Teaching Activities (Free), African American

Resource Type:

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    • Burned Out of Homes and History: Unearthing the Silenced Voices of the Tulsa Race Riot

    • Teaching Activity. By Linda Christensen. 20 pages.
      Teaching about patterns of displacement and wealth inequality through the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Economics, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • 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
    • 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
    • Five Years After the Levees Broke: Bearing Witness Through Poetry (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Five Years After the Levees Broke: Bearing Witness Through Poetry

    • Teaching Activity. By Renée Watson. 7 pages.
      A teacher’s reflection on the power of poetry to spark critical discussion and reflection on current issues of inequality surrounding disaster response in the United States.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: 2001 - Present, 21st Century | Themes: African American, Art & Music, Environment & Food, Language Arts, Laws & Citizen Rights, Media, Racism & Racial Identity |
    • 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
    • ‘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
    • It’s a Mystery—White Workers Against Black Workers

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 8 pages.
      In this “mystery” activity, students receive clues and discuss some of the factors that contributed to the intensification of racism in the 1920s in many parts of the United States.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Themes: African American, Labor, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • Lessons in Solidarity: Grady Hospital Workers United (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Lessons in Solidarity: Grady Hospital Workers United

    • Teaching Activity. By Larry Miller. 6 pages.
      Story and discussion questions about a teacher’s own experience of labor solidarity.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Labor | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Plotting Inequalities, Building Resistance: High School Students Use Math to Reflect on Social Inequality (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Plotting Inequalities, Building Resistance: High School Students Use Math to Reflect on Social Inequality

    • Teaching Activity. By Adam Renner, Bridget Brew, and Crystal Proctor. 5 pages.
      An article describing how math teachers in a San Francisco high school shed light on the ways economics and racism affect education, housing, and job opportunities.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: 2001 - Present, 21st Century | Themes: African American, Economics, Latino, Math, Social Class | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, 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
    • 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
    • "A School Year Like No Other": Eyes on the Prize: "Fighting Back: 1957-1962"

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 7 pages.
      A companion lesson to the Eyes on the Prize segment on school integration.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Education, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Southern Tenant Farmers' Union: Black and White Unite?

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 12 pages.
      Role play on farm labor organizing in the 1930s shows how racism had to be challenged to create effective worker alliances.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Labor, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • Stealing Home: Eminent Domain, Urban Renewal, and the Loss of Community (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Stealing Home: Eminent Domain, Urban Renewal, and the Loss of Community

    • Teaching Activity. By Linda Christensen. 9 pages.
      Teaching about patterns of displacement and wealth inequality through the history of Chávez Ravine and the building of Dodger Stadium.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, 20th Century, 21st Century | Themes: African American, Economics, Latino, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class | Reading Levels: High School
    • Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today

    • Teaching Activity. Teaching for Change. 2015. 20 pages.
      Introductory lesson on key people and events in the long history of the Selma freedom movement.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing, Social Class | 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
    • Warriors Don't Cry: Connecting History, Literature, and Our Lives

    • Teaching Activity. By Linda Christensen. 21 pages.
      Role play and writing activities for language arts and social studies on the Little Rock Nine, Brown v. Board, and schooling in general. Designed for use with the memoir Warriors Don’t Cry.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Education, Language Arts, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • We Had Set Ourselves Free’: Lessons on the Civil Rights Movement (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • 'We Had Set Ourselves Free': Lessons on the Civil Rights Movement

    • Teaching Activity. By Doug Sherman. 4 pages.
      The author describes how he uses biographies and film to introduce students to the role of people involved in the Civil Rights Movement beyond the familiar heroes. He emphasizes the role and experiences of young people in the Movement.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • ‘What We Want, What We Believe’: Teaching with the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • ‘What We Want, What We Believe’: Teaching with the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program

    • Teaching Activity. By Wayne Au. 7 pages.
      The author describes how he used a study of the Black Panther’s Ten Point Program to help students assess issues in their own communities and to develop Ten Point Programs of their own. Available in Spanish.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity | 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