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Look for the Helpers: Analyzing Social Movements

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Civics +2 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary

Mr. Rogers is quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." This collection will give students a framework to "look for the helpers"--the people who are trying to change society for the better during difficult times. Students will be introduced to a variety of strategies and tactics used in social movements, and consider how these might apply to an area of their own interest.

Included is a chart listing possible strategies for social movements that encourages students to find examples of tactics/strategies from the collection and determine the goals of each.

Opportunities for extension include:

Identify a social movement that relies on more than one strategy (most do). Can you create a "recipe" listing the various tactics used to create a successful movement?

Who is involved? Choose one of the examples from above to study further. Who was involved in that particular tactic or strategy? Consider different occupations (teacher, writer, church leader, student, mother) and also different demographics (gender, race, age, ethnicity, etc.)

What's missing? Are there strategies that you have encountered in your research that don't fit into this chart?

Mr. Rogers at the NZP

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Mister Rogers' Sweater

National Museum of American History

Boycott Lettuce Protest Button

National Museum of American History

Greensboro Lunch Counter

National Museum of American History

Bobby Seale

National Portrait Gallery

Give to the March of Dimes, prevent birth defects

National Museum of American History

The Crisis Vol. 11 No. 3

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Poster with anti-war message by the Student Mobilization Committee

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pinback button from the 2008 Obama campaign

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Berkeley teach-in: Vietnam [sound recording] / edited by Louis Menashe

Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

Flier for the Black Community Survival Conference

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pinback button protesting apartheid and economic investment in South Africa

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Placard reading "Sanction South Africa Now!"

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Flyer promoting the second phase of the NCNW's Citizenship Education Project

National Museum of African American History and Culture

May Day demonstration

National Museum of American History

Pin-back button reading Teach the Children the Truth

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Newsweek November 1967

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Black Delegates Challenge Mississippi Democrats

National Museum of African American History and Culture

America Free Angela

National Museum of African American History and Culture

1999 WTO Badge

National Museum of American History

American Agriculture Movement Protest Pin

National Museum of American History

Right to Petition Cane

National Museum of American History

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962

National Museum of American History

Los Angeles Riot

National Portrait Gallery

Gay Liberation, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums