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  • Lesson plan
  • Grades 11-12,
  • Grades 9-10

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationalism: At Home and Abroad


“Kenyans do not get serviced by their government,” states Khadija Mohammed, political campaign manager to MP candidate and filmmaker, Boniface Mwangii. This lesson provides a framework for a critical analysis of elections in Kenya and how colonialism, tribalism, and voter suppression frame the political landscape of the African nation.

A Note from Curriculum Creator, Vivett Dukes

As citizens, we rely on our government to protect and provide for us. The upkeep of this sovereign contract is what fuels our collective and individual sense of patriotism and nationalism; but, what happens when one or both parties violate that contract? What happens when that contract was unequal from the start? What recourse do citizens have when their government refuses to fulfill their part of the agreement? Through the viewing of Softie, we see how one man, Boniface “Softie” Mwangi of Kenya, attempts to disrupt the status quo that is marring the lives of Kenya’s impoverished, working class, and middle class citizens, by entering the political sphere. Considering the political times in which we are currently living, this is a crucial lesson plan to teach. Teaching is never a politically neutral practice, and neither is learning or sharing knowledge.

Subject Areas

  • Government and Economics
  • Global History/Global Studies
  • Women’s Studies/Gender Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Marriage and Family (and other Sociology and Psychology-based electives)
  • Humanities

Grade Levels: 9-12


  • In this lesson, students will:
  • Critically analyze the hallmarks of a democracy
  • Assess and evaluate aspects of grassroots organizing and social movements
  • Respond verbally and in writing to a variety of questions varying in complexity (e.g., recall, basic reasoning, analysis, synthesis, and interpretation)
  • Exhibit and hone active listening skills by practicing question-based, class-wide dialogue


*include relevant technology options for remote-instruction.

  • Softie documentary clips
  • Computer/Laptop/Tablet
  • K-W-L chart
  • Notebook
  • Writing Utensil

Time Needed

Two to four 45-minute class periods with optional homework in between.

About the authors

Vivett Dukes, M.A.

Vivett Dukes, M.A., is a state certified English language arts teacher, a teacher of English to new learners and a literacy specialist. She is a public speaker and advocate who writes a weekly education blog post for and publishes the writings of men, women and children impacted by the collateral consequences of mass incarceration on her personal blog,