2013-2014 Chronological Resources

(Key: E = Elementary, M = Middle, H = High, TR = Teacher Resources)



1 60th anniversary of a House Concurrent Resolution that terminated federal obligations to Native American tribes. The consequence of HCR-108 was the beginning of an era of termination policy, in which the federally recognized status of many Native American tribes was revoked. As a result, the government withdrew Native Americans’ legal protection to territory, culture, and religion and subjected tribes to state laws including selling their lands to non-Indians.

Indian Activism During the Cold War, by high school teacher, Calvin Seely. This lesson plan analyzes Indians’ role during the beginnings of the Cold War and why they fought to reject assimilation and termination. This site also analyzes Native Americans’ role in WWII. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/TSgBBT

5     10th anniversary of the Anglican Church approving the first openly gay bishop.
The Anglican Church in America voted to approve the appointment of Reverend Canon V. Gene Robinson.Robinson is the first openly gay, noncelibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination believing in the historic episcopate.

Exhibit: The Council on Religion and the Homosexual, by the LGBT Religious Archives Network and the GLBT Historical Society. This online exhibit from the GLBT History Museum provides primaryresources including audio clips that shed light on how the council came to be and why so many religious leaders began a movement to educate religious groups and generate religious support for legal and social reforms for people who identify as homosexual. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/TqqB5Y

Spiritual Issues: A Collection of Resources, by the Safe Schools Coalition. This webpage houses a number of resources including a collection of “It Gets Better” videos by individuals from variousreligious backgrounds. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Tqqjw5

6     20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Prior to this act, employee requests for leave could be denied for any reason, and workers could be fired for taking family and medical leave. The FMLA requires employers to provide job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons, which include personal or family illness, family military leave, and having a child.

Institutional Inequality and the Mobilization of the Family and Medical Leave Act Rights on Leave, by Catherine R. Albiston. This study shows how institutions transform rights in ways that both reproduce and resist inequality and social hierarchies. (TR) http://bit.ly/OgDeNN

11     40th anniversary of the birth of Hip Hop. While hip hop’s origins began much earlier, it is often said to have officially been born at an August 11, 1973 dance party where DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell) used two turntables to create a “break beat.” These parties started a unique sub-culture that is characterized by four elements: rapping, DJing, hip hop dancing and graffiti.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry With a Beat, edited by Nikki Giovanni (Busboys and Poets Books). Hip Hop Speaks to Children is a celebration of poetry with a beat. The bookand CD include 51 selections from 42 poets and performers, and 30 performances on the audio CD, many recorded specially for this collection. (E, M) http://bit.ly/RePxc2

Hip-Hop Poetry and the Classics, by Adam Sitomer and Michael Cirelli. This teaching resource pairs classic hip-hop poetry with canonical poetry to teach various stylistic devices. (M, H) http://bit.ly/PIaoIv

12     International Youth Day. International Youth Day, created by the UN, is designed to draw attention to cultural and legal issues surrounding youth.

Youth Media Info Center, by the FreeChild Project. One way for students to participate in International Youth Day is to use media to examine their world and the issues they face and to tell their own stories. This website provides a list of youth media organizations, resources and publishers to support your students’ projects. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/rXTS9k

15     40th anniversary of the end of US military involvement in the Vietnam War. The Case-Church Amendment, passed by the US Congress, set August 15, 1973 as the date for which funding for US military involvement in Vietnam would be discontinued. US ground forces had already been withdrawn as part of a policy known as Vietnamization.

Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War, in A Peoples’ History for the Classroom, by Bill Bigelow. This lesson helps students uncover the historical roots of the Vietnam War to better understand why and in whose interest this war was fought. (M, H) http://bit.ly/SOk69t

The Limits of Power: The United States in Vietnam, by The Choices Program, Brown University. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that examines key decision points marking US involvement in the Vietnam War. Materials include lesson plans, web links, and other resources. (H,TR) http://bit.ly/uqeFYu

17     Sri Krishna Janmashtami (Hinduism).
Sri Krishna Janmashtami is the celebration of Sri Krishna’s birthday, the 8th Divine Incarnation.

