Invictus

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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. Watch a Video
Curriculet Details
67 Questions
30 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum designed for twelfth grade students contains interactive videos exploring similes and metaphors and theme, as well as annotations that enhance understanding of mentioned historical events and drive students to make deep connections. Students will be challenged to use textual evidence to answer Common Core questions, and explore the themes of unity and equality. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Homework #3

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The author uses this poem by William Ernest Henley to introduce a major theme of the book. Which of the following themes is introduced to us by the poem? 

CHAPTER I - BREAKFAST IN HOUGHTON

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Consider why the bodyguards may have needed the extra rest today. Make a prediction as to what might be happening later in the day that will test the guards as much as Nelson Mandela himself? 
The 1995 Springboks rugby team, pictured here, united the people of South Africa for the first time.  (This annotation contains an image)
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Bekebeke is against the Rugby match because he feels that _____. 
The phrase, "he awoke a bag of nerves," is a metaphor. Watch the video below to see why writers use metaphors and similes to make their writing better. As you continue reading, look for metaphors and similes and consider how they improve the writing. (This annotation contains a video)
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The sentence, "Rugby is like a giant chess match played at speed, with great violence, and the Springboks would be meeting the All Blacks, the best team in the world and one of the finest ever seen," is an example of which of the following types of figurative language? 
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Explain the physical perils and the political risk Nelson Mandela will face on the day of the rugby match. 
Below is an interview with Linga Moonsamy. Watch it and listen for his feelings on the rugby match. See if it helps you visualize the people featured in the book. (This annotation contains a link)
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From Moonsamy's testimony, we can infer that Nelson Mandela is extremely ____. 
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Even with the dangers and risks involved, it is important that Mandela displays his loyalty and support to the Springboks in order to ___________________. 
Pictured here is South Africa's old flag. For many citizens of South Africa, this flag represents the shame and pain of the apartheid era. The three flags in the middle are the Union Jack, the former Afrikaner republics of Orange Free State, and the South African Republic in Transvaal. (This annotation contains an image)
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The simile, "Like Homer's Odysseus, he progressed from challenge to challenge not because he was stronger than his foes, but because he was cleverer and more beguiling," tells us that Mandela _____.  

CHAPTER II - THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE

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Why is it strange for President P. W. Botha to arrange a meeting between Mandela and Coetsee?  
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Botha offers to free Mandela on the terms that Mandela may not do anything that, under apartheid law, will lead to his arrest. Mandela refuses to agree to this offer claiming that under apartheid, no black is actually free. This illustrates that Mandela is which of the following? 
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In what year is the ANC founded? 
Watch this short video on Che Guevara. Consider how Che Guevara's history is similar to Nelson Mandela's. (This annotation contains a video)
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What two tools are available to Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment which help him to understand the Afrikaner?  
Watch this video, which explains theme. Afterward, consider how Nelson Mandela is able to win over Sittert through talk of rugby, exemplifying an emerging theme: that rugby can unite people.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Along with others, Mandela is granted what privilege toward the end of his imprisonment?  

CHAPTER III - SEPARATE AMENITIES

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Explain the meaning of the metaphor, "Paballelo was the black shadow of Upington." Specifically, focus on what it conveys about the black townships?  
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Explain how comparing apartheid to the Boks demonstrates the brutality associated with the latter? 
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Until what age can black children attend school?  
After watching this video on personification, think about what this particular example, "it was a menacing expression of the vast black sea that might rise and engulf them," shows us about the fear the whites have of losing control of the country.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Why is Justice Bekebeke arrested? 

CHAPTER IV - BAGGING THE CROC

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Use the title of this chapter, "Bagging the Croc," to make a prediction about the focus of this chapter.  
Consider what this simile tells us about the next place Mandela will be held. 
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The sentence, "The worse the Botha regime treated blacks out on the street, the better it treated Mandela," describes a stark contrast. In your own words, explain why this is happening. 
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Why is Mandela's prison location changed to such a nice place which includes several luxuries including a pool, up-to-date technologies, and a gym?  
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What does it mean to "take the long view"? 

