Mari Sekine

"[Students] saw the reality. They learned how peaceful and wealthy the environments they were in are. They appreciated their parents and also realized the importance of education."

  • School: Keimei Gakuen Junior and Senior High School
  • Grade: 12th
  • Subjects: Global Studies 
  • Number of Students: 35 (approx.)

What is your goal in bringing Girl Rising into your classroom?

My goals in bringing Girl Rising into my classroom are: 

  • To allow my students to learn about the challenges girls face in other countries
  • To encourage my students to share their ideas and thoughts on world issues, especially girls' human rights
  • To prompt students to share what they learned in the classroom
  • To motivate students to stand up and take action
  • To encourage students to continue taking action even after graduating from high school

How do you use and teach Girl Rising? 

My students connect with other students in classrooms around the world through the iEARN Girl Rising project. The iEARN Girl Rising project encourages students to watch the Girl Rising film and share ideas in their classroom and on the iEARN Girl Rising online forum about what they can do to ensure that all girls and boys in the world have the right to a quality education. Participants can also arrange Skype video conferences and share their own learnings and to learn with each other. To learn more about the iEARN Girl Rising project click here

At the start of our GR unit, my students watch Girl Rising and think about the struggles of the characters in the film. Students are then prompted to participate on the iEARN Girl Rising online forum to discuss the film. As part of these conversations, they are expected to share their impression of the film with other students from around the world, while also focusing on broader issues addressed in Girl Rising: poverty, equality of opportunity, gender inequality etc. At the end of our GR unit, we hold a Skype session with a class from another country and discuss the film and its many important topics.

A detailed lesson plan can be found here

Most recently our students connected with students in the United States (including with students in Allen Witten's class, another GR educator), Israel, Morocco, and India. After watching the selected chapter, students from the various countries connect on the iEARN student forum to discuss their thoughts. Students are encouraged to interact by asking each other questions and suggest possible actions and small steps we can take to be a part of finding solutions to ensure the UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 - Quality Education For All. Additionally, students shared and presented their ideas to each other through FlipGrid videos. The FlipGrid videos that students created in this most recent collaboration can be found here

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As part of this most recent collaboration, my class also made a "video letter" for our iEARN collaborator class in Israel. In this video, students showcase the different projects that they worked on as part of their Girl Rising unit. The full video can be found below. 


Which Girl Rising materials did you use?

  • Film
  • Book 

What is your timeline for teaching Girl Rising?

I use Girl Rising as a teaching tool throughout the school year. Usually, we start in late April and watch 2 to 3 chapters, sharing our learnings in class, as well as with other students globally through the iEARN Girl Rising online portal. Then again, in October, we watch another 2 to 3 chapters and share our findings among the iEARN communities. Usually, each unit takes about one to two months.

Did you use any additional resources? 

  • I am Malala 
  • Navila and Malala (written in Japanese)

What has been the impact of Girl Rising on your students? 

It was very interesting to see the different perspectives and comments by students in Morocco on the iEARN forum. Most of the students in the U.S. and Japan said that people in developing countries should stand up and take action to change the situation for the better, but some students in Morocco noted that it was more complicated as these practices are influenced by customs and norms.