My Hindu Year (A Year of Religious Festivals), by Cath Senker. This children’s book explores events, customs, and celebrations that Hindu children participate in throughout the calendar year. Readers can also look inside an 8-year-old Hindu boy’s diary to read about what it’s like to experience the different events. (E) http://amzn.to/Rfiery

18     50th anniversary of James Meredith’s graduation from the University of Mississippi. On this day James Meredith became the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi. He was denied admittance to the segregated university twice, but was determined to exercise his rights as a citizen. His case was taken up by the NAACP, and the US Supreme Court ruled that he had the right to be admitted. Meredith endured harassment and ostracism yet graduated in 1963 with a degree in political science.

Why Black Firsts Matter, by Michele Elam (Huffington Post). In this article, Michele Elam makes the argument for an acknowledgement of “firsts” to encourage social change. (M, H, TR) http://huff.to/PLpo5X

18     10th anniversary of the signing of the Liberia Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This peace accord was signed in Ghana, by the government of Liberia, rebel groups and political parties, bringing the Second Liberian Civil War to an end. Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, a movement of Christian and Muslim women, played a critical role in this process.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell, directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail E. Disney. Pray the Devil Back to Hell tells the story of a group of Liberian women who gathered together to end the bloody civil war in their country. The women came together to pray for peace and organized a silent protest outside the Presidential Palace. Their actions were critical in settling an agreement during the stalled peace talks. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ULXWrQ

20     100th anniversary of conference at which George Veditz made a historic ASL plea for the preservation of sign language. Veditz was one of the first to film sign language. During the National Association of the Deaf Conference, he made and filmed a speech pleading for the preservation of sign language, which was on the decline because most educational institutions favored teaching the deaf to speak and read lips, and defending the right of deaf people to their language. This film is used today as deaf individuals continue to fight against linguistic oppression.

The Preservation of Sign Language, by George W. Veditz. A two-minute film featuring George W. Veditz, onetime president of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), demonstrating in signlanguage the importance of defending the right of deaf people to their language. Filmed in 1913. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/QTR1IS Film’s transcript: http://bit.ly/QGN65A

Heathens Among Us: The Origins Of American Sign Language, by the Disability History Museum. Today’s deaf culture is rooted in American Sign Language. ASL was created at specialized educational institutions. This lesson outlines the collaboration between Thomas Gallaudet, Mason Cogswell, and Laurent Clerc, a joint effort that fostered the creation of American Sign Language. (H) http://bit.ly/PcRiZp

21     Don Slater, early LGBT rights activist, born (1923-1997). Slater was an early leader in the struggle for LGBT civil rights. He was instrumental in the publication of ONE magazine, which was challenged on the basis of its content in ONE, Inc. v. Olesen. In this case, the Court unanimously decided that gay or lesbian content was not, in and of itself, sufficient grounds for declaring a publication obscene. 

Don Slater (1923-1997), by Joseph Hansen, a chapter from the book Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context. This book chapter reveals biographical information about Don Slater, but focuses on his role in creating the first magazine written for an audience of people who identify as homosexual and distributed to the general public. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Qh7kCG

21     30th anniversary of the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. Aquino was a Filipino Senator and staunch critic of President Ferdinand Marcos. This opposition led to his arrest, eight yearimprisonment and death sentence. After suffering a heart attack in 1980, Aquino was allowed to seek medical treatment in the US where he remained in exile for three years. He was assassinated upon his return to the Philippines, which set in motion a chain of events that led to the downfall of the Marcos regime.

Eating Fire and Drinking Water, by Arlene Chai. This novel centers on an ambitious reporter who investigates a student riot in which an unarmed man is killed by a soldier. She discovers much about the falling Marcos regime but in a twist, also finds that her personal roots are entwined with the present revolution. (H) http://bit.ly/Ob7EUF

22     Asa Hilliard III, Pan-Africanist, educator, historian and psychologist, born (1933-2007).
Hilliard was a scholar whose work focused on ancient African history, education and public policy. He was a leader of a movement for Afrocentrism, scholarship that highlights historical achievements and perspectives of Black people. 

