Popular Lessons in 2023–2024

The right is doing all they can to suppress the teaching of history, but they are not succeeding. How do we know? Check out this list of lessons that were most frequently downloaded from the Zinn Education Project website during the 2023–2024 school year!

Read the list and donate so that we can provide more teachers with these lessons.

Portrait of Palestinian family of Ramallah, circa 1900-1910.

Teaching the Seeds of Violence in Palestine-Israel

By Bill Bigelow

This mixer/mystery activity helps students understand Zionism, anti-Zionism, peasant resistance, the Great War, the British Mandate, and more.


Subversives: Stories from the Red Scare

Subversives: Stories from the Red Scare

By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

In this mixer lesson, students meet 27 different targets of government harassment and repression to analyze why disparate individuals might have become targets of the same campaign, determining what kind of threat they posed in the view of the U.S. government.

The Color Line

By Bill Bigelow

This lesson on the countless colonial laws enacted to create division and inequality based on race helps students understand the origins of racism in the United States and who benefits.

A depiction of two panels from The Great Wall of Los Angeles, a mural by Judy Baca. These panels show depictions from the Mexican-American War.

U.S. Mexico War: “We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God”

Lesson by Bill Bigelow and student reading by Howard Zinn

This interactive activity introduces students to the history and often untold story of the U.S.-Mexico War. Roles available in Spanish.

The People vs. Columbus, et al.

By Bill Bigelow with contributions from members of the Taíno community

In this mock trial, students determine who is responsible for the death of millions of Taínos on the island of Hispaniola in the late 15th century.

A mural on Whiterock Road in Belfast commemorating the Irish famine. The mural reads "Britain's genocide by starvation. Ireland's holocaust, 1845-1849. Over 1,500,000 deaths."

Hunger on Trial: An Activity on the Irish Potato Famine and Its Meaning for Today

By Bill Bigelow

This trial role play helps students reflect on responsibility for the deaths of Irish peasants during the so-called potato famine.

COINTELPRO | Zinn Education Project

COINTELPRO: Teaching the FBI’s War on the Black Freedom Movement

By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

Through examining FBI documents, students learn the scope of the FBI’s COINTELPRO campaign to spy on, infiltrate, discredit, and disrupt all corners of the Black Freedom Movement.

Plowing in South Carolina

Reconstructing the South

By Bill Bigelow with companion lesson by Mimi Eisen and Ursula Wolfe-Rocca 

This role play engages students in thinking about what freedpeople needed in order to achieve — and sustain — real freedom after the Civil War. In the follow-up lesson, students explore primary sources that reveal key outcomes of the Reconstruction era.

Broadside by the Freedmen's Bureau Assistant Superintendent at Shreveport, Louisiana

Reconstructing the South: What Really Happened

By Mimi Eisen and Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

A follow-up lesson to “Reconstructing the South,” using primary source documents to reveal key outcomes of the Reconstruction era.


A photograph of a colorful mural depicting the Black Panther Party's 10 Point Program, as seen on the side of Marcus Books in Oakland, California.

‘What We Want, What We Believe’: Teaching with the Black Panthers’ 10-Point Program

By Wayne Au

How students can use the Black Panther Party’s 10-Point Program to assess issues in their own communities and to develop 10-Point Programs of their own.

How Red Lines Built White Wealth: A Lesson on Housing Segregation in the 20th Century

By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

The mixer role play is based on Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law, which shows in exacting detail how government policies segregated every major city in the United States with dire consequences for African Americans.

Poetry of Defiance: How the Enslaved Resisted

By Adam Sanchez

Through a mixer activity, students encounter how enslaved people resisted the brutal exploitation of slavery. The lesson culminates in a collective class poem highlighting the defiance of the enslaved.

Water and Environmental Racism

By Matt Reed and Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

This lesson introduces students to the struggle of residents to access safe water in the majority-Black cities of Flint, Michigan; Jackson, Mississippi; and Newark, New Jersey.

Whose “Terrorism”?

By Bill Bigelow

Using scenarios based on real situations, this lesson helps students examine the definition of terrorism and the use of the term terrorism in the media and U.S. foreign policy.

A colorful painting of people being deported back to Mexico, by Kaelyn Savard.

Deportations on Trial: Mexican Americans During the Great Depression

By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

In this lesson, students analyze who is to blame for the illegal, mass deportations of Mexican Americans and immigrants during the Great Depression.

Stories from the Climate Crisis: A Mixer

By Bill Bigelow

This lesson introduces students to 23 individuals around the world — each of whom is affected differently by climate change.

Eduardo Relero Apple Store in Madrid | Zinn Education Project

Congo, Coltan, and Cell Phones: A People’s History

By Alison Kysia

In this lesson, students learn about the colonial history of Congo, debate responsibility for crimes against humanity, and investigate the connection, past and present, between the exploitation of natural resources and violence.



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