Lesson plan designed by Chela Delgado, Teacherspayteachers store “Critical Approaches to Social Studies”.
This is a two day lesson of a unit on civil disobedience that can either be used as part of the overall unit (also available in this store) or on its own.
This lesson was designed for high school seniors, but could be used with any high school grade.
In small groups of 3-5, students should analyze one of the case studies about civil disobedience and direct action. There are 6 case studies, so you can divide groups into sizes as needed.
Step 1: Students individually read one case study of the 8 below (this can be done as homework the night before or in class.
Step 2: Put students into groups based on which case study they have read. In groups, complete Case Study graphic organizer (the page with boxes) and Case Study Write Up (write up can be finished for homework if necessary).
*Important take aways are that many different kinds of groups have used direct action when attempting to make change through established systems proved impossible, and that direct action is often successful! I often emphasize that we celebrate direct action in history, since we often now identify with the side of the activists, and that we should ask ourselves how history will view the direct action of today.
Step 1: Students briefly re-meet in their groups to refresh themselves on their event. Together, they decide on a hashtag that represents their case study.
Step 2: Jigsaw--students divide into jigsawed groups with one representative from each case study who presents about the case study. Students take notes on each other’s verbal presentations in the chart (they don’t need to take notes on their own case study). Once each case study has been prevented, the group discusses:
Which was most strategic?
Which one(s) would you choose to participate in?
How should government respond to civil disobedience?
When is civil disobedience justified? When is it not justified? Why?
What issue would you be willing to do a civil disobedience about?
Under what conditions would YOU participate in civil disobedience?
I close this day with a full class discussion about what is the ‘line’ between effective direct action and disruption for its own sake? How important is the role of winning allies when, in many of these struggles, lives are at stake?