Teaching Activity. Zinn Education Project. 2010. 100 pages.
Eight lessons for use with the documentary film about Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers, the Vietnam War, and whistleblowing.
This 100-page teaching guide, prepared by the Zinn Education Project for middle school, high school, and college classrooms, enhances student understanding of the issues raised in the award winning film, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
The film and teaching guide are ideal resources for students trying to understand the news about WikiLeaks today. Through the story of Daniel Ellsberg, students can explore the type of information revealed by whistleblowers, the risks and motivations of whistleblowers, and the tactics used to silence whisteblowers. As Daniel Ellsberg said: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”
Not only does The Most Dangerous Man in America Teaching Guide offer a “people’s history” approach to learning about whistleblowing and the U.S. war in Vietnam, it also engages students in thinking deeply about their own responsibility as truth-tellers and peacemakers. In the spirit of Howard Zinn, this teaching guide explodes historical myths and focuses on the efforts of people — like Daniel Ellsberg — who worked to end war.
The teaching guide offers an introduction, resource guide, and eight lessons for U.S. history, government, and language arts classrooms. The guide uses a variety of teaching strategies, including role play, critical reading, discussion, mock trial, small group imaginative writing, and personal narrative.
Lessons One through Four are for use prior to showing the film.
Lesson Five is for use during and after the film.
Lessons Six through Eight are for use after students have viewed the film.
While it would be ideal to use all the lessons, each lesson is a stand-alone activity.
The guide was developed by the Zinn Education Project in collaboration with The Most Dangerous Man in America filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith. Written and edited by Bill Bigelow, Sylvia McGauley, Tom McKenna, Hyung Nam, and Julie Treick O’Neill. Funding for the guide provided by the Open Society Foundations.
More information about the film, including how to order for home viewing, high schools, and universities.
Many more resources are listed in the free downloadable teaching guide.