Catherine Franklin

I teach social studies at CCNY’s School of Education and I use the Zinn Education Project a great deal in this course. As a final project, students write a teacher’s guide based on a children’s book that deals with social studies related content. The undergraduates in this course are headed to initial certification for grades 1–6.

I use the book One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia as a way to model teaching approaches. The Black Panthers are an integral part of the plot, which allows us to delve into the Black Panther Party. As a culminating event, I use the Black Panther mixer lesson from the Zinn Education Project. We turn the lights down and transform the classroom into a coffeehouse setting with music from Nina Simone playing in the background. My goal in this course is to show all that one can do with teaching social studies.