CHAPTER V - DIFFERENT PLANETS

Here we see a very unjust justice system. Read the following article on an American trial referred to as the Scottsboro Case and consider ways that South Africa's justice system in 1989 and earlier mimics that of America's in 1931.  (This annotation contains a link)
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Here we learn that Francois's family struggles financially, yet they are able to afford maids. What does this tell us about the salaries of black maids? 
Francois Pienaar, captain of the Springboks from 1993-1996, plays a major role in uniting South Africa through rugby. He himself goes through a major change in how he sees the world, his own government, and black South Africans.  (This annotation contains an image)
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The Pienaar family can best be described as _______.  
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Explain what Arnold Stofile means when he compares opium to rugby.  
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The book describes growing up black in South Africa is often ____________. 
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Anton Lubowski went against the majority to do the right thing. Think of a similar example from modern society and explain here. 
Watch the video on the literary device, hyperbole. Consider the hyperbole, "Next day, the final one of the Upington trial, the courtroom was again furnace hot." Consider why the author would compare the inside of the courtroom to a furnace. What does this illustrate about the mood of the room?  (This annotation contains a video)

CHAPTER VI - AYATOLLAH MANDELA

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini organized a revolution against the Shah of Iran's government. When Khomeini returned from exile, people demonstrated, eventually leading to the turnover of the Shah's government to religious rule. Later, Khomeini became the country's supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution. Notable events during his time in power included the taking of American hostages, now known as the Iran Hostage Crisis. An Ayatollah is a powerful religious and political figure. As you continue reading, consider why the author uses this term to refer to Mandela. (This annotation contains an image)
On June 16, 1976, in protest of forced education instruction in Afrikaans, over 20,000 students protested in Soweto, a town outside of Johannesburg. In response, police open fired on the unarmed students, killing 350 people. Though tragic, the riots gained attention from the international community and shed light on the brutality the South African government was using against its black citizens. The Soweto riots are attributed with beginning the end of apartheid.  (This annotation contains an image)
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After being treated so badly by white South Africa and knowing his fellow black citizens went through similar struggles, why does Mandela work so hard to reach out to white South Africa? 
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Mandela quickly and easily wins the love and admiration of the journalists. Which of the following are not so quickly moved by his words and objectives? 
Quiz 1 
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Personification is when an author provides a non-human thing with human-like characteristics. Explain how Mandela personifies the people.  

CHAPTER VII - THE TIGER KING

Throughout this book, we see people driven by fear. Here, we see a group of white people fearing they will lose the different things that they've had in their hands for so long. As you continue reading, consider what tools Nelson Mandela uses to soothe these fears.  
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In the highlighted sentence, "Better known as the AWB, their red-and-black insignia consisted of three sevens arranged in such a fashion to resemble the Nazi swastika," explain an inference you can make about the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging group? 
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Here, the Afrikaner is compared to a tiger through the use of metaphor. Which of the following is the cause for the tiger-like attitude? 
The article below explains the Jim Crow Laws established in America in 1876. While reading the article, consider connections between America's use of Jim Crow Laws, the Separate Amenities Act, and the Soweto Uprising of 1976.  (This annotation contains a link)
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In your own words, summarize the idea behind the Race Classification Board and changing into an new race. Why would this be an option in South Africa?  
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Braam Viljoen is fiercely _____ apartheid laws while Constand Vilijoen is fiercely ______ of them. 

CHAPTER VIII - THE MASK

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Upon release from prison, what is Justice Bekebeke's motivation for becoming a lawyer? 
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Which of the following cause many people to be mad and let down after the first serious international Springboks game in twelve years?  
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Although Mandela is incredibly successful as a political leader, he appears to have done what as a family man? 

CHAPTER IX - THE BITTER-ENDERS

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Constand Viljoen founds the Afrikaner Volksfront which fights for a "Boerestaat". A "Boerestaat" is described as being what? 
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Eddie Von Maltitz is a white farmer from the Orange Free State. He forms which of the following political parties? 

CHAPTER X - ROMANCING THE GENERAL

The sculpture below, a part of the Voortrekker Monument, depicts the scene of Piet Retief and Dingaan striking a deal to live peacefully side-by-side. Notice the physical and attire differences between the two sides. (This annotation contains an image)
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The story of Piet Retief and Dingaan is told to white South African children in order to illustrate ______.  
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What two reasons does Mandela provide for why white South Africa, led by the Volks, will lose a civil war? 
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Mandela does not think very highly of De Klerk, especially in regards to him winning the Nobel Peace Prize alongside himself. Explain this animosity. Knowing what you know of the situation, do you agree with De Klerk also winning the award or do you believe it should have gone to Mandela and the ANC? 

CHAPTER XI - “ADDRESS THEIR HEARTS”

Listen to this version of "Die Stem" and read the translated lyrics. Also, the lyrics are translated into English. Draw your own conclusions as to why the lyrics are offensive to black South Africa and perhaps to all non-Afrikaners.  (This annotation contains a video)
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After listening to both anthems, explain why Nelson Mandela is opposed to replacing "Die Stem" with "Nkosi Sikelele"? 
In contrast to "Die Stem," here are the lyrics of "Nkosi Sikelele." Compare the lyrics and the audio; like "Die Stem," how may "Nkosi Sikelele" be offensive and unwanted as a national anthem to certain groups of people? (This annotation contains a video)
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Consistently, we see Mandela give all people, even those who openly oppose or have oppressed him, ___. 
The flag, introduced in 1994, is the same flag South Africa uses today.  
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Mandela's number one priority as president is what? 

