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Resource Pack: Power of the Pen (Secondary)

The power of the pen

Engage students in literacy across the curriculum as they discover the power of writing letters for people whose rights and lives are at risk. Our Power of the Pen resource pack is a compelling way for pupils to explore global issues and build skills in literacy, persuasive writing and self-expression by writing for a real purpose.

Every year we inspire thousands of people to write letters to help stop human rights abuses. These letters hold governments to account, protect lives, and show support to people around the world. Power of the Pen lets pupils discover the impact their words can have as they write letters in support of real people in real danger now. Updates on these cases will be available here.

Power of the Pen resources

  • Developed by literacy specialists to support literacy outcomes and is directly mapped to UK national curricula (pdf)
  • Two lessons and accompanying PowerPoint, activity sheets, case studies, film clip and curricular links. It can be taught as two one-hour lessons or one lesson with homework. All are available for download at the bottom of this page
  • For KS3 English, Citizenship, Geography, Religious Studies/RMPS and Humanities teachers, Literacy Coordinators, and all teachers seeking to build literacy across the curriculum and support whole school SMSC
  • Film: Watch/download Bullet on Vimeo.

Success: Moses freed

A huge thank you to everyone who sent solidarity letters and appeals for Moses Akatugba through Power of the Pen. Moses was facing execution in Nigeria after being charged with stealing mobile phones as a teenager.

Thanks to pressure from tens of thousands of people all over the world, the Nigerian authorities couldn't ignore the injustice dealt to Moses. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State, pardoned Moses in June 2015.

Thank you to all who supported Moses - your actions really do affect lives around the world.

Success: Eskinder freed

A huge thank you to everyone who sent solidarity letters and appeals for Eskinder Nega through Power of the Pen. Eskinder is an Ethiopian journalist and blogger who was sentenced 18 years in prison after criticising the government.

On Thursday 8 February 2018 Amnesty International received the news that Eskinder is to be released. 

Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s East Africa Deputy Regional Director, said:

“It is wonderful news that this brave journalist will soon walk to freedom after seven years spent in jail simply for doing his job.

“He should not have spent a single day behind bars”


Please note that the cases in this resource are now out of date, please browse our Urgent Actions here or here for current cases, or check out Write for Rights.


Lesson plans
Activity sheets 1 - 6 and cover sheet
Activity sheet 4 (editable)
Activity sheet 5 (editable)
Activity sheet 6 (editable)
Teacher notes