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Class 4 :: English Literature :: The Two Questions - A traditional story in dramatic form (Cambridge Connection English)

  The Two Questions - A traditional story in dramatic form (Cambridge Connection English)

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Why I don't wear earrings (from I am Malala)

 by Malala Yousafzai


Read and answer

1. In any story, we can identify why something happened (cause) and what happened due to the cause (effect). Complete the following graphic organizer based on details from the lesson. One has been done for you.




Malala was always called a ‘genius’ and was known for participating in everything.

When a new girl named Malka-e-Noor joined Malala’s class, she did not consider her as a competitor.

A few days after losing her toy phone, Malala saw her friend Safina playing with a similar phone.

Malala also started pocketing her things, mostly toy jewellery  like earrings and necklaces.

Malala grabbed a handful of almonds from a cart while she was in the bazaar with her mother.

Malala’s father immediately went and bought the whole lot of almonds from the vendor and put them in a glass dish.

Since this was the second time Malala had been caught stealing, she couldn’t bear for her father to be disappointed in her and was very relieved when the whole incident was over.

Since that day, she stopped herself from stealing a single penny or telling a single lie.

2. Why did Malala like to play with her plastic mobile phone?

=   Malala's father was always talking on his mobile so she loved to copy him and pretend to make calls on her plastic mobile.

3. Why is Malala's mother 'unmoved' by her explanation for stealing from Safina?

Malala's mother is 'unmoved' by her explanation for stealing from Safina because Safina is younger than Malala and she could have taught her better. She could have set an example.

Reference to context

4. "Soon it became a compulsion. I did not know how to stop."

a. Who is 'I' in these lines?

=   Malala is 'I' in these lines.

b. What became a 'compulsion' for the speaker? Why?

= Stealing things of Safina became a 'compulsion' for the speaker.

Safina stole her plastic pretend mobile phone. When Malala saw her plastic phone with Safina, she realized she had done with her and she would do the same to her. She used to go to her house to study, so whenever she was there she would pocket her things, mostly toy jewellery like earrings and necklaces. Soon this became her habit to steal.

c. Which incident finally made her stop?

=  When she was little she went to the bazaar with her mother and spotted a pile of almonds on a cart. She could not resist herself and grabbed a handful of them. Her mother had told her off and apologized to the cart owner. Her mother wanted to buy the almonds for ten rupees. But the cart owner replied her that almonds are very costly. Rupees ten is not enough for that. Her mother was very upset and told her father. He immediately went and bought the whole lot from the man and put them in a glass. Malala knew that her father had not much money to buy those almonds and the almonds were the reminder of her guilt. From the day on Malala stopped stealing things.

5. " "They knew you were stealing," she said. "They were waiting for you to come clean but you just kept on."

I felt a terrible sinking feeling in my stomach. I walked back to my mother with my head bowed."

a. Who is 'she' in the first paragraph? Who is 'I' in the second paragraph?

= In the first paragraph, 'she' is Malala's cousin Reena.

In the second paragraph, 'I' is Malala herself.

b. What does it mean to have a 'sinking' feeling?

= To have a 'sinking' feeling means to be scared of the upcoming situation.

c. What does the phrase 'to come clean' mean?

= The phrase 'to come clean' means to keep nothing hidden. Here Malala's family were expecting that she should tell all the incidents about Safina and the plastic phone herself. But she didn't.

Reflect and answer

6. What is the importance of Malala's father in her life? Point to the parts of the lesson which make you say that.

= Malala was very close to her father. He is very fond of her. He inspires her a lot. He helps her to get moved from a sad situation.

He bought the whole of almonds for Malala as soon as he listens that she tried to steal almonds from the cart in the bazar. In spite of not having much money, he bought all the almonds for his daughter to give her a lesson. He always wants to be proud of her daughter.

Malala made her proud with her first-in-year trophies at school. Or the day their kindergarten teacher, Miss Ulfat, told him she had written, "Only Speak in Urdu," on the blackboard for my classmates at the start of an Urdu lesson so we would learn the language faster.

Her father consoled her by telling her about the mistakes great heroes made when they were children. He told her quotes of great people like Gandhiji to learn from them and be a good citizen.

7. List the characteristics of a memoir, based on Malala's style of writing.

= A memoir is a book which the author writes about his/her own life's events.

In a memoir, the author tells about his/her childhood and school stories. Malala depicts her school life when she was seven years old. She refers to Malka-e-Noor. She tells about her best friend Moniba.

Then the author tells about her dwelling place. She tells about how her father used to talk over phone all the time. She used to copy him pretending to make calls on her plastic mobile phone.

In a memoir, the author tells about the most important events of his/her life and the lessons he/she learnt from them. Likewise, Malala tells us the incident of Safina and the incident of the almond shop. And the lesson she learnt from them.

8. "I think everyone makes a mistake at least once in their life. The important thing is that you learn from it. Do you agree with this statement from the lesson? Support your answer with an example from your own life.

= Yes, I totally agree with the statement from the lesson. Malala makes mistake by stealing things of Safina and grabbing almonds from the shop. She learnt lesson from those mistakes. She never took anything and never tells a lie again.

To tell my own example, I can share that I am very pampered by my father and he gives me pocket money everyday. Sometimes, I take money from his purse. One day he had some money for some important event in his office. I did not know about it and I took a large amount of money from it. My father went to office and he found out that he had not enough money in his purse. Ultimately he had to borrow money from his colleagues. He came back and informed us the matter. I was so very ashamed of that. From that day, I do not forget to ask my father before taking anything which belongs to him.

About the  Author :

Malala Yousafzai (born 1997 in Swat Valley, Pakistan) is an activist for children's and women's rights to education and inequality. When the military group, Taliban, started shutting down girls' schools in her region, Malala spoke out against their actions as an act of protest. She survived an attack by them, and became an international symbol of education for girls. In 2014, she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. One of her most inspirational quotes is "One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world."

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