During his 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela became a symbol of apartheid oppression. He emerged to become the leader of post-apartheid South Africa. In this activity students will read about his life, his writings, and the views of biographers, colleagues, and friends on his life and legacy.
Students will go to the Long Walk of Nelson Mandela Web site to read about Nelson Mandela's emergence and growth as the leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and his eventual emergence as leader of South Africa. Students will answer a series of questions and then write three entries in an imaginary diary of Mandela, covering different stages of his life.
- Students will be able to summarize Mandela's origins and his life.
- Students will be able to apply what they have learned to write three entries in an imaginary diary of Mandela, covering different stages of his life.
Student Web Activity Answers
- Mandela's great-grandfather was a king of the Thembu people. After his father's death, he was raised in the royal household.
- Mandela was originally a lawyer. He first worked in an established firm, and later in a firm he started with Oliver Tambo to represent blacks persecuted by the South African government.
- Mandela led Umkhonto we Sizwe (The Spear of the Nation), known as MK.
- Mandela spent most of his 27 years in prison on Robben Island. During this time, he became a leader among the prison inmates and a national symbol of the anti-apartheid movement, and evolved from a revolutionary firebrand into a mature political figure.
- Students' diary entries will vary but should include detailed descriptions of events based on their readings.
Go To Student Web Activity