Recommended age group: 11–18
Time required: one or two 45–60 minute sessions
Equipment: Plan your speech and Paralympic timeline activity sheets, Mandeville place information sheet, Paralympic inspiration and Paralympic movement assembly presentation (optional), video player (optional).


Based on research around the significance of Mandeville Place, and the development of the Paralympic Movement, the students will plan and present a legacy plan, celebration event or work of art to honour the amazing achievements of Paralympians and supporters of the Paralympic movement around the world. Students must develop their idea and create a two-minute persuasive argument to convince others that their idea is the best way to celebrate the Paralympic Movement. 

The students could work with a partner or in a small group to carry out the research and planning tasks and present their argument to the rest of the class during English lessons. And/or this could become a fun form/tutorial challenge where the winning legacy idea could be presented in an inter-form or year group competition to come up with an overall winner (or top three).

Warm up

  1. Briefly introduce the lesson aim and challenge to students: think of a legacy plan, celebration event or work of art to honour the amazing achievements of Paralympians and supporters of the Paralympic movement around the world and present it to the class.
  2. Begin with a word association activity. Give students sets of post it notes, or paper to write, then ask them to note down as many responses as possible to the following questions. Ask each question separately, giving students one minute to note down ideas on each. Remind students that the idea is to put down as many words as possible, they don't need to think of the perfect word, just get their brains working! 
    • What do you think of when you hear the word Paralympian?
    • What do you think of when you hear the word celebration? 
    • What do you think of when you hear the word legacy? 
  3. Take a few example for each of the questions, or ask the students to stick their post its in three spaces around the room and take a minute to walk around and read the range of responses. 

Explore: the Paralympic Movement and London 2012

  1. Recap the aims of the challenge to the whole group. Use the Advanced Paralympic Movement presentation as an initial stimulus to introduce the Paralympic Movement and the different ways it was celebrated at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. You could also/alternatively watch extracts from this film of the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. Make sure you check out 0.13:57 - 0.17:50 (Miranda quote, enlightenment, equality, Professor Steven Hawkings) and 3.15:49 - 3.20:00 (Gravity, Newton, big apple crunch).
  2. Talk about the symbolism of the apples in the Opening Ceremony and share memories of the amazing achievements of our Paralympians at London 2012 or a subsequent Games.
  3. Use the Paralympic Inspiration presentation to focus on some of the speeches and quotes that featured in the Opening Ceremony such as Prospero's speech to Miranda (played by a disabled athlete suspended high up in the air, symbolising the amazing journey that athletes and others with disabilities have made since Ludwig Guttmann's pioneering work at Stoke Mandeville hospital after the Second World War).

Explore: making a persuasive argument

  1. Share and note down ideas about what kinds of words and phrases are used in persuasive arguments (e.g. short, strong sentences, colourful adjectives, memorable moments and stories and well-reasoned points based on evidence).
  2. Discuss some of the most memorable advertisements, jingles and branding messages that persuade consumers to buy things, or to donate to a worthy cause, etc. What kinds of words do they use?
  3. Remind the students of the Paralympic Values, which they should try to use in their two-minute argument (equality, courage, determination and inspiration).

Challenge: create a Paralympic legacy idea and speech

  1. Students can now work in pairs to create and discuss their own Paralympic legacy idea. Provide the Paralympic Timeline activity sheet, Mandeville Place information sheetParalympic Inspiration presentation to provide background information about the Paralympic Movement and its symbols and support students in developing their ideas.
  2. If appropriate, students can also carry out further independent research into ParalympicsGB, its athletes and how other events or movements are celebrated e.g. to investigate the huge part that science and technology has played in the development of opportunities for athletes and other disabled people.
  3. Based on a combination of research and sharing of creative ideas, each pair decides an a creative legacy idea and prepares their two-minute speech - using the words and phrases discussed with the class and the Plan Your Speech activity sheet to build an effective argument.
  4. Allow time for the speeches (in a follow up session if required).

Cool down

  1. Discuss the different ideas and ask students to vote for their favourite. 
  2. Return to the word association game from the start of the class/ session. Working independently, ask students to add to their notes, or create a summary statement to explain how they would define the words legacy, celebration and Paralympian. 


  • Display some of the legacy suggested by the students, along with extracts of their speeches and research in a prominent position in school and invite students, parents, staff, governors and visitors to vote on their favourites.
  • Extend the challenge to the whole school by making a shortlist of ideas (chosen as a result of very persuasive arguments based on thorough research) and asking students to present their case in an assembly, where there could be a vote to decide the overall winner.