Laws & Citizen Rights

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    • 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
    • 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 |
    • 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
    • Learning About the Unfairgrounds: A 4th-Grade Teacher Introduces Her Students to Executive Order 9066 (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Learning About the Unfairgrounds: A 4th-Grade Teacher Introduces Her Students to Executive Order 9066

    • Teaching Activity. By Katie Baydo-Reed. 10 pages.
      Students hold a “tea party” and a mock trial in preparation for reading literature about internment.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: Asian American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements |
    • A Lesson on the Japanese American Internment (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • A Lesson on the Japanese American Internment

    • Teaching Activity. By Mark Sweeting. 4 pages.
      How one teacher engaged his students in a critical examination of the language used in textbooks to describe the internment.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: Asian American, Democracy & Citizenship, Education, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII

    • Teaching Activity. By Moé Yonamine. 18 pages.
      Poetry, photography, and text are used in this role play to teach about the seldom told history of Japanese Latin American internment during WWII.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: Asian American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies | 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
    • 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
    • "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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Stenciling Dissent: A Student Project Draws on the Language of the Streets (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Stenciling Dissent: A Student Project Draws on the Language of the Streets

    • Teaching Activity. By Andrew Reed. 5 pages.
      Teaching activity connects students to history of art as a means of protest and gives them opportunity and skills to create their own stencil with a powerful message.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: All US History | Themes: Art & Music, Civil Rights Movements, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing |
    • Sun City - A Teaching Guide

    • Teaching Guide. By Bill Bigelow. 6 pages.
      Lessons to accompany the 1985 video “Sun City” that promoted the cultural boycott of South Africa initiated by Little Steven van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E St. Band.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Time Periods: Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: High School
    • What Rights Do We Have?

    • Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 7 pages.
      This lesson teaches some of the nuts and bolts of labor unions and then moves beyond to ask students to consider what rights they have at work, and to recognize that “rights” depend in large part on what people have fought for and won.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Activities (Free) | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • The Black Upsurge Against Racial Segregation

    • Teaching Activity. By Tasha Boettcher. 17 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 17 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the long Civil Rights Movement in America.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, 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
    • 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
    • Labor Matters

    • Teaching Activity. By Teaching Tolerance.
      Introduces students to the role of the labor movement in securing contemporary benefits such as the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, and workplace safety regulations.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Rights Matter: The Story of the Bill of Rights

    • Teaching Guide. By Nancy Murray. 2006. 69 pages.
      A free, downloadable, student-friendly booklet on the Bill of Rights, available in English and Spanish.

    • Resource Types: Spanish/Bilingual, Teaching Guides | Themes: Laws & Citizen Rights | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Women, Gays, and Other Voices of Resistance

    • Teaching Activity. By Jack Bareilles. 17 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 19 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the emergence and legacy of the 1960s counterculture, as well as the movements it helped create.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, LGBT, Women's History | Reading Levels: High School
    • World War II and McCarthyism

    • Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 19 pages.
      Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 16 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on domestic opposition to the “good war” and the impact of McCarthyism.

    • Resource Types: Teaching Guides | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, 20th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • ‘Is This America?': 50 Years Ago Sharecroppers Challenged Mississippi Apartheid, LBJ, and the Nation

    • Article. By Julian Hipkins III and Deborah Menkart. 2014. If We Knew Our History Series.
      At the 1964 Democratic National convention, former sharecropper Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party made a dramatic challenge to the all-white delegation. Their actions rocked the political landscape.

    • Resource Types: Articles | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class | Reading Levels: Adult, 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 |
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