Young, Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement among African-American Students, by Theresa Perry, Claude Steele, Asa Hilliard III. (Busboys and Poets). In this text, the authors make an argument that the identity formation of Black students in particular is rooted in the historical basis of racism in North America and that understanding these forces can be the basis for powerful education transformations. (H,TR) http://bbpbooks.teachingforchange.org/book/9780807031056

Voices From the Village (YouTube video). In this segment from a three-part video clip from 1995, Asa Hilliard speaks about the necessity of community efforts to raise and educate young children. He also talks about how standardized tests exclude certain teachers from working in public schools. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/NddmEX

26     Women’s Equality Day. Established in 1971, the date commemorates the day the 19th Amendment went into effect, which gave US women full voting rights in 1920.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 to 2000. This website offers document based questions and lesson plans for teaching American women’s history and social movements. (M, H) http://bit.ly/PcYeWn

28     50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history with more than 200,000 people gathering in Washington, DC calling for civil and economic rights for African Americans. The event culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and is credited with influencing the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Gay Strategist, Deserves Better, by Stuart Wilber (The New Civil Rights Movement website). This article explains how Bayard Rustin organized the 1963March on Washington, but has been hidden from history because he was gay. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/U9ic6g

Ten Things You Should Know About the 1963 March on Washington, Teaching Tolerance website, Southern Poverty Law Center. Listing of several little known facts about the historical March on Washington. A great resource to inform students about other details associated with this event. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/PkfVBN 


1     350th anniversary of the Gloucester County Conspiracy by indentured servants in Virginia. The Gloucester County Conspiracy, also known as the Servants’ Plot, was a plan by indentured servants to rise up against authorities in the Virginia tobacco operations. They were captured and four were hanged.

Foul Means: The Formation of a Slave Society in Virginia, 1660-1740, by Anthony S. Parent. This compelling book demonstrates that slavery was not an unplanned series of events but rather a deliberate plan established by a small but powerful planter class acting to further its emerging economic interests. (TR) http://bit.ly/RQ1Odu

2     Labor Day

50 Books about Labor, compiled by The Cooperative Children’s Book Center. A bibliography of 50 children’s books about labor. (E, M) http://bit.ly/aCGFjS

Work, Workers & the U.S. Labor Movement, by Emma Rose Roderick. An eight-lesson activity for fifth grade social studies helps students explore issues of work and workplace conflicts through reading, discussion, interviews, and investigation. (E) http://bit.ly/t5KvcH

3     230th anniversary of the establishment of a free Black town in Canada. Many Africans held in slavery during the American Revolution sided with the British in hopes of emancipation. They fled to Canada after the war and founded Birchtown in Nova Scotia in 1783, the largest free Black settlement in the Americas.

Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis. A young adult novel about an 11- year-old who lived in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves near the American border. The lead character is the first child in town to be born free. (E, M) http://bit.ly/NBfiCy

History’s Lost Black Towns (The Root website). Listing of 15 historic free Black towns and settlements in the US that have disappeared from history books. (E, M, H) http://wapo.st/OoqxAG

3     230th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris. The signing of the treaties known as the Peace of Paris by Britain, Spain, and France marked the end of the Revolutionary War and the official recognition of the thirteen US colonies as a nation independent from Britain.

Re-examining the Revolution, by Ray Raphael from Zinn Ed Project. 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.” (H) http://bit.ly/QUsmHK

3     Prudence Crandall, teacher who fought for educational opportunities for Black people, born (1803-1890). Crandall, a White school teacher, opened a private school for girls in 1831 but when she admitted a Black student, White families withdrew their daughters. In response, Crandall opened a school exclusively for Black girls in 1833, but the school was repeatedly attacked, and she and one of her students were arrested. Under unrelenting attack, Crandall closed the school in 1834, but dedicated her life to the education of people of Color.

A Whole-Souled Woman: Prudence Crandall and the Education of Black Women, by Susan Strane. In this book, the author tells the story of Prudence Crandall and her efforts to provide education spaces for Black women. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Tr3hlW

5     Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on 9/4 (Judaism). Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.

Apples and Pomegranates: A Rosh Hashanah Seder, by Rahel Musleah. This children’s book acts as a guidebook for celebrating the Jewish New Year. Traditional foods and the sequence in which they are eaten are described. Each chapter includes the history of the food, an activity, recipes and more. (E) http://bit.ly/ TG0KUy

10     110th anniversary of the release from a Connecticut insane asylum of mental health crusader Clifford Beers
. Upon his release, Beers immediately began writing A Mind That Found Itself, based on secret notes he kept about the horrors he witnessed and experienced during his three years in insane asylums. His book galvanized support for reform of the treatment of those with mental illness. He also founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene to push for reforms.

