Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When A Hero Dies ...

As many of you know, this past Thursday, December 5th, 2013 one of the greatest Civil Rights activists of all time, NELSON MANDELA, passed away.
Many students knew about his death from their parents and from the recent news coverage. However, I wanted them to really realize that a piece of history occurred this week! For myself, I can remember (vaguely I admit) the talk about his Walk of Freedom and the eventual fall of Apartheid. This connects me to this incredible event in history much like older generations can with the Civil Rights movement here in America. By discussing this event, we give our kids the ability to connect with REAL, LIVING history. Years from now, when their children/grandchildren, learn the great deeds of Nelson Mandela, they have a story - "I remember when he died and what he did for his people".

Due to this important event, we paused, and took some time this week to remember this great modern day, REAL LIFE HERO.

During reading, we CLOSE read an article on his life and accomplishments. We were all amazed at how similar the fight for equality was in South Africa to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. There were lots of connections between him and Martin Luther King during discussion. We discussed that while it is sad, racism/prejudices and bad people in powerful positions treating people unfairly is not just an American issue. Throughout history, people have fought for freedom in various ways and that those who are willing to sacrifice and do what they believe is right become our REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES!
We also discussed what a REAL Superhero was:
  • Courageous
  • Stands up for what is right - no matter what
  • Protects other people (not always themselves) 
  • Strong (emotionally, not necessarily physically) 
  • Fights without violence (killing is never the key - even for Marvel Superheroes!)
    Thinks of others (not always themselves) 
  • Patience 
  • Persistence 
  • Kindness 
  • Forgiving (not holding grudges and become bitter)
Using this information, we wrote about why we felt that he was a Superhero. 
Lastly, we also watched the following sections that featured Nelson Mandela from CNN Student News located on the links below.
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