Reflecting and Connecting to Nelson Mandela’s Narrative

Developer’s Name:

Anneke McCabe, Ph.D. Candidate, M.Ed., B.Ed., B.Mus.


Grades 7 & 8

Lesson Description:

This lesson will begin by activating previous learning about “Ubuntu” (Tutu, 2013, 0. 22), allowing students to reflect on significant events and pivotal moments that contribute to the narrative of South Africa and Apartheid. As you discuss significant events of Nelson Mandela’s narrative reflect on courage, character, resilience, and “spirit of Ubuntu” (Tutu, 2012, 0. 28). Guide discussions, supported by “critical community conversations” (Mogadime, 2021, p. 10), in teacher-peer conferences, as well as class wide discussions that helps to support students in connecting to learning about South Africa to life in Canada and the student’s individual identities. Encourage students to communicate through oral storytelling as the class pulls together a consolidated timeline of significant events of Nelson Mandela’s narrative. Choose a timeline application that best suits the needs of your classroom and your school board’s privacy policy.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Lead reflective discussions about equal rights, protest, and racism, racial segregation by learning about Apartheid and document significant events in Nelson Mandela’s life.
  • Draw important conclusions from resources that help to connect significant events in Nelson Mandela’s life and pivotal moments in the history of South Africa as you construct a shared class timeline.
  • Reflect on Global Economic Development in South Africa and quality of life, through Nelson Mandela’s life’s work.

Relevant Ontario Curriculum:

Geography and Critical Literacy: Reading and Writing

  • Gather and organize information from a variety of sources that investigate apartheid and significant events in Nelson Mandela’s life.
  • Formulate questions to guide investigations into issues related to the global development and quality of life from a geographic perspective.
  • Evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about issues related to the struggle in South Africa according to what you are learning through reflective class discussions on Apartheid, protest, racism, equal rights, racial segregation, and the strength of people.
  • Analyze how various factors, have affected colonial legacy and the economy of South Africa.

Relevant Ontario Curriculum Documents

Human Rights Instruments:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations, 1948

  • Article 1 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  • Article 2 – Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
  • Article 3 – Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • Article 4 – No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
  • Article 5 – No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


Please review Teaching Nelson Mandela Teacher Tools:

  1. Definition of Terms & Responding to Readings about Apartheid – Racism, Oppression, Trauma and Torture (Mogadime, 2021)
  2. Teaching Nelson Mandela: African Epistemology Stages of Learning – ARCC
  3. Teaching Nelson Mandela’s Biography: A Lens for Studying Life Stories
    *Consult with your School Board for permission to use websites

Lesson Plan Details by Stages of African Epistemology:






  • Educomm, S. (2012, March 6). Ubuntu told by Nelson Mandela. [Video]. YouTube.
  • Mogadime, D. (2021). “Responding to Readings about Apartheid – Racism, Oppression, Trauma and Torture” (p.10 – 11). In Mogadime, D. (TNM Advisory Group Chair and Project Lead) with Senior Advisory Members, Anneke McCabe, Sally Hooper and Sherilyn Lehn. Teaching Nelson Mandela: Learning Experiences and Lessons to Support Grade 7-12 Classrooms. Canadian Museum for Human Rights, EPublication.
  • Nations, U. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights by United Nations. United Nations General Assembly.
  • Ontario Ministry of Education. (2006). Ontario Curriculum Grades 1 – 8 Language. [revised]. Retrieved from
  • Ontario Ministry of Education. (2018). Social Studies Curriculum Grades 1 – 6, History Geography Grades Curriculum 7 & 8. [revised]. Retrieved from
  • Templeton Prize. (2013, April 4). Who we are: Human uniqueness and the African Spirit of Ubuntu. Desmond Tutu, Templeton Prize, 2013. [Video]. YouTube.
  • The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation. (2012, December 15). Ubuntu: A Brief Description. [Video]. YouTube.


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Mandela Global Human Rights: Peace, Reconciliation and Responsibility Copyright © by Dolana Mogadime (Ed.) Project Lead is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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