SWBAT identify who protests and the strategies they use to effect change by examining several photographs, videos, and posters depicting marches, military coups, and riots.

Students focus on multiple perspectives in this lesson as they discover the profile of a protester. 


Historical Research, Evidence and Point of View 

3. Students pose relevant questions about events they encounter in historical documents, eyewitness accounts, oral histories, letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, maps, artworks, and architecture.

4. Students use nontext primary and secondary sources, such as maps, charts, graphs, photographs, works of art, and technical charts. 


Source Pack:

  • photographs
  • posters
  • videos
  • tool kit 

Warm Up

Students think, pair, share their observations of a video of the KKK marching down Pennsylvannia Avenue in Washington, D.C., a poster that asks whites to no longer buy Ford cars and trucks, photographs of the March on Washington, lunch counter sit-ins, and the riots in D.C.  Students are reminded to frame their observations with Who, What, When, Where, Why.

New Material

So let's take a look at the images we've seen so far and decide whether these protests are violent or nonviolent.  Why do you think it's important for us to distinguish between a violent protest and a nonviolent protest?

Take a few moments to turn and talk with your tablemates.

(Elicit responses)

Are the outcomes different if you conduct a violent protest?

Are the issues different?

It is important that we distinguish so we can begin to understand why groups, countries, etc. chose to protest in very different ways as change is at the heart of these protests. A group of people have recognized usually through a particular need that things need to be different. 

KKK Magazine Article on the 1925 March on Washington

Download this file


With the help of the photographs and videos, students are asked to complete a graphic organizer that allows them to contextualize.  They create a schedule for different people who would have attended a protest to enable them to understand that various people protest and to understand that they each have a specific strategy to employ.

A Day in the Life of a Protester

Download this file


Exit Ticket - What do you think is more effective, violent or nonviolent direct action?  Why?

Closure and Reflection

Students share their A Day in the Life graphic organizer and reflect on their understanding of the effetiveness of this tool in helping them to understand who protests.

Homework: Students should begin collecting information about a civil rights movement in another country.