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Economics

Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. 14 pages. A role play investigating the economic consequences of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Economics, Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, World History/Global Studies
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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.
Themes: Economics, Labor, Social Class
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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.
Themes: Economics, Labor, Organizing, Social Class
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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.
Themes: Economics, Labor
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Michele Roberts, environmental justice coordinator | Zinn Education Project

The Red Dot of Environmental Racism

Teaching Activity. By Alma Anderson McDonald. A teacher looks back on her childhood to discover the meaning of environmental racism. Linda Christensen offers ways to teach about this story with students.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: African American, Climate Justice, Environment, Economics, Racism & Racial Identity
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Shutdown!—Confronting Plant Closures

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. In this role play activity, students assume the roles of union members and attempt to figure out how to respond to a threatened plant closure.
Themes: Economics, Labor, Organizing, Social Class
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Stealing Home: Eminent Domain, Urban Renewal, and the Loss of Community

Teaching Activity. By Linda Christensen. Teaching about patterns of displacement and wealth inequality through the history of Chávez Ravine and the building of Dodger Stadium.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, 21st Century
Themes: African American, Economics, Latinx, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class
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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.
Themes: Economics, Labor, Social Class
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Street scene woodcut | Zinn Education Project

Teaching Sacrifice Zones

Teaching Activity. By Rosemarie Frascella. Our extractive fossil fuel-based economy has always demanded that some people’s homes and health be sacrificed for the benefit of more privileged and powerful others. This article explores how one teacher engages her students in thinking about how “sacrifice zones” play out in their lives.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Climate Justice, Environment, Economics, Immigration, Racism & Racial Identity, World History/Global Studies
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Speaking Out: Women, War and the Global Economy

Teaching Guide. By Jan Haaken, Ariel Ladum, et al. 2005. with DVD. Interactive lessons on the 1990s civil war in Sierra Leone and broader issues such as cross-cultural awareness, the global trade in diamonds and guns, and the effects of war on women.
Themes: Economics, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, Women's History, World History/Global Studies
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Yup'ik village children preparing salmon | Zinn Education Project

Climate Change and School in a Yup’ik Fishing Village

Article. By Jill Howdyshell. The author describes how climate change is hitting Indigenous communities in Alaska much harder than other places in the world. And yet, administrators still insist that school discussions should focus on student test scores.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Climate Justice, Environment, Economics, Native American
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Young person at climate justice protest (photo) | Zinn Education Project

Our House Is on Fire — Time to Teach Climate Justice

Article. By Bill Bigelow. Rethinking Schools, Spring 2019. For too long, the fossil fuel industry has tried to buy teachers’ and students’ silence. But teaching climate justice has never been more urgent.
Time Periods: 21st Century, All US History
Themes: Climate Justice, Environment, Economics, Education, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, World History/Global Studies
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Tax the Rich (Art by Michael Duffy) | Zinn Education Project

Tax the Rich, Fight Climate Change

Article. By Bill Bigelow. Rethinking Schools, Winter 2018. The “just transition” away from fossil fuels can also be a move toward a society that is cleaner, more equal, and more democratic.
Time Periods: 21st Century
Themes: Climate Justice, Environment, Economics, Social Class
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