Teaching Materials

What Rights Do We Have?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. This lesson teaches some of the nuts and bolts of labor unions and then moves beyond to ask students to consider what rights they have at work, and to recognize that “rights” depend in large part on what people have fought for and won.
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing
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What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party — but Should

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian. 33 pages. Rethinking Schools. A mixer role play that introduces students to the pivotal and largely untold history of the Black Panthers.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: African American, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class, Women's History
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Frances Harper, William Sylvis, Isaac Myers, and John Roy Lynch pictured. They were leaders of the Reconstruction Era in US history

When the Impossible Suddenly Became Possible: A Reconstruction Mixer

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez and Nqobile Mthethwa. 25 pages. A mixer role play that explores the connections between different social movements during Reconstruction.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Police use tear gas against participants in San Francisco’s 1934 general strike.

Who Made the New Deal? The Economic Recovery Conference Role Play

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. Rethinking Schools. Through role play, students explore how different social groups influenced New Deal legislation.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Economics, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing
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Who Makes History?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. This lesson introduces students to Bertolt Brecht’s poem, A Worker Reads History. Students reflect on the creative role of workers in making history.
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Labor, Social Class
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Whose “Terrorism”?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 11 pages. Rethinking Schools. Using scenarios based on real situations, this lesson helps middle and high school students examine the definition of terrorism and the use of the term terrorism in the media and U.S. foreign policy.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Witness to Apartheid: A Teaching Guide

Teaching Guide. By Bill Bigelow. 1987. Lessons and activities that accompany the 1986 film Witness to Apartheid.
Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity, World History/Global Studies
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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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Bush II and the “War on Terror”

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 18 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 24 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on George W. Bush, the "War on Terror," Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Patriot Act.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Caribbean Connections: Moving North (Teaching Guide) | Zinn Education Project

Caribbean Connections: Moving North

Teaching Guide. Edited by Catherine Sunshine and Keith Warner. 2005. 240 pages. Literature and essays about Caribbean life in the United States.
Themes: Immigration, Latinx, US Foreign Policy
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