Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Nelson Mandela Centenary : Be the Legacy : resources for teachers

Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018
Be the Legacy

It matters not how strait the gate, 
      How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. 

William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918). The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to “make of the world a better place.” 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.

"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It's an act of justice."

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity - as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.


“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve."

Nelson Mandela

Literacy is one of Mandela's legacy. Literacy is the most important skill for an individual to acquire and develop. An empowerment tool that gives access to further education and new opportunities. And digital skills or digital literacy complete the education in our days, absolutely necessary in the XXI century jobs.
Students in Europe and some other continents are enjoying summer holidays. But Nelson Mandela Centenary can be include into school curriculum new back-to-school, in August or September.

There, teachers will invite students to take action and inspiring to Be the Legacy by celebrating a "Mandela Day at school, a Freedom racing or a Freedom Rugby match. Why not?

Include all the activities into a cross-curricular Civics projet.

credits: Elyx Yak

The official websites UN and Nelson Mandela Foundation have different  resources for teachers and educators.

On Nelson Mandela Foundation :

UN Mandela day:

Teachers must doo a pre-selection of all those resources preparing their lessons to the new back-to-school.

Level:  All levela 

The resources and activities will depend from the level educators are teaching.

Other resources: 

Film Invictus (2009) 

Invictus by Clint Eastwood based on the book by John Carlin

Clint Eastwood, 2009


Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.


Playing The Enemy
Nelson Mandela and The Game That Made a Nation
John Carlin


Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament- the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together. After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks-long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule-to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.

Level: High Junior Schools; Secondary education; Further education ( film & book)

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela
 Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela ((Foreword)
Sahm Venter (Editor)

The 250 prison letters selected, Mandela wrote most of these long, thoughtful pages in the knowledge that few were reaching their intended recipients: his wife, Winnie, his children, or old friends and comrades. The philosophy of “living in truth” is more readily associated. The letters were not a reflection of prison world, they were his escape from it.

 “As a prisoner doing hard labour, I am experiencing considerable difficulty in preparing to write four subjects in one examination, and any concession you can offer in this regard will give me a fair chance of showing competent knowledge in each subject I offer…”

Nelson Mandela, The Prison Letters

You can read the review of the book here

Level: Secondary education; Further education

Poem: Invictus by William Ernest Henley

It matters not how strait the gate, 
      How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. 

William Ernest Henley, Invictus

The poem that inspired Nelson Mandela in his 27 years of prison can be read on Poetry Foundation here or eared (podcast) here

And students will learn more about the British poet William Ernest Henley.

Level: High Junior School; Secondary education; Further education

Mandela Doodle: 

In July 18, 2014, Google celebrated the anniversary of Mandela’s birth with an interactive Doodle. Starting with an illustration of the former leader, young students can click through a number of his most well-known quotes, coupled with illustrations depicting stages of his 'Long Walk to Freedom' by Doodler Katy Wu 

Video for kids:

App for kids:

Mandela – story and games

screenshot : Mandela – story and games
via Best Apps for Kids

“Mandela – story and games” was a picture book biography of Nelson Mandela, especially for kids/pupils, developed by digiSchool for free. An interesting app that has been retired. Each picture represented an important part of Mandela’s life, which were presented by a narrator.

However the video above could be include into primary school curriculum as suggestion to talk about Nelson Mandela - his values and resilience - to the kids in this Centenary year. 

It can be enriched by different activities that teachers must prepare, depending of the age or level they are teaching.

Level: (3rd and 4th grades).

Hope all these resources to celebrate Mandela Centenary could be helpful to my usual readers, teachers from different countries and continents.

"It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Nelson Mandela

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

June in review & World Cup 2018, sport values

World Cup 2018 Russia
Manga & Anime/ Deviant Art
credits: rhymeseithmonth

"Sport is a field of dreams and a school for human values."

UNESCO, World Cup

And World Cup 2018 is finally ended today. France is the champion team. However Croacia was the favorite team. Little country. 

Croatia team
credits: FIFA 2018

Most of all, great team that fought until the end with courage and bravery. Croacia can be proud!

Congratulations to both teams! However must not forget all the teams that fought for their dreams. 


Football has been around since 500 B.C. when Spartans played it as an ancient game. Across centuries, football has evolved as the culture around it has thrived.

Promoting the power of sport values is an important skill we must spread. Fair-play, equality, respect, dignity. Football & sport are a powerful vehicle for social inclusion, gender equality & youth empowerment. And the values of sports are those vital for peace.

And now June in review. Themes, resources, tips and tools for you to try something  new or something different you can include into your lessons.

My usual readers know I write in English, Français and Português. June English and Français.

Here are the most popular posts of the last month:

World Day Against Child Labour : Generation Save&Healthy 

Watch out ! Strawberry Moon most colorful full moon all year : resources 

Bac 2018 ? Derniers conseils ! 

World Oceans Day : Resources 

World Environment Day ! #BeatPlasticPollution ! 

Revenons au Prix Non au harcèlement : les lauréats ! 

credits: Soledad Bravi

Summer holidays? Not yet! August, perhaps? Yes!

