Civil Disobedience Unit Plan

Materials Needed

I developed this lesson for the purpose of introducing students to the concept of Civil Disobedience. The main focus is non-violent civil disobedience, although it does touch on violent civil disobedience  for the purpose of comparing and contrasting. Students are introduced to non-violent civil  disobedience using a movie called No More Baths, a movie about a group of middle school students who refuse to take baths in order to save a friend’s home. The social norm activity is used in an effort  to illustrate that civil disobedience is not only about breaking laws, but includes breaking social  norms. Students then learn about four historical figures who promote the use of civil disobedience; Henry David Thoreau, John Brown, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dorothy Day. Recent examples such as Mark Johnston, The Yes Men, the Island of Vieques, and the Take Back the Land movement are used to show that the use of civil disobedience is not just historical and is being used today. After learning about civil disobedience, the students then discuss when civil disobedience is appropriate to use, and the methods and tactics of non-violent civil disobedience. The lesson ends with a final project in  which students choose, research and write an essay on an injustice they belief can be addressed using
non-violent civil disobedience.

All materials are provided with the exception several of the movies. The movies are available to rent. PDFs are provided for all printed materials needed. In keeping with an “open source” teaching  philosophy, the document form of these materials are provided when possible so teachers can make  corrections or changes as they see fit. They are found under the folder “docs” for each section.

Overview:

  1. Watch No More Baths
    1. Complete No More Baths Packet
  2. Social Norm Activity
    1. Follow instruction provided for activity
  3. Review Unit Organizer
  4. Historical Examples of Civil Disobedience
    1. Thoreau
      1. Use LINCS (or other strategy) to review vocabulary
      2. Read Life and Time of Henry David Thoreau
        • Answer discussion questions
      3. Read Civil Disobedience
        • Complete Thoreau-Civil Disobedience Framework
      4. Fill in Unit Organizer
    2. John Brown
      1. Watch John Brown’s HolyWar
        • Complete John Brown’s Holy War Packet
      2. Read “John Brown Biography”
        • Have students create 3 questions per section
        • Develop a quiz based on the questions generated
      3. Fill in Unit Organizer
    3. Gandhi
      1. Watch Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace
        • Complete Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace Packet
      2. Read “On Civil Disobedience”
        • Discuss
      3. Complete Compare and Contrast Gandhi and John Brown
      4. Fill in Unit Organizer
    4. Dorothy Day
      1. Read “Dorothy Day and The Catholic Worker”
        • Create a timeline of events in Dorothy Day’s life
  5. Current Examples of Civil Disobedience
    1. The Yes Men
      1. Watch “The Yes Men Fix the World” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OazUh0Ym8rc)
      2. Complete The Yes MenNewspaper Project
    2. Tim DeChristopher
      1. Watch “Tim DeChristopher – Fake Bidder” video
      2. Read New Article “Fake Bidder Urges Civil Disobedience”
        • Have students create 10 questions from the reading
        • Develop a quiz based on the questions generated
      3. Fill in Unit Organizer
    3. Island of Vieques
      1. Read “Paradise Lost? The US Navy’s Lasting Legacy on Vieques Island”
      2. Watch “Vieques – Paradise Lost” Video
        • Complete Island of Vieques Questions
      3. Fill in Unit Organizer
    4. Take Back The Land
      1. Watch “Homes for the Homeless” Video (http://video.pbs.org/video/1165158506/)
        • Complete Take Back The Land Questions
      2. Fill in Unit Organizer
  6. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Howard Zinn
    1. Watch “Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience”
      1. Discuss
      2. Complete Political Limitations and Civil Disobedience
      3. Discuss Steps for Civil Disobedience
      4. Discuss 198 Methods of Non-Violent Action
  7. Final Project
    1. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Concept Mastery Outline
    2. Civil Disobedience Final Questionnaire
    3. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Essay – 5 Paragraphs
      Choose an injustice that you believe Civil Disobedience could help solve. Use the Civil Disobedience Questionnaire as a start.
  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. Current Events
  4. How you think Non-Violent Civil Disobedience can be used to help
  5. Conclusion
  • Essay – 3 Items
    1. Outline
    2. Rough Draft (at least one)
    3. Final Draft

 

