19th Century

Resource Type:

Reading Level:

    • Andrew Jackson and the "Children of the Forest" (Lesson) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Andrew Jackson and the "Children of the Forest"

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 5 pages.
      A lesson in which students develop critical literacy skills by responding to Andrew Jackson’s speech on “Indian Removal.”

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Native American, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • Bound for the Rio Grande: Traitors—Or Martyrs (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Bound for the Rio Grande: Traitors—Or Martyrs

    • Background Reading (PDF) and Song. Reading by Milton Meltzer and song by David Rovics. 1974. 4 pages and 5 min.
      The story of the San Patricio Battalion, Irish-American soldiers who deserted the U.S. Army during the U.S.-Mexican War and fought on the side of the Mexicans.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role Play (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role Play

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 10 pages.
      Role play on the Cherokee-Seminole removal or Trail of Tears.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • The Draft Riot Mystery

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 9 pages.
      Students are invited to solve a mystery, using historical clues, about the real story of the Draft Riots.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery, Social Class, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • The Election of 1860 Role Play (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • The Election of 1860 Role Play

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 12 pages.
      Role play based on the election of 1860 allows students to explore the political debates of the time and the real reasons for the Civil War.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Slavery, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom
    • Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 7 pages.
      A lesson to introduce students to the numerous and varied ways African Americans resisted their enslavement, using the autobiographical Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Slavery | Reading Levels: High School
    • Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution: Teaching a People’s History of Reconstruction (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Freedom's Unfinished Revolution: Teaching a People’s History of Reconstruction

    • Background Reading for Teachers. By Bill Bigelow. 4 pages.
      A review of Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution, a collection of primary documents for high school on the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: High School
    • Hunger on Trial: An Activity on the Irish Potato Famine and Its Meaning for Today

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 5 pages.
      Role play in the form of a trial to determine who was responsible for the death of Irish peasants during the potato famine.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Environment & Food, Immigration, Social Class, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: High School
    • ‘If There Is No Struggle...’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 16 pages.
      In this role play, students become members of the American Anti-Slavery Society, facing many of the real challenges to ending slavery.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: Adult, Grades 6-8, High School
    • Lewis Hine’s Photographs

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson. 4 pages.
      Using photographs to spark creative writing and critical thinking about child labor issues and social justice.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, 19th Century, 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Immigration, Labor, Media, Social Class | Reading Levels: Adult
    • 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
    • Reconstructing the South: A Role Play

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 17 pages.
      This role play engages students in thinking about what freedpeople needed in order to achieve—and sustain—real freedom following the Civil War. It’s followed by a chapter from the book Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution on what would happen to the land in the South after slavery ended.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: High School
    • Seneca Falls, 1848: Women Organize for Equality

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 17 pages.
      A role play allows students to examine issues of race and class when exploring both the accomplishments and limitations of the Seneca Falls Convention.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Women's History | Reading Levels: High School
    • U.S. Mexico War: "We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God"

    • Teaching Activity. Lesson by Bill Bigelow and student reading by Howard Zinn. 21 pages.
      Interactive activity introduces students to the history and often untold story of the U.S.-Mexico War. Roles available in Spanish.

    • Resource Types: Spanish/Bilingual, Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Imperialism, Latino, Slavery, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • A War to Free the Slaves? (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • A War to Free the Slaves?

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 7 pages.
      Students examine excerpts from Lincoln’s first inaugural address, the rarely mentioned original Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution that Lincoln promised to support, and the Emancipation Proclamation to explore some of the myths about the Civil War.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: High School
    • Who Freed the Slaves? (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Who Freed the Slaves?

    • Student Handout. By Bill Bigelow. 3 pages.
      This timeline can be used as a resource for lessons on the Civil War, President Lincoln, the 54th Regiment, and the end of slavery.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Civil War and Class Conflict

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 16 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 10 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States” on “The Other Civil War—the class conflict fought by the poor in the north and south.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: Labor, Social Class | Reading Levels: High School
    • The Early Women's Movement

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 17 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 6 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the early women’s movement, including their efforts for social, racial, and political equality.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: 19th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Women's History | Reading Levels: High School
    • The Expansion of Empire

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 15 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 12 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on internal dissent over American expansionist policies.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 19th Century | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • The First Slaves

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 15 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 2 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on early American slavery, resistance, and rebellion.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: High School
    • Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution: An Inquiry Into the Civil War and Reconstruction (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Freedom's Unfinished Revolution: An Inquiry Into the Civil War and Reconstruction

    • Teaching Guide. By American Social History Project with foreword by Eric Foner. 1996. 302 pages.
      Primary documents, essays, and questions to teach the untold story of Reconstruction.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • Indian Removal

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 18 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 7 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the American policy of “Manifest Destiny” and Native American resistance to their own displacement.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 19th Century | Themes: Imperialism, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration

    • Teaching Guide. By Bill Bigelow. 2006. 160 pages.
      Lessons for teaching about the history of U.S.–Mexico relations and current border and immigration issues. Published by Rethinking Schools.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century, 20th Century | Themes: Immigration, Latino, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
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