Blogging is my free contribution to inspire new and young teachers, by proposing different subjects from Literature to Science or Sports. And of course Environment.

Hope you enjoyed my pedagogical proposals published in June and you included some of them into your lessons.

Summer is here! That's a nice time to think about sun and beach!

I hope that you will have a great weekend! 


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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Schools : A lesson of Mindfulness : Youth soccer team & his coach in Thailand

cartoon: unknown

Youth Soccer team and coach in the cave
credits: AFP/ Getty

"Don't worry!"
This was a group message from the 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave since last 23 June. The boys became trapped when they entered the cave system, leaving their shoes and bags near the mouth of the cave to write their names on the wall.

In a risky operation led by the Thai navy Seals, an international team managed to get the boys through a complicated and often narrow exit route. The boys and their coach had been rescued today, last day of cave rescue.

There was a Portuguese diver who wants to be incognito as the most part of international divers team. Solidarity is this!

Three navy seals and a doctor, who had been with the boys, emerged safely from the cave several hours later.

Former Navy Seal Samarn Kunan

We can't forget navy seal former Thai Navy Seal Samarn Kunan, 38, volunteer, died while trying to help rescue the young football team trapped in the cave Tham Luang Nang Non.

cartoon: unknown
An exchange of letters between relatives has been released after they were found by two English divers the last 3 July.
Below are some messages translated into English:

credits: Thai Navy Seals

How can a youth soccer team aged 11-16 years and his coach 25 years old be so calm, resilient to survive? Meditation was the key of their courage, patience, peaceful mind.

Ekkapol Chanthawong, an ancient Buddhist monk had the tool to all. Mindfulness. Ekkapol Chantawong is the only member of his family who survived the epidemic which overcame his Northern Thailand home town in 2003.

Ekkapol Chanthawong

Before the 25-year-old was a coach to the young boys on the Wild Boars soccer team he spent a decade as a saffron-robed Buddhist monk. He still stays at the temple from time to time and meditate with the monks there each day. at the temple, learning meditation. 

So, Chanthawong honed a skill that served him well and the boys in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave: meditation. 

“I always believed that Chanthawong would help them keep calm and optimistic, and he loved us very much,” 

Ms Sriwichai

Youth soccer team
Composite: Various

Yes, all the team is safeand well, but too fragile to travel to Russia to watch the final game at the World Cup 2018

Their classmates and teachers are preparing a big welcome at schools were they are studying.

"Teacher, don't give us lots of homework!" they asked in the exchange of letters. No, teachers will not give lots of homework. These students will have a careful personal support of the school and teachers.


“Mindfulness is a powerful tool that supports children in calming themselves, focusing their attention, and interacting effectively with others, all critical skills for functioning well in school and in life,”

 Amy Saltzman, M.D., director of the Association for Mindfulness in Education

The implementation of school-based mindfulness programs for children is becoming more popular. Empirical research proving the benefits of mindfulness is only beginning to emerge.

It's not easy. Sitting completely still never is at that age. Yet students must concentrate on their arms, legs and "deep belly breathing." However mindfulness is more and more integrated into schools curriculum. And an experience on math grades shows:

"After analyzing measures, which included behavioral assessments, cortisol levels, feedback from their peers regarding sociability, and academic scores of math grades, the results revealed dramatic differences."

Compared to the students who learned the social responsibility program, those trained in mindfulness scored higher in math, had 24% more social behaviors, and were 20% less aggressive. 

The group trained in mindfulness excelled above the other group in the areas of attention, memory, emotional regulation, optimism, stress levels, mindfulness, and empathy.

Different schools in different countries are implementing mindfulness into school curriculum. More and more teachers are now qualified in meditation exercises to combat pupil stress.

I practice mediation. I'm a Yogi. And often I helped my former students to meditate some minutes before tests class. So I was fascinated when meditation recently started becoming mainstream again. 

Mindfulness/ meditation

"As a part of positive education curriculum, students learn how to combine mindfulness and character strengths techniques. The integration of mindfulness and character strengths offers a number of distinct benefits for student well-being."

The goal is for each young student to develop, integrate, and apply these mindfulness and character strengths strategies when dealing with school/life pressures.

If your are a qualified teacher, or you are a Yogi (as I am), you have the tools to help your students practising mindfulness, a way of making them stop, relax. Now lots of schools have signed up to mindfulness classes, both at secondary and primary level. 

In some countries, some high schools now get pupils to do meditation rather than detention.

Meditation can do a big drop-off in playground aggression, plus a rise in grades. However Richard Burnett, co-founder of the UK project, is wary of these model, especially where mindfulness is used to “correct” bad behaviour as opposed to being a practice in and of itself. 

“If you pitch it like that you’re feeding into precisely the achievement-based culture that’s putting such huge pressure on children,” 

Richard Burnett, co-founder of the UK project

Mindfulness/ NYT

Mindfulness has a valuable place in schools because at its core is the promotion of well being and self-support.

"Incorporating mindfulness into education has been linked to improving academic and social and emotional learning. Also, mindfulness strengthens some underlying development processes - such as focus, resilience, and self-soothing- that will help kids in the long run.”


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Association for Mindfulness in Education
Mindfulness in Schools Education