Nelson Mandela Curated Multimedia Lesson Plan

Before it became a sovereign nation in 1961, South Africa was held under British rule. In 1948, the policy of apartheid, segregation based on race with the white minority ruling, became official and did not end until 1991. Nelson Mandela was one of South Africa's great leaders in the fight against apartheid. Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918.

Nelson Mandela
Credit: South Africa The Good News [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

MY HERO recommends students read these two essays about Nelson Mandela, written by other great men who share why Nelson Mandela has been an inspiration in their lives.

Nelson Mandela

By: Raffi

Raffi Cavoukian, or Raffi, as he is known to millions, writes award-winning songs about the ecological web. Read his hero essay on Nelson Mandela.

My Father, Rupfure Thomas and Nelson Mandela

By: Paul Rusesabagina

Paul Rusesabagina saved hundreds of lives during the Rwandan genocide. Read his essay on his heroes: his father (Rupfure Thomas) and Nelson Mandela.

The following stories include audio links that allow students to read and listen to the story. Great for ESL students.

Nelson Mandela

By: Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was a legend in the boxing ring and a hero to millions. Read his essay on his hero, Nelson Mandela, who fought apartheid.

Nelson Mandela

By: Jeff Trussell

"Mandela is one of the world's true freedom fighters, and his life and personal triumphs will be remembered long after the world has forgotten the evils of Apartheid."

MY HERO recommends watching this film about Amy Eldon Turteltaub's visit to South Africa's notorious prison on Robben Island with anti-apartheid crusader Ahmed Kathrada, who was confined with Nelson Mandela for 27 years. 

Global Tribe Visit to Robben Island

Produced by:Kathy Eldon - Tom McMahon - Co-producer Amy Eldon

Amy Eldon Turteltaub visited South Africa's notorious prison on Robben Island. (5:07 minutes) 

Discussion Questions

1. How has Nelson Mandela inspired others to action? How does your hero inspire you? Share your story with MY HERO.

2. Nelson Mandela demonstrated perseverance as he fought for equal rights and the end of apartheid. Who do you know working for social justice? Share their story with MY HERO. 

3. What can you do to ensure that the members of your community are treated fairly? Create an action plan and share your story with MY HERO. 


Analyze these pieces of art honoring Nelson Mandela. Pay close attention to the words each artist included. Who is your hero? Create a piece of art honoring your hero that includes words or a quote. Submit your artwork to MY HERO.

Portrait of South African Peacemaker Nelson Mandela by Ben Heine

Nelson Mandela-Freedom, Peace
Credit: Ben Heine

Fight Against Apartheid

By: Justice Antley-Bond

"This is a picture of Nelson Mandela's hand made into a fist raised into the air. It symbolizes that he is against apartheid and we must rid the world of it."

Nelson Mandela

By: Cole Halbert of Toronto, Canada

Learning Outcomes

Students will develop critical thinking skills as they investigate areas of the world where people do not have equal rights based on their gender, race, or sexual orientation. Students are encouraged to create a social justice action plan. 

Teachers: Visit MY HERO for additional curated multimedia resources honoring Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela Multimedia Curated Organizer


Laura Nietzer

The Nelson Mandela lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Related MY HERO Pages

Face of Unity Trailer

Producer: Dir: Adam Radly

Face of Unity is a definitive documentary honoring Nelson Mandela. (2:26 minutes)

Mandela Day Pledge

Take the Mandela Day Pledge to commit to public service.       (2:24 minutes)




Mandela Music Video

Produced by:Marcel Henderson

Celebrating the incredible life and passion of this devoted world leader who stands for peace (4:34 minutes)


Nelson Mandela Foundation | https://www.nelsonmandela.org/

Learn About a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Organizer created on 6/27/2019 8:33:53 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 1/7/2021 1:29:30 PM by Laura Nietzer