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Life orientation

Grade 5

Rights and responsibilities

Module 13

National festive days and the south african anthem

National festive days in South Africa

We celebrate a number of festive days in South Africa. Think of Workers Day (1 May), Youth Day (16 June) and National Heritage Day (24 September).

Activity 1:

To do research on and write about a national festive day

[lo 2.5]

(Work in pairs)

The teacher writes the names of various national festive days on pieces of paper and one learner per pair draws a topic from a bag or hat. As a homework assignment, you must then do research on and write a few paragraphs about that festive day. Learners give feedback by reading their paragraphs to the class. All the written pieces could then be pasted on a large poster and displayed on a wall in the classroom.

Here is an example of such research:

The significance of our National Heritage Day

Heritage Day was originally Shaka’s day, but it was never a public holiday. The Zulu people, however, celebrated 24 September for many years as a special day in the Zulu culture and tradition.

When the new government came to power in 1994 they decided to acknowledge those days that had previously been overlooked. In order to involve all the different population groups in the country, it was decided to rename the day and call it Heritage Day. This day in 1995 marked a turning point in the history of our country.

On the very first Heritage Day, 24 September 1995, one of the most important composers of our country was honoured. A monument was erected to honour Enoch Sontonga, the composer of our national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. At the same time his tomb was declared a national monument.

The national anthem of South Africa

Activity 2:

To learn the words of the national anthem

[lo 2.5]

Do you know the words of our national anthem? Write out the words as attractively as you can on a sheet of paper and decorate its edges with a colourful pattern. It may be a good idea to use the colours of our national flag.

Plan a special Heritage Day celebration for your school. Who would you invite as guests? Which songs would you sing at assembly? Which special person in South Africa would you like to honour on Heritage Day?


LO 2


The learner will be able to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to constitutional rights and responsibilities, and to show an understanding of diverse cultures and religions.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 applies children’s rights and responsibilities to a range of problem situations;

2.2 discusses instances of stereotype, discrimination and bias, and presents a plan to deal with them in own local context;

2.3 discusses the significance of friends in times of tragedy and change;

2.4 discusses the contributions of women and men in a range of cultural contexts;

2.5 discusses festivals and customs from a variety of religions in South Africa.


The learning material in modules 8 to 13 link very closely with that of module 1-7, but now the emphasis is on human rights. Respect for cultural values and the promotion of understanding and tolerance for diversity in the community are given priority. Activities centred around racism also offer the opportunity to identify and address possible violations of this nature in the school or community.

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Source:  OpenStax, Life orientation grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10983/1.2
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