Nelson Mandela Biographical Article and Activities for ESL

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26 Ratings
Last Minute ESL
Formats Included
  • PDF
12 pages
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Last Minute ESL


In this ready-to-go biographical article and activity mini-unit about Nelson Mandela, the late South African civil rights leader and former president, Beginner to Intermediate ESL students practice reading and responding to informational text. It can be used for an in-class activity, homework, or an emergency sub plan. I designed this product with upper-level elementary, middle school, and high school ESL students in mind because I often find resources that are appropriate for my students' language levels, but not their age levels. My goal is to create ESL materials that are appropriate for both. Included in this product are:

1. Mandela biography (2 pages)

2. Vocabulary: Academic vocabulary (Tier 2 & 3 words) in bold print throughout reading. Vocabulary chart, adapted from Learner's Dictionary, at the end of the reading with definitions. Parts of speech and singular/plural nouns are also identified in the chart.

3. Spelling Practice: Students unscramble vocabulary words and write the correct spelling in sentences taken from the reading.

4. Vocabulary Practice: Students complete cloze sentences with the correct vocabulary words. Sentences are out of the context of the reading.

5. Vocabulary Cards: Words and definitions on cards. Great for matching activities, such as Memory, or word walls.

6. Grammar: Students conjugate verbs from reading into past tense.

7. Text Feature Identification: Students identify text features like title, subheadings, topic and concluding sentences, and sequence of events.

8. Question Annotation: Students underline question word once, verbs twice, and circle the subject.

9. Reading Comprehension: After students annotate questions, they answer reading comprehension questions using complete sentences.

10. Cause and Effect worksheet based on the reading. Includes writing prompt question: "Nelson Mandela disagreed with apartheid and wanted to change South Africa. What is something that you disagreed with and wanted to change in your life?"

11. Paragraph Writing Outline: A graphic organizer with sections for topic sentence, details, examples, concluding sentence.

12. Paragraph Writing Template

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Total Pages
12 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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