Learning objective

Learn how to plan a campaign to bring about change in the community


Key idea: a campaign can mobilise the energy of a whole community.

Success criteria

  • Explain the advantages of a campaign over other methods to change things
  • Show the main elements of a successful campaign
  • Devise an action plan to conduct a campaign

Introduction to the learning

If you can, in pairs come up with the name of a famous campaign. Try and remember who led it.

If you can remember the name, what does that tell you about successful campaigns?

If you can, keeping in the same pairs, suggest one advantage of a campaign over other channels of protest.

Ask the question of different groups to ensure that between the two questions all groups get asked. 

Quickfire questions

Some campaigns are about stopping things such as buying products from a company or country we don't approve of. What do we call that action?

Do you think that a good idea?   Or would it be better to talk to the company or the country to get them to change their ways? Japan has recently resumed whaling after many years of agreeing not to.

What do you think about that? Will you campaign not to buy Japanese cars?

What is the opposite of getting people to stop doing something?

What is meant by 'advocacy'? 


Main body of the lesson

The advantages of a campaign

Use a card sort to rank the advantages, using a diamond nine

Issue blank cards to, if you can, small groups. Ask them to write on one or more cards, in a few words, the advantages of a campaign.

Have the cards collected. Read them out. Attach to the board or wall. When all different ones are on the board, get the class to rank them. Get proposers to make their case for the ranking. Get other students to question them.

Arrange the ranked cards in a diamond shape.

The main elements of a successful campaign

If you can, divide the class into different small groups. Give each a card with the word/s describing an element of a successful campaign. Ask them to discuss and develop the idea and be ready to justify its importance. 

Elements might include

  • Popular cause or subject
  • Strong leader
  • Powerful sponsor
  • Planning
  • Publicity

To stimulate debate you might list the elements on the board under two headings: Essential, Desirable.

Devise an action plan

Ideally the class should be encouraged to mount an actual campaign to get some change in the community, in the school or beyond the school.

If you can, divide the class into two groups and separate them. 

You have said that a campaign needs to be planned.  Off you go and plan it. Think of the first five things you need to do.

(Advice to teacher: move between the groups, encouraging, questioning etc, help them with the five things:

1. Choose a topic (reduce voting age to 16, for example, or ban diesel vehicles)

2. Elect a leader within the groups

3. Identify the decision makers and how to reach them (political, community, business, school leaders etc)

4. Announce the campaign: how?

5. Recruiting members of the campaign: how?

Feedback. Get each group to report back to the whole class. Alternate between the two groups. See if they would like to do the campaign for real.

Teacher assessment

Teacher questioning of individuals and groups, teacher assessment of quality of proposals and arguments in debate.


Department for Education Citizenship programmes of study 2013

Campaigning KS4