Clifford Beers Clinic Website. Website gives more information about the remarkable life of Beers. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/QgBDap Book: http://bit.ly/QUyTC8

10 50th anniversary of the integration of Alabama public primary and secondary schools. Governor George Wallace ordered state police to bar African American students from enrolling in White schools, but was stopped by a federal injunction. Despite the hostile White crowds around the schools, 20 Black students entered and registered.

Remember: The Journey to School Integration, by Toni Morrison. Weaving photos and historical information, Toni Morrison’s look at school desegregation in the 1950s and the civil rights movement that followed is all about those who put themselves on the line to correct unfairness. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/Ri6pEN

11     40th anniversary of US backed coup in Chile. Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile in 1970. As a Socialist, he nationalized most banks and industries. General Augusto Pinochet led the military coup which overthrew his government and unleashed extensive terror against activists and progressives. Pinochet’s dictatorship, supported by American funds, lasted 25 years.

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Galeano, Belfrage, and Allende. This book analyzes the history of Latin America from the European “discovery” of the New World to contemporary times, arguing against European and later US economic exploitation and political dominance over the region. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/LN4MKK

The Judge and the General, film and lesson plans on PBS. The story of the criminal investigation of General Augusto Pinochet, a dictator who ran a military regime in Chile for 17 years. FYI: This film contains disturbing verbal descriptions of torture and criminal activities, images of violence and dead bodies. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/Qk1O2M

14     Yom Kippur begins at sundown on 9/13 (Judaism). A day of fasting, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is one of two Jewish High Holy Days. It falls ten days after the first High Holy Day, Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur, by David F. Marx. This children’s book introduces students to the basic facts about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It describes how they developed and how they are celebrated, including games, traditions, goods and crafts. (E) http://bit.ly/UjH9yW

15     160th anniversary of Antoinette Brown becoming the first US woman ordained as a minister in a protestant denomination. Brown decided to pursue a theological degree at Oberlin. While she completed her studies in 1850, she did not receive her license and was not permitted to graduate until 1878, when Oberlin granted her an honorary Master of Arts degree. Brown also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1908.

Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, by Rochester Regional Library Council. This section of the Winning the Vote suffrage website offers biographical information on Antoinette Blackwell. A bibliography of books, articles, and web resources is provided. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Qnex5Q

15      50th anniversary of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The church was a meeting place for civil rights activists during the campaign for voting rights. Four girls were killed in the bombing and members of the Ku Klux Klan were later convicted of murder. The event brought national attention to the Civil Rights Movement and strengthened support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Southern Poverty Law Center Website. This site includes information and resources about active hate groups in the US including the Klan and what we can do to fight them. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Uyu5nB 

4 Little Girls, by Spike Lee. This film recounts the bombing of a church in Alabama in which four African-American girls lost their lives. This pushed the nation to continue the fight for equality and justice. The second link is to a website with lesson plans and resources. (M, H) http://bit.ly/ byqnhP Lessons: http://www.useekufind.com/peace

15 First day of Latino Heritage Month. Latino Heritage Month begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The ABCs of Teaching about Latino Heritage Month, by Teaching Tolerance. A compilation of essays, lessons, videos and activities to help students gain a deeper understanding of past and present struggles for Latino civil rights. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/d5lMXr

¡Viva la Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History, by the Southwest Organizing Project and Collision Course Video Productions. Based on the book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martínez, this two-part video in English offers a compelling introduction to the history of Mexican-American people. (M, H) http://www.tolerance.org/kit/viva-la-causa

18     30th anniversary of St. Kitts and Nevis’ independence from Great Britain.

A Small Place, by Jamaica Kincade. This book, written as a long essay, asks reader to consider the downside of colonialism and tourism to a nation with a weak economy and to the tourist him/herself. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Mn9mBp

19     120th anniversary of New Zealand granting women the right to vote. After years of suffragette agitation, New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote.

What Really Happened: Votes For Women. This video lets students go behind the scenes of New Zealand’s suffrage movement and meet the people who made it possible. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Sc8gd4

19 Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Day. Also known as the Mooncake and Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes its name from the moon being roundest at this time of year. 

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, by Grace Lin. This K-3 book allows reader to join a Chinese American family as they celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. (E) http://bit.ly/W1RkEb

21     International Day of Peace. Established by a UN resolution in 1981, the International Day of Peace (a.k.a Peace Day) is a day for individuals, organizations, and nations to work in cooperation towards the goal of worldwide peace.

