18th Century

Resource Type:

Reading Level:

    • The Color Line (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • The Color Line

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 6 pages.
      A lesson on the countless colonial laws enacted to create division and inequality based on race. This helps students understand the origins of racism in the United States and who benefits.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, 18th Century | Themes: African American, Laws & Citizen Rights, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: High School
    • Presidents and Slaves: Helping Students Find the Truth (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Presidents and Slaves: Helping Students Find the Truth

    • Teaching Activity. By Bob Peterson. 7 pages.
      How a 5th grade teacher and his students conducted research to answer the question: “Which presidents owned people?” Available in Spanish.

    • Resource Types: Spanish/Bilingual, Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Education, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
    • Reading Between the Lines: An Art Contest Helps Students Imagine the Lives of Runaway Slaves (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Reading Between the Lines: An Art Contest Helps Students Imagine the Lives of Runaway Slaves

    • Teaching Activity. By Thom Thacker and Michael A. Lord. 4 pages.
      An art contest is used as the basis from which students can examine primary historical documents (advertisements for runaway slaves) to gain a deeper understanding of the institution of slavery in the North.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 18th Century, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Reclaiming Hidden History: Students Create a Slavery Walking Tour in Manhattan (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Reclaiming Hidden History: Students Create a Slavery Walking Tour in Manhattan

    • Teaching Activity. By Alan J. Singer. 7 pages.
      How a teacher and his students organized a tour of the hidden history of slavery in New York.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 18th Century, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: High School
    • Rethinking the U.S. Constitutional Convention: A Role Play (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Rethinking the U.S. Constitutional Convention: A Role Play

    • Teaching Activity. By Bob Peterson. 14 pages.
      A role play on the Constitutional Convention which brings to life the social forces active during and immediately following the American Revolution with focus on two key topics: suffrage and slavery. An elementary school adaptation of the Constitution Role Play by Bill Bigelow. Roles available in Spanish.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Native American, Slavery, Women's History | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
    • Half a Revolution

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 16 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 5 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the Revolutionary War as “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight,” as well as the failure of early Americans to complete a full revolution.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Social Class | Reading Levels: High School
    • New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth

    • Teaching Guide. By Alan J. Singer. 2008. 178 pages.
      Narrative description of slavery in the north and strategies for engaging young people as historians on the topic.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century | Themes: Slavery | Reading Levels: Adult
    • Servitude and Rebellion

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olsen-Raymer. 15 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 3 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the role and dissent of indentured servants in American colonial history.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Labor, Social Class | Reading Levels: High School
    • It’s Constitution Day! Time to Teach Obedience or History? (Article) - Teaching about the Constitution requires a critical and nuanced exploration—one that is alert to the race and class issues at the heart of our governing document. | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • It’s Constitution Day! Time to Teach Obedience or History?

    • Article. By Bill Bigelow. 2012. If We Knew Our History Series.
      Teaching about the Constitution requires a critical and nuanced exploration—one that is alert to the race and class issues at the heart of our governing document.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Slavery, Social Class, Women's History |
    • Lying to Children About the California Missions and the Indians

    • Article. By Deborah A. Miranda. 2015. If We Knew Our History Series.
      Despite all that we know about the brutal treatment of Native Americans during the Spanish colonization of California, children are still taught to celebrate the California missions. Deborah A. Miranda of the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation of California demands an end to what she calls the Mission Fantasy Fairy Tale.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century | Themes: Imperialism, Native American |
    • Re-examining the Revolution

    • Background Reading (PDF). By Ray Raphael. 7 pages.
      Based on his book Founding Myths, Raphael critiques the textbook portrayal of the American Revolution. The textbooks say that “a few special people forged American freedom” which “misrepresents, and even contradicts, the spirit of the American Revolution.”

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Education, Laws & Citizen Rights | Reading Levels: Adult, Grades 6-8, High School
    • “All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • "All the Real Indians Died Off": And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker. 2016. 224 pages.
      Deconstructs persistent myths about American Indians rooted in fear and prejudice—an astute and lively primer of European-Indian relations.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, All US History | Themes: Native American | Reading Levels: Adult, High School
    • Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir

    • Book – Non-fiction and prose. Deborah A. Miranda. 2012. 240 pages.
      A compilation of documents, photos, and memoir that recounts the establishment of missions in California and the impact on Indigenous people—then and today.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century | Themes: Education, Imperialism, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Adult
    • The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Ray Raphael. 2003. 288 pages.
      The events leading up to the American Revolution.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Adult, High School
    • Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Ray Raphael. 2014. 420 pages.
      Myths and the reasons that they have come to replace the real stories of the Revolutionary period.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship | Reading Levels: High School
    • An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. 2015. 312 pages.
      Four hundred years of Native American history from a bottom-up perspective.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, All US History | Themes: Native American | Reading Levels: High School
    • Many Thousand Gone: African-Americans from Slavery to Freedom

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Virginia Hamilton. 2002. 160 pages.
      An illustrated account of slavery for children based on historical records, personal narratives, and biographies for ages 8 – 12. Includes profiles of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century | Themes: Organizing, Slavery | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
    • News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Juan González and Joseph Torres. 2011. 256 pages.
      The history of media in the United States, through the lens of race.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: 18th Century, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 19th Century, 2001 - Present, 20th Century, 21st Century | Themes: Latino, Media | Reading Levels: Adult, High School
    • No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Doreen Rappaport. Illustrated by Shane W. Evans. 2005. 64 pages. Picture book for upper elementary/middle school on the many forms of resistance to slavery.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction, Picture Books | Time Periods: 18th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Organizing, Slavery | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
    • A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Ray Raphael. Series editor: Howard Zinn. 2002. 528 pages.
      Using hundreds of primary sources, this book tells the more accurate, populist, complicated, and interesting story of the American Revolution.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies & Sparked the American Revolution

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Alfred Blumrosen and Ruth Blumrosen. 2006. 304 pages.
      A detailed account of the role slavery played in the Revolutionary War and the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 18th Century, 19th Century | Themes: Economics, Slavery | Reading Levels: Adult
    • A Young People’s History of the United States

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Howard Zinn with Rebecca Stefoff. 2009. 464 pages.
      A young adult version of the best-selling A People’s History of the United States.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, All US History | Themes: African American, Asian American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Imperialism, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, LGBT, Native American, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery, Social Class, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, Women's History | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

    • Picture book. By Chris Barton. Illustrated by Don Tate. 2015. 50 pages.
      An in-depth look at the Reconstruction period through the life of one of the first African-American congressmen.

    • Resource Types: Picture Books | Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 18th Century | Themes: African American | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5
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