Teaching Materials

A Revolution of Values (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

A Revolution of Values

Teaching Activity. By Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 3 pages.
Text of speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Vietnam War, followed by three teaching ideas.

Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Salt of the Earth: Grounds Students in Hope

Teaching Activity. By S.J. Childs.
The author describes how she introduces students to the classic 1953 film, Salt of the Earth, about a miners’ strike in New Mexico.

Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Labor, Latino, Social Class, Women's History
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Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton | Zinn Education Project

Seneca Falls, 1848: Women Organize for Equality

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow.
A role play allows students to examine issues of race and class when exploring both the accomplishments and limitations of the Seneca Falls Convention.

Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Women's History
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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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Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union: Black and White Unite?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond.
Role play on farm labor organizing in the 1930s shows how racism had to be challenged to create effective worker alliances.

Time Periods: 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: African American, Labor, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity
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Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline

Teaching activity by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Bill Bigelow, and Andrew Duden. Article by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca. 15 pages.
A role play that helps students recognize the issues at stake in the historic struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Environment & Food, Imperialism, Native American, Organizing
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Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today

Teaching Activity. Teaching for Change. 2015.
Introductory lesson on key people and events in the long history of the Selma freedom movement.

Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing, Social Class
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Sun City – A Teaching Guide

Teaching Guide. By Bill Bigelow.
Lessons to accompany the 1985 video “Sun City” that promoted the cultural boycott of South Africa initiated by Little Steven van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E St. Band.

Time Periods: 20th Century, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: Art & Music, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, World History/Global Studies
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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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Teaching SNCC: The Organization at the Heart of the Civil Rights Revolution

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. 24 pages.
A series of role plays that explore the history and evolution of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class, Women's History
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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: Economics, Environment & Food, Immigration, Racism & Racial Identity, World History/Global Studies
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Teaching the Vietnam War: Beyond the Headlines (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Teaching the Vietnam War: Beyond the Headlines

Teaching Activity. By the Zinn Education Project. 100 pages.
Eight lessons about the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers, and whistleblowing.

Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Media, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies
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