Teaching Materials

How to Make Amends: A Lesson on Reparations

Teaching Activity. By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Alex Stegner, Chris Buehler, Angela DiPasquale, and Tom McKenna. Students meet dozens of advocates and recipients of reparations from a variety of historical eras to grapple with the possibility of reparations now and in the future.
Time Periods: 20th Century, 21st Century
Themes: African American, Asian American, Native American, Organizing, World History/Global Studies
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collage of six Black abolitionists in the United States.

‘If There Is No Struggle…’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 16 pages. Rethinking Schools. In this role play, students become members of the American Anti-Slavery Society, facing many of the real challenges to ending slavery.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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It’s a Mystery—White Workers Against Black Workers

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 8 pages. In this “mystery” activity, students receive clues and discuss some of the factors that contributed to the intensification of racism in the 1920s in the United States.
Themes: African American, Labor, Racism & Racial Identity
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Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Online Archive

Archive. Collection of firsthand accounts and primary sources of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Asian American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Just an Environment or a Just Environment?

Teaching Activity. By Hyung Kyu Nam. 2003. Explores the multiple causes of racial segregation and environmental racism, and helps students understand how institutional racism is perpetuated in the post-Civil Rights era.
Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Racism & Racial Identity
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Kids in Birmingham 1963

Archive. An online collection of stories from people who were children in Birmingham in 1963.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements
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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.
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing, Social Class
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Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery

Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery

Archive. This website collects and publishes thousands of “Information Wanted” advertisements taken out by people freed from slavery who are searching for family members who had been sold apart.
Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Slavery and Resistance
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Lawrence, 1912: The Singing Strike

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Role play on the 1912 Bread and Roses strike in Lawrence, Mass.
Time Periods: 20th Century, World War I: 1910 - 1919
Themes: Art & Music, Immigration, Labor, Organizing, Women's History
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Japanese American Internment Featured Image

A Lesson on the Japanese American Internment

Teaching Activity. By Mark Sweeting. Rethinking Schools. How one teacher engaged his students in a critical examination of the language used in textbooks to describe the internment.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Asian American, Democracy & Citizenship, Education, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Lessons in Solidarity: Grady Hospital Workers United (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Lessons in Solidarity: Grady Hospital Workers United

Teaching Activity. By Larry Miller. Rethinking Schools. Story and discussion questions about a teacher's own experience of labor solidarity.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Labor
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Lewis Hine’s Photographs

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson. 4 pages. Rethinking Schools. Using photographs to spark creative writing and critical thinking about child labor issues and social justice.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 20th Century, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909
Themes: Art & Music, Immigration, Labor, Media, Social Class
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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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One Country! One Language! One Flag! (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

One Country! One Language! One Flag!

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 3 pages. Rethinking Schools. Discussion questions and teaching ideas for examining the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and the political milieu in which it was written.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Education, Immigration
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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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The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII

Teaching Activity. By Moé Yonamine. 18 pages. Rethinking Schools. Poetry, photography, and text are used in this role play to teach about the seldom told history of Japanese Latin American internment during WWII.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Asian American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies
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Our Grandparents’ Civil Rights Era: Family Letters Bring History to Life (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Our Grandparents’ Civil Rights Era: Family Letters Bring History to Life

Teaching Activity. By Willow McCormick. Rethinking Schools. An elementary school teacher connects the Civil Rights Movement to students’ family history by asking their grandparents to share their memories of the Movement.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Civil Rights Movements
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