The life of Nelson Mandela
A lesson plan inspired by the work of South African comic book company Umlando Wezithombe
Key Stage:KS1 History National Curriculum: Primary History. This lesson plan supports the KS1 requirement: Pupils should be taught about: the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. KS1 English National Curriculum: English Key Stage 1 and 2 English. Years 1 to 6 Spoken language Pupils should be taught to: -articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions - use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating and hypothesising debates
Overview:We have chosen six key episodes from the life of Nelson Mandela as depicted by the South African comic book artists of Umlando Wezithombe. Show the pupils the six videos featuring episodes from Mandela's life. There are group discussion suggestions relating to each clip and additional facts and quotes that are downloadable from the bottom of this page.
1. The birth of Mandela in Umbezo and the move to Qunu.
Watch clip 1 and then ask the class:
Where was Nelson Mandela born?
Could his parents read and write?
Why did they decide to send him to school?
How do you think Mandela felt about being given a new name at school. How would you feel if you were given a new name by your teacher?
2. Growing up in Qunu and running away to Johannesburg
Watch clip 2 and then ask the class:
What sort of things did Mandela spend his time doing in the country?
What did he learn from the Regent?
Discussion topic. What does being ‘politically aware’ mean? Are the group aware of any current political issues in the UK?
3. Living conditions for black people in South Africa under apartheid
Watch clip 3 and then ask the class:
Why did black people have to travel long distances to work?
Did white people have to carry a Pass Book?
Discussion topic. Get the group to discuss why the African Government of the time were controlling the free movement of black people.
4. The Pass Book burning protests and the Sharpville massacre
Watch clip 4 and then ask the class:
What was the black African response to the Sharpville massacre?
Discussion topic. When Nelson Mandela burned his Pass Book he knew that by doing so he was breaking the law. Get the group to discuss whether breaking the law is ever the right thing to do?
5. Arrest and trials
Watch clip 5 and then ask the class:
What does evading the authorities mean?
Nelson Mandela defended himself in court wearing the traditional dress of an African chief. Ask the group to discuss what messages Mandela was trying to send out with this action.
6. Imprisonment on Robben Island
Watch clip 6 and then ask the class:
How old will you be in 27 years and what do you think you might be doing?
Can you imagine what it would be like to not see your family for 27 years?
Discussion topic. When Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison, how do you think he would have felt? Would the group be as forgiving as Mandela to the people who locked him away for such a long time.