Since the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the tributes from global leaders have reflected sentiments that go beyond race, religion, and political boundaries. President Barack Obama of the United States: “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. “He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India referred to Nelson Mandela as “A giant among men”, Prime Minister David Cameron in London declared: “A great light has gone out in the world.” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said Mr. Mandela was “committed to the end of his days to the ideals of humanism and justice. ” We will miss him…
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer key.
Excerpt: Mandela’s Death Stirs Sense of Loss Around the World By L.Polgreen/A. Cowell NYT.
“…In the government’s first announcement of a schedule for ceremonies that are likely to draw vast numbers of world dignitaries and less exalted mourners, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday that the former president’s body would lie in state from Dec. 11 to 13 after a memorial at a huge World Cup soccer stadium in Soweto on Dec. 10. He will be buried in his childhood village, Qunu, in the Eastern Cape region, on Dec. 15 after a state funeral, Mr. Zuma said.
At a service in Cape Town, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, himself a towering figure in the struggle against apartheid that defined much of Mr. Mandela’s life, expressed the hopes and fears of many of his compatriots when he told congregants at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral early on Friday: Let us give him the gift of a South Africa united, one.
As flags flew at half-staff across South Africa, a sense of loss, blended with memories of inspiration, spread from President Obama in Washington to members of the British royal family and on to those who saw Mr. Mandela as an exemplar of a broader struggle.
As public figures competed for superlatives to describe Mr. Mandela, Prime Minister David Cameron declared in London: “A great light has gone out in the world.” Pope Francis praised “the steadfast commitment shown by Nelson Mandela in promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and in forging a new South Africa.
People came together in a way that seems increasingly rare in a nation where the everyday worries of a struggling economy, incessant allegations of government corruption and a sinking sense that a nation born two decades ago into such promise is slipping into despair.
Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, spoke to reporters after attending the premiere of a movie about Mr. Mandela on Thursday, calling him an extraordinary and inspiring man.
The tumult of tributes to Mr. Mandela reflected both his ability after his release from prison in 1990 to reach out to people to forge bonds around the world, and the way in which many leaders and public figures sought him out. His state funeral in coming days is expected to draw a vast array of world leaders. His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, said former President Jimmy Carter.
He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale,” the former heavyweight champion boxer Muhammad Ali said in a statement. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. He is now forever free.” Read more…
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
~ Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela~ (July 18, 1918-December 5, 2013)
Level: Intermediate -Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.
Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Ask students to read the titles of the post and of the actual article. Then, have them examine the photos. Based on these sources, ask students to create a list of words and ideas that they think might be related to this article.
Directions: Have students use this KWL from Michigan State University to list the information they already know about Nelson Mandela, and information they would like to learn about Mandela. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart by Education Oasis for assistance.
- Mr. Rosen is a 40-year-old urban farmer.
- There will be vast numbers of world dignitaries and less exalted mourners.
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a towering figure in the struggle against apartheid.
- Mr. Mandela’s life, expressed the hopes and fears of many of his compatriots.
- As flags flew at half-staff across South Africa, a sense of loss, blended with memories of inspiration spread.
- Archbishop Tutu asked rhetorically whether Mr. Mandela was “the exception to prove the rule.”
- People came together in a nation where there is a struggling economy and incessant allegations of government corruption.
- Britons claim a bond and supported South Africa’s struggle against apartheid but it was a sometimes an ambivalent relationship.
- The tumult of tributes to Mr. Mandela reflected his ability to reach out to people.
- His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide.
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Nelson Mandela was the former President of Ghana and known for his life long struggle against Apartheid.
- Mr. Rosen, a 40-year-old urban farmer chose a rose to represent Nelson Mandela.
- Jacob Zuma is the current president of South Africa.
- Mr. Mandela’s body will lie in state from Dec. 11 to 13 after a memorial in Nigeria.
- Memories of inspiration came from leaders from all over the world.
- The Spanish authorities bathed the Eiffel Tower in green, red, yellow and blue lights — the colors of the South African flag.
- In China, the government refrained from making comments about Mandela.
- Mr. Mandela was closely linked with sports, and was a supporter of South Africa’s national Springbok rugby team that triumphed in the 1995 World Cup.
- Mr. Mandela has nine children.
- In South Africa, only Africans gathered at Mr. Mandela’s home upon hearing of his death.
Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Cliff Rosen heard that Nelson Mandela had died.
- He went out to the sunflowers growing in his garden.
- Rosen cut down a tallest one.
- A special flowers for a special man.
- Flags flew at half-staff across South Africa.
- Public figures competed for superlatives to describe Mr. Mandela.
- People came together in a way that seems increasingly rare.
- The tumult of tributes to Mr. Mandela reflected his ability to reach out to people.
- Mr. Mandela was closely linking with sports.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Reading Comprehension Check
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Have students fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu made the following statement in relation to what people can do (or not) in the fight for justice: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Explain the meaning of this statement.
- In your opinion, how difficult is it to fight for justice and freedom? Do you think there are many sacrifices involved? For example Nelson Mandela served approximately 18 years in the prison on Robben Island for his beliefs. Provide examples for your answers.
- In the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights list specific freedoms granted to the U.S. people. With your group choose 2 or 3 of the ones that you think are the most important. Provide reasons for your choices.
- What would happen in a country where the people did not demand justice? Is there such a country in existence today?
- Mandela made the following comments. Choose 2 of them and provide examples of their meaning. (From Inspirational Quotes by Mandela, Forbes)
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
- “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”
- “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
- “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
IV. Listening Activity
Video Clip: Tribute To Mandela By President Barack Obama
Sentence Fill-ins -Multiple Choice
Directions: Students listen for the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences taken from the statements made by President Obama. They are to choose from the options presented in the list.
Nelson Mandela ___more than could be expected of any man. He no longer ___to us he belongs to the ages. He ___his own ___for the freedom of others. His journey from a___ to a president ___the promise that human beings and ___can change for the better.
His commitment to transfer power, to___with those who ___him, set an example that all ___should aspire to whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. The fact that he did it all with ___and good humor and the ability to ___his own ___only makes the man that much more remarkable. Mandela said “I’m not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” One of the first things I ever did that involved an issue or policy of politics was to ___against apartheid. We should ___for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
humanity, prison, sacrificed, jailed, strive, reconcile, grace, achieved, embodied, belongs, countries, protest, imperfections, acknowledge, freedom,
Questions for Discussion
Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.
1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of Nelson Mandela changed in any way? If yes, describe in what way. If no, describe your original opinion.
2. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask Nelson Mandela if you had the opportunity.