I developed this lesson for the purpose of introducing students to the concept of Civil Disobedience.  The main focus is non-violent civil disobedience, although it does touch on violent civil disobedience for the purpose of comparing and contrasting.  Students are introduced to non-violent civil disobedience using a movie called No More Baths, a movie about a group of middle school students who refuse to take baths in order to save a friend’s home.  The social norm activity is used in an effort to illustrate that civil disobedience is not only about breaking laws, but includes breaking social norms.  Students then learn about four historical figures who promote the use of civil disobedience; Henry David Thoreau, John Brown, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dorothy Day.  Recent examples such as Mark Johnston, The Yes Men, the Island of Vieques, and the Take Back the Land movement are used to show that the use of civil disobedience is not just historical and is being used today.  After learning about civil disobedience, the students then discuss when civil disobedience is appropriate to use, and the methods and tactics of non-violent civil disobedience.  The lesson ends with a final project in which students choose, research and write an essay on an injustice they belief can be addressed using non-violent civil disobedience.

All materials are provided with the exception several of the movies.  The movies are available to rent.  PDFs are provided for all printed materials needed.  In keeping with an “open source” teaching philosophy, the document form of these materials are provided when possible so teachers can make corrections or changes as they see fit.  They are found under the folder “docs” for each section.

<strong>Overview: </strong>
1. Watch No More Baths
a. Complete No More Baths Packet
2. Social Norm Activity
a. Follow instruction provided for activity
3. Review Unit Organizer
4. Historical Examples of Civil Disobedience
a. Thoreau
i. Use LINCS (or other strategy) to review vocabulary
ii. Read Life and Time of Henry David Thoreau
• Answer discussion questions
iii. Read Civil Disobedience
• Complete Thoreau-Civil Disobedience Framework
iv. Fill in Unit Organizer
b. John Brown
i. Watch John Brown’s Holy War
• Complete John Brown’s Holy War Packet
ii. Read “John Brown Biography”
• Have students create 3 questions per section
• Develop a quiz based on the questions generated
iii. Fill in Unit Organizer
c. Gandhi
i. Watch Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace
• Complete Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace Packet
ii. Read “On Civil Disobedience”
• Discuss
iii. Complete Compare and Contrast Gandhi and John Brown
iv. Fill in Unit Organizer
d. Dorothy Day
i. Read “Dorothy Day and The Catholic Worker”
• Create a timeline of events in Dorothy Day’s life
5. Current Examples of Civil Disobedience
a. The Yes Men
i. Watch “The Yes Men Fix the World” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OazUh0Ym8rc)
ii. Complete The Yes Men Newspaper Project
b. Tim DeChristopher
i. Watch “Tim DeChristopher – Fake Bidder” video
ii. Read New Article “Fake Bidder Urges Civil Disobedience”
• Have students create 10 questions from the reading
• Develop a quiz based on the questions generated
iii. Fill in Unit Organizer
c. Island of Vieques
i. Read “Paradise Lost? The US Navy’s Lasting Legacy on Vieques Island”
ii. Watch “Vieques – Paradise Lost” Video
• Complete Island of Vieques Questions
iii. Fill in Unit Organizer
d. Take Back The Land
i. Watch “Homes for the Homeless” Video (http://video.pbs.org/video/1165158506/)
• Complete Take Back The Land Questions
ii. Fill in Unit Organizer
6. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience
a. Howard Zinn
i. Watch “Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience”
• Discuss
b. Complete Political Limitations and Civil Disobedience
c. Discuss Steps for Civil Disobedience
d. Discuss 198 Methods of Non-Violent Action
7. Final Project
a. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Concept Mastery Outline
b. Civil Disobedience Final Questionnaire
c. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Essay – 5 Paragraphs
Choose an injustice that you believe Civil Disobedience could help solve. Use the Civil Disobedience Questionnaire as a start.
i. Introduction
ii. History
iii. Current Events
iv. How you think Non-Violent Civil Disobedience can be used to help
v. Conclusion
d. Essay – 3 Items
i. Outline
ii. Rough Draft (at least one)
iii. Final DraftI developed this lesson for the purpose of introducing students to the concept of Civil Disobedience. The main focus is non-violent civil disobedience, although it does touch on violent civil disobedience for the purpose of comparing and contrasting. Students are introduced to non-violent civil disobedience using a movie called No More Baths, a movie about a group of middle school students who refuse to take baths in order to save a friend’s home. The social norm activity is used in an effort to illustrate that civil disobedience is not only about breaking laws, but includes breaking social norms. Students then learn about four historical figures who promote the use of civil disobedience; Henry David Thoreau, John Brown, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dorothy Day. Recent examples such as Mark Johnston, The Yes Men, the Island of Vieques, and the Take Back the Land movement are used to show that the use of civil disobedience is not just historical and is being used today. After learning about civil disobedience, the students then discuss when civil disobedience is appropriate to use, and the methods and tactics of non-violent civil disobedience. The lesson ends with a final project in which students choose, research and write an essay on an injustice they belief can be addressed using non-violent civil disobedience.

