Occupy Wall Street:
Classroom lessons on the movement and the issues behind it

The Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action: STRATEGY FOR CHANGE for high school (12/21/11) Students consider nonviolence as a strategy for intentionally building public support--in both in the Civil Rights Movement (as expressed by Martin Luther King, Jr.) and in the Occupy movement.

Person of the Year: THE PROTESTER for grades 7-12) (12/19/11) Students nominate their own "person of the year"; read and discuss Time magazine's article naming "the protester"; and write new captions for photos of the protesters.

STUDENT DEBT CRISIS for high school (12/19/11) The nation's total student debt load now exceeds $830 billion, and the problem has touched off protests. Two student readings explore the scope of the student debt crisis and some proposals for dealing with it. Discussion questions follow each reading.

MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS: A key Occupy Wall Street issue for high school (11/17/11) Through two readings and class discussion, students think critically about the effect of corporate campaign donations on our political system and consider efforts to reform campaign finance.

NONVIOLENCE: An Assertive Approach to Conflict for high school (11/8/11) In this interactive workshop, students explore what escalates and deescalates conflict, consider nonviolent action as an assertive response to conflict, and learn about Occupy Wall Street's use of nonviolence as a strategy.

CONSIDERING DEMOCRACY in Occupy Wall Street & the Classroom for grades 4-7 (10/27/11) Students explore the meaning of democracy and how Occupy Wall Street is using elements of democracy in their protests. Then students think of and analyze ideas that might make their classroom more democratic.

IS THIS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE? Considering Occupy Wall Street's 'leaderless movement' (10/26/11) Students work in groups to come up with a definition of 'democracy,' then read and discuss an article on Occupy Wall Street's decision-making process.

TAXES: Why do we have them? Are they fair? for high school (10/13/11) Students explore the question of taxes, Obama's recent 'Buffett Rule' proposal, and Republican charges of 'class warfare.'

'OCCUPY WALL STREET': Background & international context for high school (10/13/11) Students learn about the protest and its message, and consider how the Occupy Wall Street protest is related to public protests in other countries in the past year.

'OCCUPY WALL STREET': A lesson for middle grades (10/6/11) Students learn about the Occupy Wall Street protest, discuss wealth disparity, consider some statistics, make their own charts, and find out what some of the protesters want and and why.

THE CRISIS OF JOBLESSNESS IN AMERICA (9/30/11) Student readings explore unemployment statistics and the human impact of joblessness, and examine the effect of government proposals on the crisis. Discussion questions and an opinion continuum activity follow the readings.

U.S. ECONOMIC INEQUALITY is Rising. What Can We Do About It? (9/7/11) Students analyze new evidence of growing wealth disparity based on race and ethnicity and overall U.S. economic inequality. Then they consider what they and others might do to reduce inequality.

LESSONS ON NONVIOLENCE from our archive....

Behind the Egyptian Uprising: A STRATEGIC YOUTH MOVEMENT (2/11) High school students read and discuss an article describing the role of the youth movement and consider quotes from Gandhi on the power of nonviolence.

The Power of Nonviolent Action: South Africa & Poland A rich set of readings and activities on the history and power of peaceful resistance.

CREATING A COOPERATIVE WORLD Three readings, all based on Jonathan Schell's book The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, invite students to learn about, discuss, and act upon ideas for a cooperative and more peaceful world.

Please see TeachableMoment.org for many more lessons on such issues as economic inequality, the economic crisis, money in politics, activism, and democracy.

NYC march to support Occupy Wall Street, October 5, 2011. (c) PETER LIPPMAN



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