Margaret Atwood and Ash Sarkar on activism

Fresh from her joint Booker win, in October 2019 Margaret Atwood was joined by British journalist and political activist Ash Sarkar as they discussed resistance, activism, and the literary legacy of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments.


Age: Key Stages 3 – 5

Subject: PSHE

Topic: Resistance and activism

The following activities give KS3-5 students the opportunity to identify and discuss what is meant by resistance or resistance movements; examples of such movements as well as the actions they may take; as well as students’ personal feelings about resistance and political action. The following activities can be used as standalone activities, or used together with the starter and plenary to form a complete lesson (approx. 1 hour 30 mins in total).

Learning Objectives:

  1. What do we mean by resistance?

  2. How do people ‘resist’?

  3. Would you ‘resist’?

Activity one

Margaret Atwood explains why young people are often active during resistance movements and which movements young people are active in today.

Activity two

Margaret Atwood and Ash Sarkar discuss participating in Extinction Rebellion and whether there is an age limit on joining the movement.

Activity three

Margaret Atwood and Ash Sarkar reflect on whether they would join a resistance movement in a scenario like Gilead, the setting of 'The Handmaid’s Tale'.

The full Penguin Talk

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