Protesting — a Talking Points lesson plan for reading, speaking & vocabulary

Why do people protest? Why do people feel the need to demonstrate against certain issues?

Is there anything you feel angry about? What can you do or say about it?

This is a lesson plan about protesting — what issues people protest about and why they do it.

You can download the full lesson plan by clicking the link down below.





What is a protester?

What kind of things do they protest against?

Have you ever protested against something? What was it?


Full-Time Protester


Read Marc’s account below:

I see it as my civil right.

I protest about things because I am fortunate to live in a country where I can voice my opinion and say how I feel.

People in North Korea can’t do that!

I always think of how privileged I am and that drives me to protest more about the injustices in this world.

I attend many protest marches and demonstrations. This week I went to the LGBTQ march in the city. It was a really great day out, to be honest. Many people were there and at the end of the march, we got to a square where several people gave speeches.

Many people had signs. I had a sign that I made at home. It said: I stand with my gay brothers and sisters!

No, I am not gay or bisexual. Or transgender.

But so what?

I don’t think you have to be, to support people and their rights.

A little while ago, I went to a protest in a park in the city. This was to protest about a research laboratory that performs experiments on animals. They do these experiments to help cosmetics companies and their products.

I don’t have any pets — in fact, I am allergic to animals — but I still think it is wrong to use animals in such a way.

This protest went on all day and I met many other protesters. The police were there to make sure we were all protesting peacefully.

I never cause trouble with the police.

But some of the others get angry and start arguing with the police and making a scene.

Next week, there is a really big protest. It is against this well-known man who always says terrible things online about people of colour.

He is doing a talk in the city and so a large group of people will have a protest against him and all his supporters.

I guarantee the police will be at this protest as they are expecting some trouble. Last time I went to something like this fights broke out. It was pretty exciting!

I will steer clear of any trouble there but I am not afraid to express my views.

I try to be as active as I can online too.

There are many groups you can join online and this is where I find out about any protests that are happening. I have made a lot of friends online by talking about this in the groups.

One woman is very active in these groups. She finds out about certain issues that are going on and then she asks people to support her and join the new protest.

Her nickname online is Red Star. She says it signifies the red star of communism.

My nickname is Street Fighting Man even though I don’t like fighting and I avoid violence if I can.

Usually, at the end of a big protest, many of the people go to a pub and we all have a drink together and talk about the issues of the day.

It’s a really great day out. You see families and kids there too.

Then at the end of the evening, I get on the subway and go back home.


Reading Comprehension Questions


What does Marc see as his ‘civil right’?

What are his reasons for protesting?

Which country does Marc say people cannot express their views?

What did Marc protest about recently?

What did Marc’s sign say?

What is the second protest that Marc talks about?

Does Marc have any pets?

How does Marc deal with the police?

What protest will Marc attend next week?

What does Marc think will happen at this event?

Where does Marc find out about the protests he attends?

What is the woman’s online name? What is Marc’s online name?

What do people do after the protest usually?


Essential Vocabulary


civil right to voice (one’s) opinion privileged
injustices attend marches
demonstrations LGBTQ speech
to stand with gay bisexual
transgender research laboratory experiments
cosmetics allergic to peacefully
making a scene people of colour guarantee
to break out steer clear express
views nickname signifies
communism avoid violence



Write down all the words and phrases in your vocabulary notebook. Look in your dictionary and find the meaning of each word. Write the definition next to each word.

Then make up your own sentences using each word or phrase.

For example:

Notebooka small book with pages of blank paper that students use to make notes when


I left my notebook at home so I was unable to make any notes in my English class.”


Discussion Questions


Why does Marc like to go to protests? Do you think he really likes to attend protests? Or he goes for another reason?

Do you think it is right that Marc protests at an LGBTQ protest march, even though he is not gay? Why/why not?

Of all three protests that Marc talks about, which one do you think is the most important? Why?

Why do you think some of the protesters get angry with the police?

Is protesting a good or bad thing?

Do people have protests in your country? What do they protest about?

Can you think of any protests happening in the world right now? What do you think about them? Do you agree or disagree?

Apart from going to marches and street protests, what are some other ways that people can protest against things?

Do you think protests work? Can they change the way people think?

How should the police deal with protesters?

What social issues do you get angry about? Do you protest about these things? What do you do to express your views to the world?

Or are you the kind of person who does not like to protest about issues in the world? Why not?

What are the three most important causes to protest against in your country? What would happen if people protested about them in the street?

Do you think protesters are heroes? Why/why not?


Why Protest Against This?


Get into small groups of three or four students. Then take a look at the following social causes below.

Your teacher will give each group one or two of the causes from the list. In your group, try to think of three or four reasons why people would protest against these things.

  • Climate Change/Global Warming
  • Fake News/Facts/The News Media
  • The Homeless
  • Crime/Prison System/Prison Sentences
  • Drug Addiction
  • The Banking Industry/Loans/Debt
  • Refugees/Migrants
  • Education/Education Funding/College Fees/Student Loans
  • Women’s Rights/Abortion/Reproductive Issues
  • Animal Rights/Testing on Animals
  • Unemployment/Jobs/Working Conditions
  • War


Once you have come up with some ideas, present them to the class.


Debate: To Protest or Not To Protest?


This is a debate activity.

Divide the class into two groups of equal number. Choose one person to chair the debate.


The Teams


Team A

You believe that protesting should not be allowed on the streets. It creates social unrest and makes trouble for the police. There are much better ways to express our views and opinions about these issues – such as online discussions and official meetings.

Protesting on the streets just does not fit in with modern society.


Team B

You think protesting is a human right.

Most people behave sensibly at these events and do not make trouble. If people were not allowed to protest, then nothing would change.

Going to a public protest outside is often the only way people can have their voices heard.


In your teams, come up with some solid lines of argument. Discuss how you can present these lines of argument in the debate.

When you are ready – begin the debate.




What are you angry about in this world?

What social issue makes you want to protest?

Write a short article, introducing the issue that makes you angry. Explain what the issue is, what is unfair or wrong about it, and why you think there should be a change.

When you have finished your writing, you can read it out loud in front of the other students. Or you can give it to your teacher for review.



Did you like this lesson plan? I would love to know your thoughts on it. Please let me know in the comments below!


You can download this full lesson plan today… Click the link below!


Leave a Reply