13-18 years

The Nobel Peace Prize 2023

Woman, Life, Freedom

Themes: Human Rights, Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize

Duration: 45 - 90 min
Copyright © Ill. Niklas Elmehed © Nobel Prize Outreach


Task duration: 10 min

For the teacher:

Start the lesson by showing the students the pictures in this PPT.

Let the students have a think individually or in pairs before you have a classroom conversation about the associations. What do the images make the students think about? The goal is to elicit what the students know and to awaken their curiosity.

See notes in PPT for questions you can ask the students.

Task duration: 25 min

Watch the film

Watch the film from the Nobel Peace Center and the broadcaster NRK about this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Narges Mohammadi. Answer the questions below. Discuss the questions in pairs:

About Narges Mohammadi:
-Who is Narges Mohammadi, and why was she awarded the peace prize?
- What has she sacrificed in her struggle?

About the demonstrations in Iran:
- Who was Mahsa Amini – and what does she have to do with the demonstrations in Iran and abroad?
- Who are the Iranian demonstrators, and what do they risk?
- How could young people around the world help the protesters in Iran?
- Narges Mohammadi and the protest movement fight for equal rights for all. What is the connection between rights for all and peace?

Task duration: 25 min

The teacher provides the class with some background information:

Iran has strict laws that limit the freedom of the people. There are also laws that restrict music and dancing. The killing of Mahsa Amini sparked a massive protest movement – in Iran, but also worldwide.

Young people and the use of social media play significant parts in this movement. Teenagers in Iran make TikTok videos of themselves dancing in the school yard, film clips of young girls cutting their hair have gone viral, and people write strong X/Twitter messages about why this matters to them.

The musician Shervin Hajpour decided to use these tweets in his work. That led to the song “Baraye” which means “for/because of”. The video went viral, but was soon taken down, and Shervin himself was arrested. Thankfully, he was released from prison shortly after, but is still awaiting trial. The song is now seen as the song of the movement - and has even won a Grammy award!

Watch and listen to the song.
Hand out post-its and give the students the task:

When you watch the music video:
Write the reason mentioned that made the greatest impression on you.

The students read their reasons out loud.
Do any reasons stand out?

Task duration: 45 min

In this creative writing task, the students will have a chance to explore the perspective of someone who is affected by Narges Mohammadi being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Before you start, you may want to do a bit more research about Narges Mohammadi and the situation in Iran.

Choose one of the tasks:

Ali Rahmani (Narges Mohammadi’s son):
You are in class. You live in France because it is not safe for you to stay in Iran. Your mother, who you have not met in person for eight years, is in prison in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

You remember well the last time you were together. It was a morning before school, and your mother was preparing breakfast for you and your twin sister. You remember her telling you that you need to do well in school. She said goodbye, and shipped you off. When you and your sister returned, your mother was gone. You were eight years at the time.

You receive a text message: “Narges has won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize”. Send a short letter (half a page) to your mother in prison. What would you like to tell her?

You may want to include:
- What do you wish for her in the future
- How you are doing
- Your thoughts on your mother being awarded the peace prize

The Iranian government:
You work for the Iranian government. You receive a call about the activist Narges Mohammadi being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. You see her as a threat to yourself and other people in power. Write a half a page statement about the reactions of the Iranian regime.

Narges Mohammadi:
You are locked up in the Evin prison, one of the most notorious prisons in Iran, because of your relentless struggle for human rights. You have not met your children for several years. You are ill-treated and denied access to proper healthcare.

Your communication with the outside world is limited, but luckily you receive the news that you have won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. Write half a page in your diary about what this means to you.

A mother in Iran:
You live in the Iranian capital of Tehran.. You live under a strict regime which limits your freedom. For example, you cannot leave your home without covering your hair, and you are not allowed to travel without the permission of your husband.

You live with your husband and your son, Armin. Your son has now taken an interest in the protest movement fighting for human rights. He talks a lot about “Woman - Life – Freedom". You are proud of him, but also worried, considering how the protests have been met with brutal violence from the infamous riot police. Many have been injured, blinded, and even killed.

Armin says he wants to join the protests, and he would like you to join him. You are not sure what to do, and need to organize your thoughts. You write a pros and cons list (half a page) about whether to join the protests or not. Is it worth it?