We have totally revamped our curriculum to be topical and student-driven. I teach a course on Feminist History and use a modified version of a Seneca Falls Convention so I knew that Zinn would have a valuable resource for a new course I’m teaching this year on the Civil War and Reconstruction.
I used the Reconstructing the South: A Role Play with my students (11/12 grades, a mixed class with international students of all levels) and every single student was engaged and attentive. Finding ways for students to come to their own conclusions on the “hows and whys” of history is the best part of my job and lessons like this allow for and encourage that style of learning. The role play also allowed my students to participate to the level they were comfortable with. I am not a fan of forced interaction and this role play allowed for various levels of input while all students were able to get a sense of the era regardless of how much they had to participate. I think the lesson could be adapted for almost any audience, making it useful each year I teach, regardless of the makeup of my classes.
Thank you Zinn Education Project for your wonderful support of teachers and your dedication to active student learning.