The Teach Peace Foundation. The Teach Peace website has lesson plans, resources, speakers and activities for teaching peace, non-violence and democratic citizenship. They also have a variety of excellent films that can be watched for free online. (E, M, H) http://www.teachpeace.com

23     Mary Church Terrell, activist and educator, born (1863-1954)
. Mary Church Terrell, activist, suffragist and educator, was one of the first Black women to earn a college degree. She led or founded women’s clubs that focused on providing services in the Black community and led the fight to integrate DC restaurants.

Fight On!: Mary Church Terrell’s Battle for Integration, by Dennis Brindell Fradin. Autobiography of Mary Church Terrell, her life and activism. (E, M) http://bit.ly/Trad2i

23 100th anniversary of the first South African women’s march against the imposition of passes. South African women, led by Charlotte Maxeke, resisted the government’s efforts to force them to carry passes, identity/work documents which would dictate where they could live and work. This was the first time protestors burned their passes in protest.

South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy. This resource focuses on multimedia resources in educating students about South African history. South African History Online is another useful resource (www.sahistory.org.za) for the background on anti-apartheid resistance, including the women’s anti- pass protests. (TR) http://bit.ly/P3DFhV

23 100th anniversary of the Colorado coal miners strike. The United Mine Workers organized a strike against the mining industry in Colorado for improved working conditions, better wages, and union representation. The Rockefellers, who owned the mine, and mine managers organized militias to attack the miners’ tent camps, leading to the Ludlow Massacre the following April.

Fire in the Hole!, by Mary Cronk Farrell. Based on the true story of a silver miners’ strike in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the book shows the desperate conditions of miners’ lives and how the striking miners were detained illegally in a late 19th century version of Guantanamo. (M, H) http://bit.ly/NjI40j

Colorado Coal Field War Project. This is a website that provides a detailed history of the Colorado coal fields, along with lessons plans, teacher resources, the archeology of coal and photos. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/TfpoM2           

23     First day of Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week launched in 1982 to draw attention to the harms of censorship and the freedom to read. Since then, more than 11,300 books have been challenged in schools. 

IndyKids. The Nov/Dec 2008 issue of IndyKids features a piece about an activity a New York library did with its students to celebrate banned books week. (E, M) http://bit.ly/tkbpYP

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, by the American Library Association. American Library Association page on Banned Books Week, including events, lists of banned books and ideas for action. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/xBuZJ

50 State Salute to Banned Books Week, by the American Library Association. To help celebrate Banned Books week, the ALA coordinated the “50 State Salute,” a video montage from states explaining how they celebrate the freedom to read. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/RemIiK

Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week, by Amanda Christy Brown, Holly Epstein Ojalvo and Katherine Schulten. This NYTimes The Learning Network site offers lesson ideas to help celebrate Banned Books Week. Links to lists of banned books, videos, articles and other helpful web resources are provided. (M, H, TR) http://nyti.ms/WzlDaa

25     520th anniversary of Columbus’ second voyage from Spain to the New World. With over 17 ships and 1,200 men, Columbus began his second voyage in order to further colonize Hispaniola and capture indigenous people. He took 550 Indians captive during this voyage. 

The First and Second Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Thematic Unit Plan). Students read and analyze Christopher Columbus’ writings to gain a deeper understanding of Columbus’s and Spanish Conquistadors’ views of Native Americans. (M, H) http://www2.education.uiowa.edu/teach/docs/social-studies-lesson-bank/Voyages_of_Columbus.pdf?sfvrsn=0

26     40th anniversary of the enactment of the Rehabilitation Act. This Act, passed under pressure from the disabilities rights movement, prevents the discrimination of those with disabilities by Federal or federally funded agencies and programs, including places of employment and education. It was the first major comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities.

