Teaching Materials

Aerial photo of mountaintop removal | Zinn Education Project

From Mountaintop Removal to Divestment

Teaching Activity. By Hannah Jones.
The global movement to get institutions to divest from fossil fuels began with students. This article tells the inspiring story.

Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Economics, Environment & Food, Organizing
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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.
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.
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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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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Promoting Social Imagination Through Interior Monologues (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Promoting Social Imagination Through Interior Monologues

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Linda Christensen. 3 pages.
Empathy, or “social imagination,” allows students to connect to “the other” with whom, on the surface, they may appear to have little in common.

Time Periods: All US History
Themes: Language Arts, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, Women's History
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Reading Between the Lines: An Art Contest Helps Students Imagine the Lives of Runaway Slaves (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Reading Between the Lines: An Art Contest Helps Students Imagine the Lives of Runaway Slaves

Teaching Activity. By Thom Thacker and Michael A. Lord. 4 pages.
An art contest is used as the basis from which students can examine primary historical documents (advertisements for runaway slaves) to gain a deeper understanding of the institution of slavery in the North.

Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, 18th Century, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery
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Remembering Mahmoud Darwish

Teaching Activity. By Naomi Shihab Nye and Linda Christensen.
An essay, poem, and teaching idea utilizing famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s work to help students “name the invisible forces that imprison them.”

Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Art & Music, World History/Global Studies
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Rethinking What We Know About the Vietnam War (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Rethinking What We Know About the Vietnam War

Teaching Activity. Zinn Education Project. 21 pages.
Two lessons to introduce key facts about the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers, documents that provide essential history that is often ignored by textbooks.

Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies
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Rethinking the Vietnam War | Zinn Education Project

Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow.
A role play on the history of the Vietnam War that is left out of traditional textbooks.

Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Rethinking the U.S. Constitutional Convention: A Role Play | Zinn Education Project

Rethinking the U.S. Constitutional Convention: A Role Play

Teaching Activity. By Bob Peterson. 14 pages.
A role play on the Constitutional Convention which brings to life the social forces active during and immediately following the American Revolution with focus on two key topics: suffrage and slavery. An elementary school adaptation of the Constitution Role Play by Bill Bigelow. Roles available in Spanish.

Time Periods: 18th Century, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Native American, Slavery, Women's History
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