  2. Before reading aloud a book that takes place in Afghanistan, give a summary of some of the history of Afghanistan (found on the inside cover of the book). Talk about recent events in the region. 

  3. Read aloud Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter.

    • Talk about what life is like for girls in Afghanistan.
    • Discuss how schools help students like Nasreen and why it is good for everyone in the country for all children to be educated.
    • Discuss what people can do to help girls and boys who do not have access to school.
  4. There are nonprofit organizations that raise money to build schools and provide resources (books, buildings, wells, and bathrooms) to make it easier for families to send their children to school. Identify some organizations (Heifer International, Girl Up, UNICEF). Ask them how they think these organizations get money to do this (fundraising, donations, grants). Ask them to brainstorm how young people might be able to raise money for educating children around the world.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.