Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799

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Reading Level:

    • 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      An art contest is used as the basis from which students can examine primary historical documents (advertisements for runaway slaves) to gain a deeper understanding of the institution of slavery in the North.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
    • 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
    • Whitewashing Our First President

    • Article. By Clarence Lusane. 2014.
      Critical review of an upper elementary non-fiction book about George Washington and the people he kept in bondage.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799 | Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery | Reading Levels: Adult, High School
    • Answering the Cry for Freedom (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Gretchen Woelfle. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. 2016. 238 pages.
      Profiles of African American, free and enslaved, during the American Revolution for upper elementary to middle school.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 18th Century | Themes: African American, Slavery | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
    • 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
    • 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
    • A People's History of the United States (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • A People's History of the United States: 1492 - Present

    • Books – Non-fiction. By Howard Zinn. 2005, with a new introduction by Anthony Arnove in 2015. 784 pages.
      Howard Zinn’s groundbreaking work on U.S. history. This book details lives and facts rarely included in textbooks—an indispensable teacher and student resource.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 2001 - Present, All US History | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Economics, Education, Immigration, Imperialism, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Native American, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery, Social Class, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, Women's History | Reading Levels: Adult, 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
    • Chains

    • Book – Fiction. By Laurie Halse Anderson. 2010. 336 pages.
      Historical fiction based on the life of an enslaved teenager during the Revolutionary War.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799 | Themes: African American, Slavery, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence

    • Book – Non-fiction. By Gretchen Woelfle. Illustrated by Alix Delinois. 2014. 32 pages.
      Picture book about true story of Elizabeth Freeman, a woman who challenged the legality of her enslavement.

    • Resource Types: Picture Books | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799 | Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Slavery, Women's History | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5
    • A People's History of the United States: Highlights from the Twentieth Century (Audio)

    • Audio. By Howard Zinn. Read by Matt Damon. 2003. 8 hours, 44 min.
      Audio book version of excerpted highlights from A People’s History of the United States.

    • Resource Types: Audio | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 18th Century, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 19th Century, 2001 - Present, 20th Century, 21st Century, All US History | Themes: African American, Asian American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Environment & Food, Immigration, Imperialism, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Native American, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery, Social Class, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, Women's History | Reading Levels: High School