Laws & Citizen Rights

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.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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The Black Upsurge Against Racial Segregation

Teaching Activity. By Tasha Boettcher. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 17 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the long Civil Rights Movement in America.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class
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The Early Women’s Movement

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 6 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the early women's movement, including their efforts for social, racial, and political equality.
Time Periods: 19th Century
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Women's History
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Half a Revolution

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 16 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 5 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the Revolutionary War as "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight," as well as the failure of early Americans to complete a full revolution.
Time Periods: 18th Century, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Social Class
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Labor Matters

Teaching Activity. By Teaching Tolerance. Introduces students to the role of the labor movement in securing contemporary benefits such as the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, and workplace safety regulations.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing
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The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy (Website) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy

Teaching Guide. By Facing History and Ourselves. 2015. A collection of lessons, videos, and primary sources to teach about Reconstruction.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity
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Teaching a Peoples History of Abolition and the Civil War (Book Cover) | Zinn Education Project

Teaching a People’s History of Abolition and the Civil War

Teaching Guide. Edited by Adam Sanchez. 181 pages. 2019. Rethinking Schools. Students will discover the real abolition story, one about some of the most significant grassroots social movements in U.S. history.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Women, Gays, and Other Voices of Resistance

Teaching Activity. By Jack Bareilles. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 19 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the emergence and legacy of the 1960s counterculture, as well as the movements it helped create.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, LGBTQ, Women's History
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World War II and McCarthyism

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 16 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on domestic opposition to the "good war" and the impact of McCarthyism.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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The First Vote

Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution: Teaching a People’s History of Reconstruction

Background Reading for Teachers. By Bill Bigelow. 4 pages. A review of Freedom's Unfinished Revolution, a collection of primary documents for high school on the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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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. Rethinking Schools. 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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Plessy v. Ferguson: The Organizing History of the Case

Article. By Keith W. Medley. The role of the Comité des Citoyens and The Crusader newspaper in the Plessy v. Ferguson case.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity
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Re-examining the Revolution

Background Reading. By Ray Raphael. 7 pages. Based on his book Founding Myths, Raphael critiques the textbook portrayal of the American Revolution. The textbooks say that "a few special people forged American freedom" which "misrepresents, and even contradicts, the spirit of the American Revolution."
Time Periods: 18th Century, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Education, Laws & Citizen Rights
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The Voting Rights Act: Ten Things You Should Know

Article. By Emilye Crosby and Judy Richardson. 2015. Key points in the history of the 1965 Voting Rights Act missing from most textbooks.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity
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On the Road to Voting Rights: Freedom Day in Selma, 1963

Article. By Howard Zinn. Excerpt from Chapter 5 of You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train. Howard Zinn’s first-hand account of Selma’s Freedom Day in 1963.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class
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American Hate (Book) | Zinn Education Project

American Hate: Survivors Speak Out

Book - Non-fiction. Edited by Arjun Singh Sethi. 2018. 192 pages. Testimonials from people impacted by hate before and after the 2016 presidential election.
Time Periods: 21st Century
Themes: Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity
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