For this activity use the Power of Protest Text Set.
Start a discussion about protests. Write the word on the board. Have students write on a sticky note, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear that word. After students place their sticky notes on the board, go through the responses and make connections between the responses. Have a few students share out what they wrote. Then ask students about different types of protests. They can look through this Text Set to get an overview of different types of protests. Create a chart that lists different types of protests on one side and issues throughout history that have elicited a response in the form of a protest.
Keep this chart in view for this activity.
Assign Martin Luther King's letter from a Birmingham jail. Edit the PRO assign box to say, "Read and analyze King's letter. Highlight in yellow different tactics King uses to express his viewpoints. Annotate in the margins whether you think this is an effective tactic or not. When evaluating the tactics, think about what emotions and actions could be evoked due to these tactics.
Then, students will read another example of a protest. You can assign students one of the articles from this Text Set such as this one about the Oregon ranchers. Edit the PRO assignment box to include the same instructions from above.
After reading both articles, have students fill in a comparison chart, such as the Venn diagram found here. They should label each side with one of the article titles and write any relevant information about the different protests and tactics.
Then, have students go through their venn diagram and mark which tactics they believe to be most effective and which ones are least effective. Either in the margins or on a separate sheet of paper they should explain why they feel this way. After assessing the tactics they will use this to evaluate which of the protest
Have students write about a community event, policy or practice that they find objectionable. They should outline what he or she believes to be the best way to voice opposition to it and explain why they think this would be the most effective approach.
You may choose to differentiate by providing students with sentence starters for this activity.
- I feel strong when...because...
- I feel most persuasive when... because...