Mock Non-Violence Training Workshop

DURATION: Two sessions, one for research and one for mock workshop

  • Index cards with roles


Non-violent protest was a vital aspect of the Civil Right Movement. This concept, based on the doctrine of Mohandas Ghandi, was embraced by Dr. Martin Luther King and Jim Lawson, two men who were a crucial part of the Civil Right Movement. Non- violent workshops were held in Nashville to spread the concept and convince local activists and citizens of its effectiveness while providing training. 

Guiding Questions: 

  • What were non-violence workshops?
  • How did these workshops affect the Civil Rights movement?

Objectives:  Students will 

  1. Learn about non violence training
  2. Understand how this affected the Civil Rights movement in Tennessee and throughout the United States
  3. Recognize influential participants in the Civil Rights movement


  • Students will express the opinions of their character accurately based on information provided
  • Students will complete an exit journal that reflects on the experiencets in the Civil Rights movement


Session 1:
1.   Students will access information about Non-violence Training on the TN4ME website or this information will be used for an initial introduction in the classroom.
2.   After an introduction, the instructor should pass out (at random) role assignments for a mock “non violence” workshop. Possible roles should include several leaders of the workshop (Kelly Miller Smith, James Lawson), parents of students who are involved in school integration, university students from Tennessee A & I, Meharry, and Fisk, citizens who agree and disagree with non violence.
3.   After receiving their roles, students should be given time to use the information from TN4ME to develop their roles. Pose questions to the students: How would your character feel about non violence? What part would your character play in the workshop?
Session 2:
1.   Students will act out a non violence workshop in character.
2.   Structure the workshop by writing an agenda on the board or in a handout. Allow time for the leaders to introduce the concept of nonviolence, for opinions to be heard (both for and against), etc.
3.   After the workshop, allow time for students to write an exit journal to be turned in expressing how the workshop made them feel or think differently about the Civil Rights movement.

  • Era 9: Post World War II Era (1945-1970s)
Learning Expectations:
Standard Number 1.0: Culture
Investigate the effects of desegregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and the turbulent 1960s upon American society.
9.8 Identify significant events in the struggle for Civil Rights (i.e. integration of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, the Clinton 12 and Governor Clement’s actions, Little Rock Central High, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Riders’ route, Birmingham bombings, Nashville lunch counters, Martin Luther King's March on Washington speech, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Civil Rights Act of 1968, Escobedo v.Illinois, Great Society).