The fabulous fate of Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday, December 5, 2013, at the age of 95. His life was marked by the struggle against the apartheid regime, which raged in South Africa. He was imprisoned for 27 years, before being released in 1990. He became President of South Africa in 1994. But who was this man of exceptional destiny?
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The one his compatriots nickname Madiba (the name of his clan) is the descendant of a royal line deprived of his power. Raised in a hut, he would become one of the first black Africans to graduate from college.
And one of the first black lawyers in South Africa.
Madiba will go down in history as the man who led his people to freedom, with wisdom and elegance. Qualities that one seeks in vain in the liberators of the beginning of the century.
Source: La Presse, December 5, 2013
But what has he fought against all his life?
L'apartheid is a Politics racist which was applied in South Africa from 1948 to 1994 and which aimed to systematically separate people black people white.

The racist laws of apartheid:

  • Prohibition for blacks to travel without a kind of passport called the pass
  • No right to love each other or to marry between whites and blacks.
  • Blacks are not allowed to use the same beaches, toilets, schools and hospitals as whites.
  • Some places are reserved for whites and others for blacks, for example, a telephone booth.

Source: Apartheid, on Wikimini


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Watch the reactions from around the world following the announcement of the death of Nelson Mandela;
- Find out who Nelson Mandela was;
- Analyze press articles which summarize the salient facts of Nelson Mandela's life and complete a mind map using them;
- Find information on apartheid policy by consulting press articles;
- Positioning itself in relation to the apartheid policy;
- Geographically locate South Africa and its capital, Johannesburg.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Pooling of prior knowledge

First, show a picture of Nelson Mandela and ask the students if they recognize him.
Have they ever heard of Nelson Mandela? If so, on what occasion?
Do they know what this man has brought to humanity?
To find out how much he was loved and appreciated, watch this video in class :

Death of Mandela: the whole world moved through 20 minutes
Have the students create and display a poster in class. of a timeline of Nelson Mandela's life, using the many photos that can be found of him on the Web. Add a caption to each photo and place on the timeline.
See that apartheid was in effect less than a century ago, in South Africa.

ACTIVITY 2: Explore journalistic texts

Have your students read the following texts:
1. Nelson Mandela, a life of trials and sacrifices
2. Madiba or the power of kindness
3. Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013): a life of fighting
Then, invite them to complete the mind map below to check and structure their understanding:

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download in PDF format (.pdf)


ACTIVITY 3: Inspirational quotes

During his lifetime, Nelson Mandela gave us several inspiring quotes.
Examples of this can be found here.
Suggest to the students:
- display them in the school;
- write in their diary those that inspire them the most;
- add some to the school newspaper or the class blog ...
The important thing is to distribute them!
They could also compose a short text on how they interpret a particular quote and insert their production on their personal blog or in their portfolio.

More about the magazine

Articles Nelson Mandela, La Presse.
Articles Nelson Mandela, Radio-Canada.
Interactive map of African countries
Johannesburg, at the heart of South African culture!

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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