Imperialism

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Reading Level:

    • Congo, Coltan, and Cell Phones: A People’s History

    • Teaching Activity. By Alison Kysia. 28 pages.
      In this lesson, students learn about the colonial history of Congo, debate responsibility for crimes against humanity, and investigate the connection, past and present, between the exploitation of natural resources and violence.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, World History/Global Studies |
    • Discovering Columbus: Re-reading the Past (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Discovering Columbus: Re-reading the Past

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 6 pages.
      How to engage students in a critical analysis of the textbook version of “discovery.”

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764 | Themes: Education, Imperialism, Native American | Reading Levels: High School
    • Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War

    • Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. 14 pages.
      A role play investigating the economic consequences of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: 2001 - Present, 21st Century | Themes: Economics, Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • History Textbooks: “Theirs” and “Ours”: A Rebellion or a War of Independence? (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • History Textbooks: “Theirs” and “Ours”: A Rebellion or a War of Independence?

    • Teaching Activity. By John DeRose. 4 pages.
      Analysis of textbook passages from different countries, videos and books are used to explore different perspectives about the same event in history, i.e. “Philippine-American War” vs. “War of Philippine Independence.”

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, 20th Century | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: High School
    • The People vs. Columbus, et al. (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • The People vs. Columbus, et al.

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 8 pages.
      Role play in the form of a trial to determine who is responsible for the death of millions of Taínos on the island of Hispaniola in the late 15th century. Roles available in Spanish.

    • Resource Types: Spanish/Bilingual, Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764 | Themes: Imperialism, Native American | Reading Levels: High School
    • Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 8 pages.
      A role play on the history of the Vietnam War that is left out of traditional textbooks.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • Rethinking What We Know About the Vietnam War (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Rethinking What We Know About the Vietnam War

    • Teaching Activity. Zinn Education Project. 2010. 21 pages.
      Two lessons to introduce key facts about the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers, documents that provide essential history that is often ignored by textbooks.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 20th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: High School
    • A Revolution of Values (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • A Revolution of Values

    • Teaching Activity. By Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 3 pages.
      Text of speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Vietnam War, followed by three teaching ideas.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Line of demonstrators at Standing Rock. Image: Barbara Miner | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline

    • Article by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca. Teaching activity by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Bill Bigelow, and Andrew Duden. 15 pages.
      A role play that helps students recognize the issues at stake in the historic struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: 2001 - Present, 21st Century | Themes: Environment & Food, Imperialism, Native American, Organizing |
    • Tè Tremblé: An Unnatural Disaster: A Trial Role Play Probes the Roots of Devastation in Haiti (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Tè Tremblé: An Unnatural Disaster: A Trial Role Play Probes the Roots of Devastation in Haiti

    • Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. 12 pages.
      A trial role play asks students to question the role played by the U.S. government and other international actors in the 2010 earthquake.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: 2001 - Present, 21st Century | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, 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
    • What the Tour Guide Didn’t Tell Me: Tourism, Colonialism, and Resistance in Hawai’i (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • What the Tour Guide Didn't Tell Me: Tourism, Colonialism, and Resistance in Hawai'i

    • Teaching Activity. By Wayne Wah Kwai Au. 5 pages.
      Lesson on the history of Hawai’i and the impact of colonization and tourism.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, 20th Century | Themes: Asian American, Imperialism, Pacific Islander, Racism & Racial Identity, US Foreign Policy | Reading Levels: High School
    • What War Looks Like (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • What War Looks Like

    • Teaching Activity. By Howard Zinn. 2002. 4 pages.
      Background reading for teachers and high school students on the impact of war.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: All US History | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | 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
    • 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
    • Vietnam and Beyond: The Historic Resistance

    • Teaching Activity. By Mike Benbow and Robin Pickering. 17 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 18 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on opposition to the Vietnam War.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: Imperialism, Social Class, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • Empire or Humanity?: What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me about the American Empire (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Empire or Humanity?: What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me about the American Empire

    • Article for Teachers and High School Students – PDF. By Howard Zinn. 4 pages.
      An essay which raises questions about the justifications for empire building and imperialism.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: All US History | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • The Export of Colors

    • Article. By Manlio Argueta. From Cuzcatlán, Donde bate la mar del sur.
      An excerpt from a novel of historical fiction about the impact of an export economy on peasants in El Salvador.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: 20th Century | Themes: Imperialism, Latino, Native American |
    • Fighting for Okinawa — My Home, Not a Military Base

    • Article. By By Moé Yonamine. If We Knew Our History series. 2017.
      Despite the ongoing threat to cultural survival and island sovereignty caused by Japanese and U.S. military bases since WWII, Okinawans and their history are largely absent.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: 2001 - Present, 21st Century | Themes: Asian American, Environment & Food, Imperialism, US Foreign Policy |
    • The Forgotten Fight Against Fascism

    • Article. By William Loren Katz. 2014. If We Knew Our History Series.
      History textbooks celebrate the U.S. role in World War II—the “Good War.” But they neglect to alert students to the U.S. government’s failure to confront early fascist violence.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: High School
    • 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 |
    • A People’s History of Muslims in the United States (Article) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • A People’s History of Muslims in the United States

    • Article. By Alison Kysia. 2014. If We Knew Our History Series.
      Although the dominant media—including our schools’ curriculum—perpetuate stereotypes, history shows Muslims in the Americas have fought for social justice since the 15th century.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Imperialism, Laws & Citizen Rights |
    • Time to Abolish Columbus Day

    • Article. By Bill Bigelow. 2015. If We Knew Our History Series.
      When the school curriculum celebrates Columbus, children are taught that it’s OK for white people to rule over peoples of color and that militarily powerful nations can bully weaker nations. By his own account, Columbus enslaved people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule. It’s time to abolish Columbus Day.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, 21st Century | Themes: African American, Imperialism, Native American |
    • W. E. B. Du Bois to Malcolm X: The Untold History of the Movement to Ban the Bomb

    • Article. By Vincent Intondi. 2015. If We Knew Our History Series.
      Intondi states: “African American leaders have long been concerned with broad issues of peace and justice—and have especially opposed nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, this activism is left out of mainstream corporate-produced history textbooks.”

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Imperialism, Organizing, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements |
    • Who Killed Sammy Youngee Jr.? SNCC, Vietnam, and the Fight for Racial Justice (Article) - Sammy Young Jr | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Who Killed Sammy Younge Jr.? SNCC, Vietnam, and the Fight for Racial Justice

    • Article. Introduction by Zinn Education Project (2016). Statement by SNCC. 1966.
      Statement by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the Vietnam War, issued three days after the murder of military veteran Sammy Younge Jr.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974 | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Imperialism, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements |
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