Non-Violent Action: A Force for Change Lesson Plans

Choose from this series of lesson plans for learners aged 8-14 which looks at the concepts of violence and non-violence and provides historical case studies to enable learners to explore the efficacy of non-violent action. Please read this short Resource Guidance which includes a suggested pathway through the lessons and authors/acknowledgments.

 

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Lesson 1: Introduction to Non-violent Action

This lesson uses relatable, fictional scenarios to enable the learners to think about their own understanding of violent and non-violent actions before engaging with actual historical case studies.

Lesson 2: Enquiring into Violence and Non-violence

There are many nuanced definitions of non-violence but most seem to agree that non-violent action is not just about doing anything without using violence. Non-violent action has the aim of undermining violence whether it is physical, structural or institutional. The main part of this lesson is a discussion activity which encourages learners to decide where they would put an action on a spectrum from violent to non-violent.

Core Lesson Otpor – Case Study

This lesson is one of two alternative core lessons (the other is Bristol Bus Boycott) to be completed after Lesson 1 and 2. It introduces an important idea of the “Pillars of Support”, which will be referred to in subsequent case study lessons.

Core Lesson Bristol Bus Boycott – Case Study

We have included the Bristol Bus Boycott in this resource as little attention is usually paid in UK schools to the history of anti-racism in the UK itself. These lessons can be used as the first core lessons as an alternative to OTPOR as they also introduce the Pillars of Support and the Non-violent Methods Checklist which are referred to in subsequent lessons.

The Chipko Movement – Case Study

This case study is the story of how women in India in 1974 successfully resisted the cutting down of their forests by hugging the trees and setting up groups to guard them. The lessons explore the concept of ownership, introduce the idea of ‘impact assessment’ and use P4C discussion in and out of role.

The Green Belt Movement Kenya

This is the second of four environment-themed case studies (the others are the Chipko Movement in India, Right to Roam in UK and Sheffield Street Trees). This lesson uses the story of Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and the Green Belt Movement in Kenya to explore the concept of influence – who do we influence and who influences us?

UK Right to Roam

This is one of a series of lessons relating to the environment (the others are the Chipko Movement in India, The Green Belt Movement in Kenya and Sheffield Street Trees). This lesson explores the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in the Peak District, UK in 1932.

Sheffield Street Trees

These lessons, use a fictional context using ‘Mantle of the Expert’ to introduce different perspectives and to engage learners in the Sheffield Street Trees case study which is introduced at the end.

Indian Independence

This lesson uses the Salt March and the lesser-known Pashtun Muslim non-violent army (Khudai Khidmatgar) as examples of resistance during the Indian Independence movement.

Role of the Arts (English Disco Lovers and Singing Revolution)

This series of lessons introduces learners to the role that the arts can play in protest using two different case studies as examples: The English Disco Lovers and the Singing Revolution.

World War 2 Resistance (Danish resistance and Rosenstrasse)

This series of lessons examines the success of non-violent resistance to Nazi occupation in Denmark and the anti-Jewish laws in Germany during World War Two.

WW2: How did the German People Respond to Nazism?

These lessons use the case study of The White Rose Movement as an example of how German people resisted Nazism.

Power: Understanding Power

This is the first in a series of 6 one-hour lessons written by consultant, Lucy Holbrook, which explore the concept of “power” – power over, power to, power with and power within.

Power: Personal Power Part 1

This is the second in a series of 6 one-hour lessons written by consultant, Lucy Holbrook, which explore the concept of “power” – power over, power to, power with and power within.

Power: Personal Power Part 2

This is the third in a series of 6 one-hour lessons written by consultant, Lucy Holbrook, which explore the concept of “power” – power over, power to, power with and power within.

Power: Understanding the Link Between Vulnerability, Anger and Violence

This is the fourth in a series of 7 one-hour lessons written by consultant, Lucy Holbrook, which explore the concept of “power” – power over, power to, power with and power within.

Power: Equalising Power – Exploring Unwritten Rules in Relation to Power and Gender

This is the fifth in a series of 6 one-hour lessons written by consultant, Lucy Holbrook, which explore the concept of “power” – power over, power to, power with and power within.

Power: We Learn What We Live

This is the final lesson in a series of 6 one-hour lessons written by consultant, Lucy Holbrook, which explore the concept of “power” – power over, power to, power with and power within.

Contemporary Issues

This lesson is an opportunity for learners to apply their learning from the historical case studies to current examples of non-violent movements for change and provides a bridge to the 'Taking Action' lessons.

Evaluation Lesson

This lesson is an opportunity to evaluate learners’ knowledge and understanding of non-violent action by returning to the pictures of objects/actions that were introduced in Lesson 1. Learners should, having experienced the other lessons, now be able to give more creative responses to the pictures. This lesson could come before or after the lesson which looks at contemporary issues.

Taking Action

This series of lessons takes learners through a participatory step by step process of thinking about issues they care about in their school or local community; choosing an issue; researching it; deciding on the change they would like to see; deciding on an action; planning, doing and evaluating the action.

Philosophy for Children (P4C) Guidance

P4C is a learning approach which runs throughout the lessons. We recommend training before using P4C but here you can find a guide to the '10 Steps of P4C' and concept question plans to support teacher questioning during an enquiry.

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