Teaching Activities (Free)

Free to Think, Talk, Listen, or Sing

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 6 pages.
Students work with a chapter from Milton Meltzer’s classic book, Bread and Roses, to see the impact of late 19th century factory work on workers’ home lives.

Themes: Labor, Social Class

Factory workers | Zinn Education Project

In Paper Airplane Simulation, students “saw” some of the key turn-of-the-century workplace changes, which continue to affect workers.

In this reading from Milton Meltzer“s classic book on U.S. labor history, Bread and Roses, students explore some of the historical background. “Free to Think, Talk, Listen, or Sing” recounts how new technologies and workplace structures affected the most intimate aspects of people”s lives. Often, workers” demands made in negotiations don”t fully reveal the human consequences of work. Even when the call is for higher wages, the underlying grievances may be much deeper.

The Power In Our Hands Available for Download

This is one of the 16 lessons available from The Power In Our Hands. Other lessons available for individual download are:


Unit I: Basic Understandings

Unit II: Changes in the Workplace/”Scientific Management”

Unit III: Defeats, Victories, Challenges

Unit IV: Our Own Recent Past

Unit V: Continuing Struggle

Order the book online from Monthly Review.