A real-life Spider-Man has been richly rewarded for saving a boy dangling from a Paris balcony.
The footage of illegal* immigrant* Mamoudou Gassama’s brave rescue — which saw him climb up the outside of a building — went viral* and now he has been welcomed into the French President’s palace and granted* French citizenship*.
On Saturday night in a suburb north of Paris, the 22-year-old looked up to the fifth storey of a block of flats and saw a toddler dangling from a balcony.
Mr Gassama amazed onlookers as he climbed up and rescued the boy, who is believed to have been left at home alone.
Another man leaning across from the next balcony did his best to hold the boy with one arm before Mr Gassama pulled him back to safety.
Footage* of the rescue went around the world and led many to label the hero “Paris Spider-Man”.
Now his act of bravery could offer him a brand new life.
Mr Gassama is originally from Mali in west Africa and was living in France illegally. French President Emmanuel Macron has now offered him citizenship so he can stay in the country officially and will help him get a job with the local fire brigade.
An incredible 24 hours for Mr Gassama also included a phone call from Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who praised* him for his “act of bravery” and “thanked him warmly”.
“He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here,” she said.
“I told him that his heroic act is an example to all citizens and that the city of Paris will obviously be very keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France.”
Mr Gassama said he had acted without thinking.
“I saw all these people shouting, and cars sounding their horns. I climbed up like that and, thank God, I saved the child,” he said.
“I felt afraid when I saved the child … (when) we went into the living room, I started to shake, I could hardly stand up, I had to sit down,” he added.
It is believed the child’s parents were not at home at the time.
Trapped kids rescued from school camp
- illegal: against the law
- immigrant: has moved from another country
- granted: given
- citizenship: legally allowed to live there and become an official citizen
- viral: watched and shared many times very quickly
- footage: film
- praised: said nice things about someone’s abilities and actions
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
- How old is Mamoudou Gassama and where is he from?
- Name the French President and his palace.
- Who is Anne Hidalgo?
- What job is Mr Gassama being offered? Why would he be good at that job?
- What was his first reaction when he saved the child? How did he feel?
1. Real-Life Super hero!
Mamoudou Gassama is considered a hero by many. What does it mean to be a hero? Write a definition of ‘hero’. You may use a dictionary to help you.
Using this definition, do you think Mamoudou Gassama is a hero? Write a paragraph or two explaining your opinion using evidence from the article to support your opinion.
Mamoudou Gassama has been rewarded for his act of bravery with citizenship in France. As his citizenship has been granted under special circumstances, create a unique citizenship certificate to welcome him into the country. Make sure your certificate explains why he has been granted citizenship and the affect this act has had on many people. Your certificate should look like it is an official French certificate therefore it will need to include some French emblems (for example, the flag or French coat of arms)
Time: Allow 30 minutes
Curriculum links: English, The Humanities – Civics and Citizenship, Geography, The Arts – Visual Arts
2. Extension: Mamoudou Gassama has been nicknamed the Paris Spider-Man.
Create a slogan or catch phrase for this new super hero. It could be about him (such as Superman’s “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, its Superman!”) or be phrase that he says before scaling buildings (such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ‘Cowabunga!”) Practice saying this phrase with enthusiasm and expression.
Time: Allow 10 minutes
Curriculum links: English, The Arts – Drama
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.
HAVE YOUR SAY: IN ONE SENTENCE, TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THIS STORY
Please do not use one-word answers. Explain what you enjoyed or found interesting about the article. Use lots of adjectives.