I begin the lesson by sharing with my students that in the past, African Americans were treated differently than white Americans. At one time in our nation’s history, African Americans and white Americans could not attend the same schools, use the same restrooms and water fountains, or eat at the same restaurants. This separation was called segregation. During this assessment, you are going to use information learned from two articles and your studies on 2 great leaders – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. As you prepare to write, think about how these leaders overcame problems, including segregation. As a pre-writing activity, we complete a Venn diagram to compare Dr. King and Nelson Mandela. On the Venn diagram, students include information they read in the Scholastic News articles, "King's Dream" by Laura Modigliani and "Nelson Mandela Dies" by Joe Bubar, as well as information learned from other sources on Dr. King and Nelson Mandela. On the King side of the Venn diagram, they included the following information: American, jailed for short periods of time, Baptist preacher, assassinated, lived in a nation where white people were in the majority of the population. On the Mandela side of the Venn diagram, they included the following information: South African, had to wear disguises and hide out from the government, sentenced to life in prison, jailed for 27 years, helped to write a new constitution for South Africa, became the first black president of South Africa, died of an illness. On the overlapping part of the Venn diagram for things that were common to both leaders, they included the following information: great leaders, had a dream of equality for all people, heroes in their country and in the world, jailed, won the Nobel Peace Prize, non-violent, black men, social activists, symbols of peace, justice, and equality.
Two texts will be used in this writing assessment - "King's Dream" by Laura Modigliani and "Nelson Mandela Dies" by Joe Bubar. I instruct my students to write an informative essay which compares and contrasts the experiences Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela faced and how they overcame them. They are to be sure to determine main ideas that are supported by key details from the texts. They are to be sure to remember to give their essay a title and follow the conventions of standard written English. The assessment is timed. They have 50 minutes to complete it.