Bill Bigelow

Reconstructing the South: A Role Play

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 17 pages. This role play engages students in thinking about what freedpeople needed in order to achieve—and sustain—real freedom following the Civil War. It's followed by a chapter from the book Freedom's Unfinished Revolution.
Teaching Activity by Bill Bigelow
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Who Makes History?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. This lesson introduces students to Bertolt Brecht’s poem, A Worker Reads History. Students reflect on the creative role of workers in making history.
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What Rights Do We Have?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. This lesson teaches some of the nuts and bolts of labor unions and then moves beyond to ask students to consider what rights they have at work, and to recognize that “rights” depend in large part on what people have fought for and won.
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Union Maids (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Union Maids

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Activity for students to write from the point of view of one of the women featured in the film Union Maids.
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“Taylorizing” Burgers: A Fantasy

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 8 pages. In this playful activity, students utilize the principles of “scientific management” to restructure a burger joint—one that has been run a good deal more democratically and imaginatively.
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Organic Goodie cartoon | Zinn Education Project

Organic Goodie Simulation

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 7 pages. Lesson engages students in a lively simulation that helps them experience some of the pressures that lead workers to organize.
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Modern Times

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. This lesson uses Charlie Chaplin’s hilarious classic film, Modern Times, to help students think about the impact of “scientific management” on the workplace.
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Labor Songs

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 7 pages. Students explore the power of songs to build solidarity and increase understanding. This is the final activity from Bigelow and Diamond’s labor history book, The Power in Our Hands, and draws on the other lessons.
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The Homestead Strike

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 10 pages. This role play activity on the famous 1892 Homestead Strike, explores the possibility of solidarity among workers of very different backgrounds and at different levels in the workplace hierarchy.
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Paper Airplane Simulation

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. In this simulation, students make paper airplanes to learn about the origins and effects of “scientific management”—owners’ attempt to capture workers’ skills and knowledge, and then to exploit that knowledge to reorganize work and cut costs by deskilling workers.
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