The bullet or the ballot as Malcom X once put it. This is a lesson plan I've been playing with for the last couple of weeks and I thought I'd post it and see what you think. It is definitely aimed at advanced learners of English, or indeed you could use it in a social studies class. It is ambitious in its scope, but I believe if you ask a lot of your students then, most times they far exceed your expectations.
1 Ask students to write down or research what revolutions/rebellions have taken place in their country over the last 100 years, this can set for homework prior to the lesson or done via internet if ou have access at school. In Greece this is a tall order considering the country's turbulent history during most of the 20th century.
2 Students compare their information in groups and report back to you.
3 Now ask them if drastic social change ever comes about peacefully. Once again they discuss this in groups and emphasise the fact that you want concrete examples to support their ideas.
4 Explain to students that they are going to see Mississippi Burning (either in class or for) homework. If you can, show the trailer for the film to the whole class and ask them to write down;
what kind of film it is
where it is set
when it is set
what the basic plot is
5 Student watch the movie and for homework write down what would they have done if they had been born Black in such a community.
6 In the next lesson students discuss their answers with each other.
7 Now explain to the students who Martin Luther King and Malcom X were. Make sure they understand that both of them were black leaders who lived and campaigned in the same era as Mississippi Burning was set (the early 60'), yet both had very different ideas about how the Afro-American community should deal with racism.
8 Divide the class into two groups and give them links to either "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech by Malcolm X or the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King (it might be a good idea to give them the transcripts as well - (see here for Malcom X and here for Martin Luther King.)
9 For homework, student listen to the speeches and write down what each leader thinks should be done to improve the situation of their community and why.
10 Now explain to students that they are now either Martin Luther King or Malcolm X and they have to debate what is the best way to deal with the problems Black Americans face in the society shown in the film. Students should use the ideas in the speeches to put support their ideas.
11 Organise a class debate
12 Essay question.
"Who would you have followed if you had been a Black American in the 1960's?"