Common Sense Review
Updated September 2015

Zinn Education Project: African American

Thoughtful resources offer unique view of African-American history
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This module is part of the Website Zinn Education Project.
Common Sense Rating 4
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  • Activities, guides, books, movies, and website links available.
  • Photographs supplement written content.
  • Teaching activities available in Spanish.
Jennifer Sitkin
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers will find a gold mine of materials for every grade level to support the teaching of African-American history. While not required, it's recommended that teachers read A People’s History of the United States, both to understand Zinn’s approach and to fully implement some of the activities. Teachers need to register to download free activities, articles, and guides. The activities will supplement existing lessons by adding depth and a unique perspective. For example, the Election of 1860 activity allows students to explore political debates and real reasons for the Civil War. Beyond covering the historical content, some of the activities bridge the gap to the present to make the learning more meaningful. In one lesson, students assess their own communities using the Black Panthers Ten Point Program as a model. There are also suggested books, videos, and websites for further exploration. Teachers may want to assign a book or video for extra credit, or use the websites for additional learning resources. Searches can be done by type of activity or reading level, and teachers can scroll through the seven pages of references to find relevant topics for their classrooms.

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