CHAPTER XII - THE CAPTAIN AND THE PRESIDENT

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Nelson Mandela describes Francois Pienaar to be all of the following except which?  
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The term, "oceanically empty," conveys what about Francois's feelings? 
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What does the simile, "made Pienaar feel, as he put it, like a boy sitting at the feet of a wise old man," convey about the immediate connection between Mandela and Pienaar? 
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Which of the following best describes the general mentality of black South Africa in 1994?  
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John Heyns spends many years as a pillar of the apartheid establishment. Later, he sees apartheid as a sin. What exactly causes this change in opinion and point-of-view?  
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Why it is so important to Mandela to keep the Springbok name even though it represented such hurt feelings among black South Africa?  

CHAPTER XIII - SPRINGBOK SERENADE

Think back to the video you watched earlier on theme. Think back to when the theme "One Team, One Country" emerged. How is it applicable to Mandela's purpose for the whole country, not just the rugby field? 
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Until singing it for the first time himself, with what does Weise associate "Nkosi Sikelele"? 
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Why is James Small so passionate when singing "Nkosi Sikelele"?  
Quiz 2 

CHAPTER XIV - SILVERMINE

Watch this clip from the 2009 movie, Invictus, based on this book. This video clip from the 2009 movie by the same name depicts this highlighted selection. Use it to help you understand the setting, the passion, and the interaction between players and President.  (This annotation contains a video)
Below is a picture of the Newlands Rugby Stadium. When looking at the photograph, consider the security risks that PPU had to undertake in order to keep Mandela safe during this game.  (This annotation contains an image)
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To help the rugby team further understand the horrors of apartheid, Du Plessis arranges for them to visit ______. 
Below is a picture of Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island.  (This annotation contains an image)
Below you will see a picture of prisoners breaking rocks in the prison yard of Robben Island.  (This annotation contains an image)

CHAPTER XV - DOUBTING THOMASES

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The use of the term, "hair-raising" allows us to realize that protecting Mandela during the game is _____.  
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How does South Africa win the match against France? 
The unity that Rugby is bringing to South Africa is so apparent that even rival teams, who most likely would want nothing more than to win the World Cup themselves, are happy for the Springboks. 

CHAPTER XVI - THE NUMBER SIX JERSEY

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Describe the difference between the crowds  Mandela met in Newlands Stadium in Cape Town for the game against Australia and the one he will meet today at Ellis Park. 
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The metaphor, "a rhinoceros in ballet shoes," tells us what about Jonah Lomu? 
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In general, do the Springboks seem to be favored to win? 

CHAPTER XVII - “NELSON! NELSON!”

You can listen to a rendition of "Shosholoza" performed by The Drakensberg Boys Choir here.  (This annotation contains a video)
Here is a video of Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing live with Paul Simon on their collaborated version of "Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes." As you watch, gain a deeper understanding of the culture rooted in their music. (This annotation contains a video)
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The message on the bottom of the plane reads which of the following? 
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Consider the deep meaning behind the highlighted sentences. Explain, in your own words, what Mandela is a metaphor for and exactly what is uncorked. 

CHAPTER XVIII - BLOOD IN THE THROAT

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What does this simile illustrate about Jonah?  
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Who steps in front of Small in a gesture to show Jonah that it will be hard to take down Small? 
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Explain what the simile, "There were moments in the game when Lomu looked like a buffalo under attack from a pride of lions," illustrates about the Springboks. 
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Which player made the kick which put the Springboks ahead? 
Here is a picture of the champions. (This annotation contains an image)

CHAPTER XIX - LOVE THINE ENEMY

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Linga Moonsamy tells us that as he walks onto the rugby field after the game, he "never imagin[ed] it would express itself on such a scale." What exactly is he referring to? Why is the moment particularly emotional for him? 
Pictured below is the iconic moment when Mandela congratulates Pienaar.  (This annotation contains an image)
Consider what the hyperbole, "There wasn't a dry eye in the country," conveys about the mood in the country directly after the rugby match.  
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By the end of the rugby match, which "Doubting Thomas" finally begins to support the Springboks? 
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The newspaper, Die Burger, claims that there is a bit of irony surrounding the Springboks' season. Explain why the paper refers to rugby as ironic.  
Quiz 3