When I Was Born

Below is a list of prompts inspired by the memoir I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb (Little, Brown 2013)

1. Write in first person as a character, or as someone you know very well, or as yourself.

Begin with or weave in one or all of the following phrases:

“I come from a country that …”

“One year ago I …”

“Now, every morning when I open my eyes…”

“I long to see…”

“Instead I am …”

“Here there is …”

“When I stand in front of my window and look out, I see…”

“When I was born…”

“I was a girl in a land where…”

2. Write about a day that the speaker’s life changed. Begin by describing what was happening right before things changed. Create a vivid before and after using sensory details (what can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched). 

3. Write about the day that the speaker was born, including what she or he has and hasn’t been told about that day. 

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