Individualist Anarchism Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching students about individualist anarchism can be exciting, but also challenging. This lesson offers some activities that will help you bring the relevant concepts to life in your classroom.

Teaching Individualist Anarchism

Are you trying to teach your students about different political philosophies and ideological systems? One kind of theory you might focus on is anarchism and its branches, such as individualist anarchism. Though individualist anarchism brings together a variety of schools of thought, overall it represents thought traditions that focus on the importance of an individual and individual will.

Teaching students about individualist anarchism brings together understandings from history, political science, literature, and philosophy, so you want to be thoughtful about how you present these complex ideas to your students. The activities in this lesson will help your students form a deeper understanding of what individualist anarchism is all about.

Visual Activities

This section offers activities that will appeal to the visual learners in your class.

Idea Webs

Break your students into small groups for this activity. Ask each group to focus on one of the ideas associated with individual anarchism, such as:

  • focusing on individuals over social groups
  • rejecting traditional anarchist ideas about revolution
  • the idea that relationships and relational structures are transitory

Students may also have ideas of their own to focus on. They should write their main idea of focus in a circle in the middle of a page and then draw lines out from it. At the end of each line, they should write one other idea they associate with this central one or a quote supporting it. Then, they should draw boxes around these ideas or quotes.

Next, they can draw lines out from these ideas and associate to them as well. Finally, give students a chance to share and discuss their graphic organizers with classmates.

Visual Timeline

Have students work in partnerships for this activity. The task of each pair is to create a timeline representing one segment of the history of individualist anarchism. For instance, they might focus on the early period, individual anarchism within feminism and free-love movements, or the Boston Anarchist movement. Their timeline should include at least five different events as well as an illustration to correspond with each event.

Tactile Activities

Here, you will find activities that let students use their hands and bodies to enhance their understanding of individualist anarchism.

Act Out an Interview

Pair students up and have each partnership choose one individualist anarchist to focus on, like Josiah Warren or Max Stirner. Ask them to write a skit in which one of them is interviewing the anarchist about his major ideas and contributions. Then, give students a chance to perform their skits for the class, encouraging them to use their bodies and gestures to dramatize the interview.

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