Beth Simone Noveck, former United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer, once stated, “In the 21st Century, you have to use technology as one of the tools in the toolkit to bring about social change.” Technology is one of the most effective ways to involve the youth in bringing about social change. Recently, there has been an increased participation in current social movements from young activists who are dedicated and passionate about standing up for their human rights and beliefs – most likely inspired by the Arab Spring – dedicated to democracy – in 2010. The recent #upforschool rally and #globalcitizensummit in New York City, and #peoplesclimatemarch in more than 162 countries, brought about participation from international leaders and student activists alike, through in-person and digital connections. These events were aimed at spreading awareness and calling for international action. Although each campaign targeted different global issues, they had two things in common: an enormous youth participation and a large presence of on-line, social media. The new age of technology has brought about a great transition of social activism. For the first time, participants can also be involved by spreading awareness and promoting consciousness digitally and perhaps reaching a wider audience.
This lesson plan will analyze the similarities and differences of three of the largest current social movements and examine different ways students can become involved in activism. Students will study the specific focus of the #upforschool rally, #globalcitizensummit and #peoplesclimatemarch and compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the campaigns.
Background and Information:
Social Movement : A social movement is a collectivity acting with some continuity to promote or resist a change in the society or organization of which it is a part. As a collectivity a movement is a group with indefinite and shifting membership and with leadership whose position is determined more by informal response of the members than by formal procedures for legitimating authority.
Up For School : Every child has the right to go to school, without danger or discrimination. Help create a message no governments, no politicians or leaders can ignore. Nothing changes without pressure.
Global Citizen’s Summit : An interactive symposium on the challenges to ending extreme poverty by 2030.
People’s Climate March : A landmark summit on climate change, people around the world took to the streets to demand action to end the climate crisis.
Students will be able to:
• Define a social movement
• Examine the #upforschoolrally, #globalcitizensummit and #peoplesclimatemarch
• Compare and contrast current social movements
• Create a presentation on the effects of technology on social movements
Poster Board, #upforschool, #globalcitizensummit #peoplesclimatemarch social media hashtag websites, Access to a recording digital device (Preferably Cellphone Camera)
Common Core Standards:
CCSS ELA-LITERACY 9-10.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
AFS Educational Goals:
• To have a deeper concern for and sensitivity to others and expand their capacity to perceive and respond to the values, feelings, and realities of others
• To become more aware of their own culture and recognize its influence on their behavior and attitudes
• To understand the concepts of “culture” and intercultural adaptation
• To develop an increased curiosity and concern about world affairs, to develop a sustained commitment to obtaining information from many sources and seek out perspectives from other cultures in understanding world situations and problems.
• To be willing and ready to work with others to help build peace, to improve world conditions and to commit to actions that will bring about a just and peaceful world
• Provide context by showing the NYT video: 2011: Arab Spring
• Divide the class into three groups
• Write “Social Movement” on the white board.
• Ask each group to collaborate and establish a collective definition for “Social Movement”. Make sure the students are as specific as possible (10 Minutes)
• Ask students to present their definitions to the class
– Note the different perspectives and definitions
– Discuss the most common terms in the definitions and ask students to expand
• Review the definition of Social Movement with the class
– Social Movement : A social movement is a collectivity acting with some continuity to promote or resist a change in the society or organization of which it is a part. As a collectivity a movement is a group with indefinite and shifting membership and with leadership whose position is determined more by informal response of the members than by formal procedures for legitimating authority.
• Ask students to return to their groups, assign each group a social movement
Group 1: #upforschool
Group 2: #globalcitizensummit
Group 3: #peoplesclimatemarch
Ask students to research the social movement and focus on these four points:
- What are the main objectives of the movement?
- Outline the history of the events leading to this event
- Describe the role of technology within the movement
- Explain the importance of youth involvement within the event
- Create a video and present it to the class
After the presentations, hand out the attached questions to make sure students have grasped the concepts.
1. What do the movements have in common? How do they differ?
2. Please describe the most important objectives of each movement?
3. Describe the role of technology in each campaign.
4. What do you feel are the main similarities/ differences between current social