The U.S. Constitution and Disability Laws by the Center on Human Policy. Students examine the US Constitution (10th and 14th Amendments) and the balance between states’ rights and civil rights and major federal laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The lesson addresses the larger questions of how we provide equal education to all children and what role the federal government should play in ensuring this. (M, H) http://bit.ly/UrJ7sy

Lesson Plan: Legislation by the Museum of Disability History. Students will be able to demonstrate how legislation passed since World War II has been important to the lives of people with disabilities. Student will rank the importance of this legislation from most important to least important. (E, M) http://bit.ly/RXFXey worksheet: http://bit.ly/PguNlu

29     Lech Walesa, cofounder of Poland’s Solidarity union, born (1943). Solidarity was the first independent trade union in the Soviet allied countries of Eastern Europe. Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

Lech Walesa: The Road to Democracy, by Rebecca Stefoff. This book profiles Walesa who began as a shipyard electrician, became the leader of Poland’s Solidarity trade union movement, and eventually was elected leader of the country. (E, M) http://bit.ly/Nr1dgP

The Power of Nonviolent Action: South Africa & Poland, by TeachableMoment. In this time of war, a rich set of readings and activities on the history and power of peaceful resistance. (H) http://www.morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/power-nonviolent-action-south-africa-poland


1     LGBT History Month. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement of national and international contributions.

LGBT History Month website. This website gives the history of LGBT History Month, and features 31 famous people in LGBT history, one per day. Includes Trivia Challenge, video, resources, brief biography and downloads. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Om6vef

Brother to Brother, directed by Rodney Evans. Bruce Nugent, the Black gay writer who worked with Langston Hughes, befriends a young poet and together they take a journey into the gay subcultures of the Harlem Renaissance. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/QiJcf8

Month-by-Month Planning Page, by Safe Schools Coalition. Month-by-month planning provides information and lessons that speak to the intersections between LGTBQI history and other heritage months. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/j5FQX

Welcoming Schools. Welcoming Schools is a guide for adults who want to strengthen their school’s approach to family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying. It is for use in K-5 learning environments and is inclusive of LGBTQI families and individuals in the broader context of diversity. (E) http://bit.ly/bN8CiT 

Popular Education: LGBT Issues, by Californians for Justice. This workshop helps participants break down the idea of a gender binary, understand the connection between sexism and heterosexism/transphobia, and gain a deeper understanding of transgender issues. The materials are free, but you must register to use www.buildthewheel.org to access them. (H) http://bit.ly/vQguOx 

Acting Out: Combating Homophobia Through Teacher Activism, by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, Lauren M. Kenney, and Jill M. Smith. This book chronicles how teachers from urban, suburban and rural districts joined together in a teacher inquiry group to challenge homophobia and heterosexism in schools and classrooms. (TR) http://bit.ly/rTtwTF

And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, and Henry Cole. This book is based on two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo who became a couple and were given an egg to raise. The most banned book of 2009, And Tango Makes Three has won many awards and has been at the center of numerous censorship and culture war debates on same-sex marriage, adoption and homosexuality in animals. (E) http://bit.ly/cupJUa

1     First day of Vegetarian Awareness Month/ World Vegetarian Day. World Vegetarian Day is the annual kick-off for Vegetarian Awareness Month. The goal is to make a difference by informing others and raising awareness about the benefits of vegetarianism.

Chew on This. This book, accompanied by teachers’ guide, gives a behind the scenes perspective on the fast food industry and how fast food companies feed off of young families and young adults. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/v7dqp4

The Meatrix Trilogy. The Meatrix is a four-minute online animation that spoofs The Matrix movie trilogy while educating viewers about the problems with industrial agriculture and today’s meat supply. The website provides a wealth of resources about sustainable food and healthy living. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/JC9bM

1     First day of Disability Employment Awareness Month. National Disability Employment Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities.

Disability Social History Project. This site contains a wealth of information including a list of “Famous and Not So Famous” people with disabilities, a timeline and a history of the word “handicapped” via the Serendipity link. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/eH6WGA

Disability History Museum. This site was designed “to promote understanding about the historical experience of people with disabilities by sharing their stories.” This searchable collection offers documents and images related to disability history. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/JAD9r

4     10th anniversary of the bones of enslaved people being reburied at the African Burial Ground in NYC. The remains of 419 enslaved people were discovered during building construction in New York City. The bodies were placed in mahogany coffins, honored at a ceremony at Howard University, and placed in the African Burial Ground site commemorating the history of Africans enslaved in early settlements.

Reclaiming Hidden History: Students Create a Slavery Walking Tour in Manhattan, by Alan Singer from Zinn Education Project. Article that tells how a teacher and his students organized a tour of the hidden history of slavery in New York. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Oav2AH

4      80th anniversary of the most significant agricultural strike in US history. The San Joaquin Valley cotton workers strike was the culmination of a series of agricultural strikes in California in 1933 in which more than 47,000 workers participated. Growers responded to the San Joaquin strike with violent attacks, which led to a public outcry and federal intervention on behalf of the workers. Farmworker wages were eventually increased.

