Great sites to learn about Nelson Mandela


Today the world lost one of it's most influential and well respected activists in Nelson Mandela who died at home aged 95.

Mandela almost singlehandedly raised the worlds attention to the injustice and inequity directed at blacks in South Africa, and eventually as prime minster changed these many wrongs which he grew up with as a second class citizen in his own country.

The effect of Mandela's actions were felt around the world

His story is one that should be the staple of every student at some point and I thought I might put together a brief list of worthwhile resources about this great man.

BBC Nelson Mandela - Plenty of interviews and biographical content that tell his amazing story.

Oxfam - Here you will find complete structured lesson plans about Mandela and his actions that changed racial inequality around the world.

The history of Apartheid in South Africa - some easy to follow information about something many of us have all heard about but very few completely understand.

The Guardian - Resources about Black History month that are linked to Mandela

Obviously there are hundreds more - Please feel free to contribute others in the comment section below.

Explore the Wonders of the World with Google

Thanks to Engadget for this Article:

Google has already been taking us to exotic locations through Street View, but now it's hoping to enshrine the most famous places on Earth through the World Wonders Project, one car (or trike) at a time. A total of 132 sites, ranging from natural landmarks like Yosemite to much more synthetic constructions like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, have both an on-the-ground view as well as 3D renderings, videos and loads of history from UNESCO and the World Monuments Fund, among others. The educational bent is so conspicuous that Google is offering up some of the content in downloadable bundles for schools along with the usual web-based look. All of it promises a much more fascinating, hands-on approach than a dry textbook, and it's a unique way of bringing encyclopedic knowledge to an era of Chromebooks and the cloud.

5 Historical Misconceptions Explained - Maybe?

This is an interesting video to share with your students for a couple of reasons in my eyes. 

The first one is that maybe there is a great deal of truth to these new found facts and raises the question of why do we find the need to alter history to suit our needs?

And secondly, how do we ensure our history is truthfully recorded and left for future generations to analyse?

We are already seeing living history challenged and debunked such as the absolutely nonsensical debate that possibly man never landed on the moon. Then certain sectors of society claiming that that Jewish Holocaust of WW2 never actually happened.

They are 20 years only a slick youtube video away from a classroom full of kids believing them, and carrying that story on as fact with no eye witnesses to challenge them.

History should be a recount of factual events for generations to reconstruct and analyse, not a dangerous game of Chinese whispers. 

Plenty of great discussion material for teenagers.

Devices of Wonder: Cinema through the Ages

The Devices of Wonder Web site explores the ancestors of modern cinema, cyborgs, and other optical devices. The Web site was created in conjunction with an exhibition, which presented the parlor games, natural wonders, moving image devices, and scientific instruments that have entertained and educated humans for more than four centuries.

The Web site allows visitors to experience some of these inventions first hand, offering a unique opportunity to operate objects that are too rare and fragile to be handled.

The objects are fun to play with, and they also teach us about our social, scientific, and visual history. Below are some ideas for how you can explore the exhibition themes with children.

After you visit the Devices of Wonder Web site, you can return here for some teaching ideas.

The History of English in Ten Minutes

This is a great series that students will love which breaks history down into nice little bitse sized chunks you can flesh out in the classroom.  I really hope you enjoy going through this with your students.  A word of warning is that some of the language and content may not be totally appropriate to younger students.


The secret of teaching the Holocaust to students

I came across a great website full of content on teaching the holocaust to students.  These activities have been developed for teachers to use as a guide. Their intent is to give teachers a framework to follow for use in a Holocaust unit of study. The philosophy behind these activities is based on constructivist pedagogy, brain-based learning and the awareness of the theory of multiple intelligences. It is hoped teachers will use them and build on them to fit the needs of students, taking into account their age, maturity, and ability levels.

It is strongly recommended that teachers read the Guidelines for Teaching the Holocaust published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum before designing activities or using the ones we offer in A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust. The suggestions and cautions the Holocaust Museum offers are important and invaluable in delivering Holocaust instruction. The sensitivity of the subject matter requires careful consideration when designing curriculum and guiding students in presentations and research.

Access the holocaust student activities here.

Kidipede - Simple information for students

Kidipede is a kids' encyclopedia, online since 1996. A lot of kids use Kidipede for school reports or for homeschooling. You can find out about Ancient Greece or Ancient Egypt, or how to make yogurt, or about why fires need air to burn. Kidipede will tell you who invented algebra, and what happens in the Iliad, and what Confucius said. Click here to access it.

How numerals 0 - 9 got their shape - Interesting.

Read this first, then view the slideshow above.  Do you know why numbers look like they do? Someone, at some point in time, had to create their shapes and meaning.  Watch this short presentation and then you will know how our Arabic numbers were originally created a very long time ago and what logic the people that created them used to determine their shapes.  It is really very simple and quite creative.  You have to admire the intelligence of a person that created something so simple and perfect that it has lasted for thousands and thousands of years and will probably never change.  When the presentation gets to the number "seven" you will notice that the 7 has a line through the middle of it.   That was the way the Arabic 7 was originally written, and in Europe and certain other areas they still write the 7 that way.  Also, in the military, they commonly write it that way. The nine has a kind of curly tail on it that has been reduced, for the most part nowadays, to a simple curve, but the logic involved still applies.