Lesson Plan


Female Protestor holding a sign that states "We Cant Drink Oil #NoDAPL

Civics Lesson

GRADE LEVEL: High School

What is “Hashtag Activism”?

In What Ways Does “Hashtag Activism” Help and Hinder Social Movements?

#MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, #IceBucketChallenge, #ThisIsOurLane and so many other hashtags are appearing on Twitter and various social media sites. With every hashtag posted, webs of content are created and individual voices are connected. For some people, their activism begins and ends with the use of a hashtag. For others, using a hashtag is just the beginning of their activism. As we learn about and watch people create new businesses, launch organizational events and organize protests, hashtags are an increasingly popular way to promote and involve others. It is no longer a question of whether a hashtag should be included in a civic activity, but rather how to best market the hashtag so it will be used widely. Hashtags can help raise awareness, connect people and focus content and actions. But are they really a form of activism? Can true, measurable change come from simply using a hashtag in a post? Are you participating in a civic movement by using the hashtag and not going out into the community?

About the Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will learn about the benefits and drawbacks of hashtag activism while developing their own position on its effectiveness.




  • Explain hashtag activism.
  • Analyze hashtag activism’s ability to create change in communities.

Virtual Classroom Option

Click here for the student-facing version of this lesson using the Sutori platform, a collaborative instruction and presentation tool for the classroom. Use the "share" feature for each activity to easily add to your Google classroom or other online platform.