If I were reading this story (Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson, 2013) with my class (which I am going to be) I would use this as a framework for my discussion:

**Please keep in mind that I crafted these questions for middle-age students based upon my recommendation for students who should read this story.

BEFORE You Read:

  • What does discrimination mean?
  • Do we have discrimination in our own country? Our own lives? What?
  • What does it mean to HATE?
  • What is the opposite of hate?
  • Who is someone that has changed your life? Why?
  • Who is someone that has changed our world? Why?
  • Do you know who Nelson Mandela is? (this will be a good spot to start reading the story)

AFTER You Read:

  • First, what struck you about the story? What was the most POWERFUL moment for you?
  • What was Nelson’s most challenging obstacle? Why?
  • What do you think scared him the most?
  • What sort of discrimination did he face? The people of South Africa?
  • Do you think the hatred ended when Nelson Mandela became president? Why/Why not?
  • Do you think it would have been different for him in any other part of the world?
  • 27 years; what does that mean to you? Compare it to something you read.
  • Can you compare South African apartheid to anything in our history? What?
  • What was Nelson Mandela’s strongest characteristic?
  • The book did not show much weakness on Nelson Mandela’s part; do you think the author should have? Why/why not?
  • What was his legacy? Write it in a news headline.
  • Why is it important to learn about him?
  • What is something else you want to learn about regarding this topic?



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