Teaching Students About Hippies in the 60s
The 60s were a remarkable decade in history, especially in terms of cultural change and social movements. One of the significant symbols of the era was the Hippie movement, which spread across the world, particularly in the United States, between the early 1960s and mid-1970s. The Hippie subculture embraced values of love, peace, freedom, simplicity, environmentalism, and communal living. Their style of clothing, music, drugs, and behavior was distinct from mainstream culture and marked a rebellion against societal norms and traditional values.
Teaching students about the Hippies of the 60s can be an enriching and engaging experience in history or culture-based courses. It provides the opportunity to learn about the themes that were essential during this period, including the anti-war protests, counterculture movements, civil rights movements, and sexual liberation. Here are some ideas for teaching students about Hippies in the 60s:
1. Start with historical context – Students can learn about what was happening in the United States in the 1960s, including the Vietnam War, Space race, and Civil Rights Movement. This sets the stage for showing how the Hippies and their lifestyle represented a departure from the established societal norms.
2. Hippie fashion and lifestyle – Students can be encouraged to examine the Hippie’s style of dress, language, and habits, including their preference for long hair, unisex clothing, and their unique vocabularies. Exploring the concept of communal living as practiced by Hippies, who valued shared living spaces and collective interests can also be exciting.
3. Music Revolution – The 60s was a period of music revolution which saw the growth of many genres that still influence popular music on a global scale today. Educators can incorporate music playlists that engage students in the HipHop tune.
4. Ask for personal narratives from people who lived it – Invite an elder citizen with first-hand experience of the Hippies in the 60s to share their perspective. Personal narratives are powerful forms of conveying historical information, and it brings a personal connection to the experience.
5. Critical reflection – Teaching the Hippies in the 60s, you will provide learners with avenues to grapple with complex themes and challenging questions that developed during this era. Encouraging students to reflect on these themes, in turn, empowers their civic engagement and self-discovery to identify with social justice issues still present today.
Studying the Hippies in 60s history in today’s classrooms can become a powerful way of connecting past and present while expanding cultural education. It helps learners examine significant social, political, cultural, and historical events that shaped the current society, empowering them with a sense of belonging and empowerment in the modern world. Teachers must craft well-structured, engaging, and interactive lessons to help students appreciate the themes, divergent cultures, music, and lifestyle involved in the Hippie movement. By teaching the Hippies of the 60s, we enrich our students with cultural intelligence and values they will carry for a lifetime.