Teaching Materials

Reconstruction Mixer Collage (Updated) | Zinn Education Project

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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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. 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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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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The Carter–Reagan–Bush Consensus

Teaching Activity. By Ron Perry. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 21 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the recently rising disparities in power, wealth and quality of life in America.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Social Class, US Foreign Policy
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Challenging Bill Clinton

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 17 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 23 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the Clinton presidency, as well as domestic opposition to his policies.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Civil War and Class Conflict

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 16 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 10 of Voices of a People's History of the United States" on "The Other Civil War—the class conflict fought by the poor in the north and south.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: Labor, Social Class
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Bartolome de las Casas

Columbus and Las Casas

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 15 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 1 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on Columbus' arrival in the "New World," and the contrasting accounts of Bartolome de Las Casas and Eduardo Galeano.
Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764
Themes: Native American
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