We teach a unit on Nelson Mandela in our mainstream ninth-grade English classes (which also include many English Language Learners). Since yesterday was his 91st birthday, I thought I’d quickly pull together a “The Best…” list of accessible sites about him.
You can find also find these links, along with many others, in the Nelson Mandela section of my website.
Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Learning About Nelson Mandela:
This is an impressive interactive from CBS News about his life.
CBS has a video of his first inauguration as President of South Africa.
The BBC has an excellent multimedia timeline of Mandela’s life.
A student-created site has a short accessible biography.
Here’s another simple biography from a student-created site.
A piece from TIME for Kids provides a simple overview of the country of South Africa and its history.
TIME Magazine has a good audio slideshow made on his 90th birthday.
The Biography Channel has some good Mandela resources.
This is a great series of a combination comic book/video/audio narrations about his life, and may be my favorite link on this list.
The Los Angeles Times has a good audio slideshow on Mandela’s release from prison.
How Stuff Works has a series of videos about Mandela.
CNN has a huge number of resources on Mandela.
Students can try this simple game after they’ve learned about Mandela’s life.
This is a good Internet Scavenger Hunt on South Africa that would be accessible to ELL’s.
Here’s the link to another accessible Internet Scavenger Hunt.
U.N. Creates Nelson Mandela Day is a new lesson from Breaking News English.
I’m sure most people are aware of the new movie “Invictus,” starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, that portrays Nelson Mandela’s effort to help unite his country through a rugby team’s effort to win the world championship. There’s an excellent clip from the movie that highlights Mandela’s recognition of the importance of unity and reconciliation (portrayed by Morgan Freeman). It’s on the Wall Street Journal’s website, and is less than two minutes.
Life and Times: Nelson Mandela is a film that’s available for free online.
Nelson Mandela’s Life and Leadership is an audio slideshow from TIME Magazine.
Nelson Mandela Media Center is a great collection of multimedia resources on him.
Awesome Stories has a very accessible feature on the life of Nelson Mandela.
Snag Films has several full-length movies about Mandela that are available online for free. Type in “Mandela” in the website’s search box and you’ll see all the results.
The Associated Press has an interactive on Mandela.
Slate has a slideshow on Mandela.
Mandela’s leadership lessons is a great piece from CNN.
Bikers on a drive to do good for Mandela’s birthday is from CNN.
In pictures: Nelson Mandela marks 93rd birthday is from the BBC.
The Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project is an amazing resource.
Here’s Mandela’s first television interview. You can learn more about it at Open Culture.
South Africa under apartheid in the 1970s is an audio slideshow from the BBC with some excellent photos.
Facing The Truth is the name of a Bill Moyers documentary on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission begun in South Africa after the end of apartheid. We spend some time on the Commission in our ninth-grade unit on Nelson Mandela, so I’m adding it to this list. Here’s a short clip from it:
Here’s a link to another clip from the same documentary.
Nelson Mandela recently turned 94 and, as The Telegraph explains:
July 18 is marked as International Nelson Mandela Day, a UN-backed event, when people around the world but particularly in South Africa are asked to spend 67 minutes of their time on this day to helping their fellow people in recognition of Mr Mandela’s 67 years of public service.
Here are a couple of musical tributes to him (they might not show up on an RSS Reader):
And here’s more from CNN on today.
This short video shows how Nelson Mandela might have written about his life if social media had been around. A video like this could be a great model for students to see before they would do a similar project on a famous figure — whether they would create it out of pen and paper or use one of the tools on The Best Tools For Creating Fake “Stuff” For Learning list.
It could be a great “pre-essay” writing activity to help students get their info organized, and it could also serve as a fun way for students to to feel motivated to want to get more “touches” on materials they’ve already read.
Mandela: An Audio Timeline is from Radio Diaries.
A Fighter With a Camera in Apartheid-Era South Africa is a New York Times slideshow.
The Rocky Road to Ruling South Africa is a Wall Street Journal interactive.
The Mystery of Mandela’s Arrest is an article from The Wall Street Journal.
Here’s a short, touching NY Times video on the life of a child going to school in South Africa:
Mandela: His 8 Lessons of Leadership is an exceptional piece from TIME that appeared in 2008.
The Associated Press has an interactive on Nelson Mandela.
Suggestions and feedback are always welcome.