Michelle Obama on the power of education and self-belief

In December 2018, Michelle Obama paid a special visit to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, London, to talk to pupils about empowerment through education and the important role of self-belief in achieving your goals.

The Penguin Talk saw over 250 girls from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Mulberry School hear directly from the former First Lady of the United States in her only visit to a UK school to mark the publication of her memoir, Becoming

The event was filmed, with the video available to watch below.

Downloadable teaching resource

A free teaching resource, based on the central themes and ideas of Becoming, is available to download here.

Please note that this resource is designed with Key Stage 5 students in mind. The activities can be used to form one hour-long lesson plus extension tasks, or individually for shorter tutor time or PSHE/Citizenship sessions. Learning outcomes of the activities are mapped to the Government's Careers Guidance for FE Colleges and 6th Form Colleges, and the CDI Framework for Careers.

  • Becoming

  • An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States, now a No.1 Sunday Times bestseller

    'A genuine page-turner, full of intimacies and reflections' Evening Standard

    'A polished pearl of a memoir' New York Times

    'A rich, entertaining and candid memoir. And overall Obama's a fun person to sit alongside as she tells you the story of her life . . . it is as beautifully written as any piece of fiction' i

    In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

    In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.

    'Offers new insights into her upbringing on the south side of Chicago and the highs and lows of life with Barack Obama. . . a refreshing level of honesty about what politics really did to her. I have read Barack Obama's two books so far, and this is like inserting a missing piece of reality into the narrative of his dizzying journey' Guardian

    'I found myself lifting my jaw from my chest at the end of every other chapter . . . this was not the Obama I thought I knew. She was more' Independent

    'An inspirational memoir that also rings true' Daily Telegraph

  • Buy the book
  • Becoming

  • What's your journey of becoming? Based on Michelle Obama's bestselling memoir, this gorgeous journal features an intimate and inspiring introduction by the former First Lady and more than 150 inspiring questions and quotes to help you discover-and rediscover-your story.

    "It's not about being perfect. It's not about where you get yourself in the end. There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become." - Michelle Obama

    In writing Becoming, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama shared her own extraordinary journey to help create space for others to tell their stories and to give people the courage to discover the power of their own voice. With this journal, she now provides you with the encouragement to find value in your own personal journey of becoming. Printed on cream writing paper, with a grosgrain ribbon, foil-stamped cover, and removable half-jacket, Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice includes thought-provoking prompts designed to help you reflect on your personal and family history; your goals, challenges, and dreams; what moves you and brings you hope; and what future you imagine for yourself and your community. Writes Mrs. Obama in the Introduction to the Becoming journal, "I hope you'll use this journal to write down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, in all their imperfections, and without judgment. . . . We don't have to remember everything. But everything we remember has value."

    These pages will help you capture your own voice and journey so you can nurture your sense of belonging. Inside, you'll find an opportunity not only to take heart in the experiences that brought you to where you are today, but also to feel empowered to take those next steps, wherever they might lead.

  • Buy the book

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