Golden Lands, Working Hands, by Fred Glass for the California Federation of Teachers. This ten-part, three hour film series introduces students to California labor history in order to encourage understanding of the state’s diverse working populations and their efforts to find common ground in struggles for social justice. (H) http://bit.ly/T0fqxS. Also streaming on YouTube. Teachers guide: http://www.cft.org/member-services/labor-education/golden-lands,-working-hands.html

Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories, by S. Beth Atkin. This book features photographs, poems, and interviews with nine children who reveal the hardships and hopes of today’s Mexican-American migrant farm workers and their families. (E, M) http://bit.ly/OC8x8S

Corridors of Migration: The Odyssey of Mexican Laborers, 1600-1933, by Rodolfo F. Acuna. This book documents the history of Mexican workers and their families while highlighting the influences of racism, transborder dynamics, and events such as the industrialization of the Southwest, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Nv7uCi

5     100th anniversary of the slaying of Chief Tecumseh in the Battle of the Thames. Tecumseh was a Shawnee chief of a large tribal confederacy that opposed the US during Tecumseh’s War and the War of 1812. He and his brother worked to unify Native Americans to struggle collectively against the colonists as they expanded westward.

Tecumseh’s Speech to the Osages re-enacted as part of Voices of a People’s History. Tecumseh sought to convince all Indian tribes to unify against the growing white intrusion into Indian lands. Links lead to primary text and Brian Jones’ video re-enactment of speech. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/bNqRay http://bit.ly/aQEQLn

Philip Berrigan, peace activist, born (1923-2002). Philip F. Berrigan was a former Roman Catholic priest who led the draft board raids that galvanized opposition to the Vietnam War. He later led eight major acts of civil disobedience, which lead to him spending about 11 years in prison. He wrote, lectured, and taught extensively, publishing six books.

Teach Peace Now, by TeachPeaceNow.org. This website offers lesson plans, book reviews, articles, and tips for parents and students regarding peace education. It also provides links to other website, resources, and blogs. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Rl1Qpp 

Learning to Abolish War: Teaching Toward a Culture of Peace, by Dr. Betty A. Reardon and Alicia Cabezudo for the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education. This is a three-part peace education resource packet with an overview of the rationale and approaches to peace education, sample lessons for K-12, a teacher-training outline, and networking resources for peace education. The core values of the packet are non- violence, social justice, equity and respect for basic human rights. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/TK2CvR

101 Changemakers, by Michele Bollinger and Dao X. Tran. This is a collection of profiles for students of people who have fought for the disenfranchised. There is a chapter on Berrigan as well as chapters on Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Ella Baker and Alice Walker, whose birthdays are also in this edition. (M, H) http://www.haymarketbooks.org/hc/101-Changemakers

Peace Lessons from Around the World, edited by Andrea S. Libresco and Jeannette Balantic for the Hague Appeal for Peace. This 144-page book is a collection of sixteen peace education lessons from all over the world. The lessons can be adapted to be used in any culture or country to uphold the values of peace education, including human rights, non-violence, social and economic justice, gender equality, environmental sustainability, disarmament, international law, human security and traditional peace practices. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/RxXitO

World Teachers’ Day. World Teachers’ Day was inaugurated in 1994 to commemorate the signing of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers in 1966.

Granito de Arena/Grain of Sand; Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad/A Little Bit of So Much Truth; Desde el Filo de la Navaja/From the Edge of the Blade. Three films that document different aspects of community based movement against state government in Oaxaca. The first film documents the three decades long struggle by the teachers’ union to democratize their union. The other films specifically focus on the 2006 “rebellion,” which led to the temporary toppling of the state government. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/sKfd21 and http://bit.ly/uVWryq and http://imdb.to/PoEX2f 

7     20th anniversary of Toni Morrison winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. Toni Morrison is one of the preeminent figures of American literature, capturing the reality of African American life through poetic, courageous, and complex narratives.

Exposing the “Master Narrative”: Teaching Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, by Ileana Jiménez posted on Feminist Teacher Blog. Feminist Teacher Ileana Jiménez offers several strategies for pairing Morrison’s novel with additional media to teach issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality. She describes multiple activities for students to participate in an analytical and reflective literary study. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/N1Wps5 

12th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. The US and allied forces attacked Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is now the longest US war. At the time of this printing, over 2000 US troops and over 12,000 civilians have been killed.

