How I Became an Activist Lesson Plan – Global Feminisms Project

How I Became an Activist Lesson Plan

Creator: Marisol Fila
Duration: 3 class periods
Published: Fall 2021


In this lesson, the students reflect on how particular life experiences in women’s lives lead them to become activists and what a feminist activist practice means in different countries and sociohistorical contexts. The students start from their own background knowledge on activist practices and experiences to consider relations between activism and leadership, activism and community, and the impact that activism can have in broader society. The students work with activist women’s narratives to identify turning points in life and the relationship between personal and political lives in activist practice. In the final assignment, the students build on the work done during the lesson to build hands-on skills to create a social media campaign on a topic pertaining to the women’s movement and aligned to the International Women’s Day on March 8.

Keywords: Activism, Feminist Activists, Life Stories, Personal and Political Lives, Community, Leadership, Social Media, International Women’s Day
Country sites: Brazil, Nicaragua, Nigeria, USA

Learning Objectives

  • Reflect on how certain life experiences in women’s lives lead them to become activists. 
  • Understand connections between personal and political lives.
  • Identify connections between activist practices and experiences and the surrounding community.
  • Reflect on the impact that an activist practice can have on society.
  • Identify different types of feminist activisms across countries and sociohistorical contexts.
  • Identify the impact of an activist practice on women’s lives and the women’s movement.
  • Reflect on the connection between activism and leadership.
  • Build hands-on skills by producing a creative project
  • Identify some of the characteristics of feminist social media activism. 
  • Understand and apply the basic principles of presenting and exposing an argument in a digital project  

Teaching Podcast




Activity One: Activism, Advocacy, and Leadership
This first activity introduces the students to the practice of activism and the relations between different types of activism, advocacy, and leadership. The activity begins by asking the students to discuss these relations based on their knowledge of activist practices to later ask them to reflect on their answers in light of an interview with an activist woman from the Global Feminisms Project. This activity presents the interviews, life stories, and activist practice of these women to students, and serves as the base for the deeper exploration of their activism in the second activity. The activity is divided into two parts and includes both whole-class discussions and group work.
Duration: 50 minutes

Download Materials

Activity Two: Turning Points, Community and Political Lives
This second activity continues working with the interviews and focuses on these women’s life stories and experiences. Particularly, the activity aims to identify the turning points in these women’s lives that led them to pursue an activist practice. The activity is divided into two parts. In Part One, the students begin by connecting the information that they learned from the countries’ timelines available on the Global Feminisms Project website to questions about the impact on the community, the broader society, and the relationship between personal and political lives. Next, the students work with the interview to discuss women’s experiences, turning points and the impact that their activist practices have had in their lives, their communities and the broader society. Students are encouraged to consider the differences and similarities between different countries and sociohistorical contexts.
Duration: 50 minutes

Download Materials

Assessment: International Women’s Day: A Feminist Activist Campaign on Social Media
The final assignment asks the students to create a feminist activist campaign on social media for the International Women’s Day. The students will be introduced to the history of the International Women’s Day and to different definitions of its goals, as well as to different examples of visuals created to celebrate the International Women’s Day by different organizations. The students will choose a topic or issue to focus on and create a post that can be circulated in social media. Along with it, they will write a brief statement explaining their goals, why it matters and how they are envisioning to bring awareness on this issue. They will be working in groups and each group will present their final product in class. Following the presentation, there will be a whole class discussion including reflection questions on the results of the assignment.

Download Materials

Download All Available Materials

< Back to Topical Lesson Plans

lsa logoum logoU-M Privacy StatementAccessibility at U-M