 

All materials are provided with the exception several of the movies. The movies are available to rent. PDFs are provided for all printed materials needed. In keeping with an “open source” teaching philosophy, the document form of these materials are provided when possible so teachers can make corrections or changes as they see fit. They are found under the folder “docs” for each section.

 

<strong>Overview: </strong>

1. Watch No More Baths

a. Complete No More Baths Packet

2. Social Norm Activity

a. Follow instruction provided for activity

3. Review Unit Organizer

4. Historical Examples of Civil Disobedience

a. Thoreau

i. Use LINCS (or other strategy) to review vocabulary

ii. Read Life and Time of Henry David Thoreau

• Answer discussion questions

iii. Read Civil Disobedience

• Complete Thoreau-Civil Disobedience Framework

iv. Fill in Unit Organizer

b. John Brown

i. Watch John Brown’s Holy War

• Complete John Brown’s Holy War Packet

ii. Read “John Brown Biography”

• Have students create 3 questions per section

• Develop a quiz based on the questions generated

iii. Fill in Unit Organizer

c. Gandhi

i. Watch Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace

• Complete Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace Packet

ii. Read “On Civil Disobedience”

• Discuss

iii. Complete Compare and Contrast Gandhi and John Brown

iv. Fill in Unit Organizer

d. Dorothy Day

i. Read “Dorothy Day and The Catholic Worker”

• Create a timeline of events in Dorothy Day’s life

5. Current Examples of Civil Disobedience

a. The Yes Men

i. Watch “The Yes Men Fix the World” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OazUh0Ym8rc)

ii. Complete The Yes Men Newspaper Project

b. Tim DeChristopher

i. Watch “Tim DeChristopher – Fake Bidder” video

ii. Read New Article “Fake Bidder Urges Civil Disobedience”

• Have students create 10 questions from the reading

• Develop a quiz based on the questions generated

iii. Fill in Unit Organizer

c. Island of Vieques

i. Read “Paradise Lost? The US Navy’s Lasting Legacy on Vieques Island”

ii. Watch “Vieques – Paradise Lost” Video

• Complete Island of Vieques Questions

iii. Fill in Unit Organizer

d. Take Back The Land

i. Watch “Homes for the Homeless” Video (http://video.pbs.org/video/1165158506/)

• Complete Take Back The Land Questions

ii. Fill in Unit Organizer

6. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience

a. Howard Zinn

i. Watch “Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience”

• Discuss

b. Complete Political Limitations and Civil Disobedience

c. Discuss Steps for Civil Disobedience

d. Discuss 198 Methods of Non-Violent Action

7. Final Project

a. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Concept Mastery Outline

b. Civil Disobedience Final Questionnaire

c. Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Essay – 5 Paragraphs

Choose an injustice that you believe Civil Disobedience could help solve. Use the Civil Disobedience Questionnaire as a start.

i. Introduction

ii. History

iii. Current Events

iv. How you think Non-Violent Civil Disobedience can be used to help

v. Conclusion

d. Essay – 3 Items

i. Outline

ii. Rough Draft (at least one)

iii. Final Draft

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One Response to Civil Disobedience Unit Plan

  1. Cliff Hendrickson says:

    Hi,
    I appreciate the sharing of this unit study. I am currently a home school dad with 2 teens at home and two at local colleges. We just finished No More Baths and I happened across your site while researching the background of the movie. I taught elementary grades until our kids were old enough to start. Our area has a couple of strong Homeschool groups (30-40 families locally and another of 10-12 families within 45 minutes) so there is plenty of opportunity for “socialization” as well as learning. I will pass this link on to them as well.
    Thanks again,
    Cliff

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