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Nikesh Shukla

Language: English
Genre: Activism, Identity, Sports
Age group: 12-14, 15-18
Audience: Young People

Nikesh Shukla joined us for a special Book Week Scotland and International Men's Day broadcast. Hear about his novel The Boxer, the impact of experiencing racist abuse, and how sport can empower and enrich young peoples' lives. Nikesh also discusses why it’s so important for young people, and particularly young men, to talk about their mental wellbeing.

Our learning resource on challenging racism in school(this link will open in a new window) contains a mix of activities which you can use in school to explore prejudice and discrimination further.

The broadcast includes discussion on racism, including an extract from The Boxer which describes a racial assault. You can find further information and support on this subject through Childline(this link will open in a new window), Citizen's Advice(this link will open in a new window) and Support Line(this link will open in a new window).

If you only do one thing...

We know time is tight, so here is just one activity you could do before or after watching Nikesh Shukla's event.

Telescoping personal writing activity (LIT 3-20a, LIT 3-25a, LIT 3-26a, ENG 3-27a, ENG 3-30a)

In the event, Nikesh talks in detail about how his personal experiences have informed and influenced his writing. This writing activity is just one way to explore a personal experience and translate it onto the page.

  1. Take a memory. Maybe a first memory, maybe a recent experience that has made an impact on you. What is the memory? Write it down in a few words.
  2. Now focus in some more, as if you had a telescope and were twisting it to let you see more clearly. How old are you in this memory? Where are you? What are you doing?
  3. Now, focus in more closely. What else is happening? Who else is there? What are they doing?
  4. More closely still. What else can you see around you, what objects or scenery?
  5. Now, twist the telescope again and sharpen the focus still further. What can you hear, smell?
  6. And focus in again. What do you remember feeling or thinking?
  7. And focus in once more – what other details do you recall, however small, that stick in your mind from this moment?

Once you have your notes you can shape them into a piece of writing about your memory. You can use all or some of the details you’ve noted down. The aim of this writing activity is to pull the reader into your memory, adding more detail as you go, until they too are immersed in the experience and can understand your thoughts and feelings.

For more activities to support personal writing in your class, see our guide to personal writing below.

For shorter clips from this event visit the BBC Scotland Learning(this link will open in a new window) website.

A full transcript of this event is available to download below.

Get Young Scot points

If you're a Young Scot member aged 12+, you can claim rewards points for watching a teen Authors Live event on demand! Your points code is A9K77D22