Whose Terrorism?, by Bill Bigelow from Rethinking Schools. This lesson uses fictional countries to engage students in critical analysis of terms such as “terrorism” and “patriotic” and the ways they are being used for political ends. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/W9WRe2 

Media Construction of War: A Critical Reading of History, by Project Look Sharp. Includes a 125-page kit that analyzes Newsweek coverage of the Vietnam War, Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan. Students will learn core information about the wars in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, how media influences public opinion of current events, and how to ask key media literacy questions and identify bias in the news. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/bKAvnb

Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, a project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). This traveling mural exhibit consists of more than 45 large scale paintings by artists from all over the country that memorialize Afghan civilian casualties. (it also includes images collected from Afghan high school students who were asked to draw images from their daily reality. (M, H) http://bit.ly/RLEPxH

The United States in Afghanistan, by The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that brings students into the policy debate about the US presence in Afghanistan. Materials include graphic organizers, videos, maps, images, and web links. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/rOtp9Q

Camouflaged: Investigating How the U.S. Military Affects You and Your Community, by NYCoRE. This resource collection is a tool for educators to help students explore the role of the military in their lives and in their communities. (H) http://www.nycore.org/2009/07/camouflaged-investigating-how-the-u-s-military-affects-you-and-your-community/

9     Mary Shadd Cary, anti-slavery activist and first black female editor of a newspaper in North America, born (1823-1893). Cary was raised in the free Black community in Wilmington, Delaware. Her family was active in the Underground Railroad. She moved to Canada after the Fugitive Slave Act was passed and continued to write and speak against slavery and to advocate for Black self-reliance projects. She graduated from Howard Law School in 1883 and worked for African American civil rights and women’s voting campaigns.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century, by Jane Rhodes. This book offers a biography of Mary Shadd Cary’s life, including her work as a feminist, a reformer, a teacher, an activist, abolitionist, and Black Nationalist. It also includes information on the newspaper that she founded, Provincial Freeman, which was used primarily as a tool for Black Liberation. (TR) http://bit.ly/PW7Em9

10     110th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU).
This all women’s group was a leading militant organization campaigning for the right to vote in the United Kingdom. It was the first group whose members were known as “suffragettes.” 

First Female Member of Parliament, 1919, by 4 Learning Clipbank. The site contains a clip about Lady Nancy Astor, the first female Member of Parliament, and explores the history of the WSPU and the suffragettes. Transcripts and related video and resources are available. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/OY7fzS

Kids’ Books on the Women’s Suffrage Movement, by The Best Children’s Books. org. A list of children’s books that explore the Women’s Suffrage movement in the US. The books are a mix of biographies, non-fiction, and historical fiction stories. Includes summaries, grade/age level information, DRA level, and Lexile Measure for most books. (E, M) http://bit.ly/NIu3cu


10 50th anniversary of the rejection by US, UK, USSR of atmospheric nuclear tests. The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibited all nuclear testing, except underground, as an attempt to slow the arms race.

Peace Education by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This site house three free units about the impact and issues surrounding nuclear weapons. Includes: Concepts  about Conflict, Chernobyl, Famous Whistleblowers, and Pressure Groups. The issues explored allow students to investigate a range of arguments and consider a controversial issue in a fun and interactive way. Designed for British students but could be adapted to an American classroom. (M, H) http://www.cnduk.org/information/peace-education

Nuclear Weapons: What Should Our Policy Be?, by The Choices Program. This unit engages students in consideration of a balanced range of views on the questions that surround the future of nuclear weapons. The material in this two-day lesson is drawn from a larger curriculum called The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons. (H) http://bit.ly/uIMKs0


12 80th anniversary of the Los Angeles International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) strike. The strike of predominately Mexican women and girls lasted three weeks and affected approximately 2,000 female workers and 80 manufacturing establishments.

Sweat and Blood: A History of U.S. Labor Unions, by Gloria Skurzynski. This book uses dramatic characters and black- and-white photos to explore the history of labor unions in the US. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/U61FAa


14 40th anniversary of the student revolution in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1973, students at Thailand’s Thammasat University massed an estimated 200,000 people in a demand for an end to the ruling military junta and a transition to democracy. After a brutal crackdown in which more than 77 demonstrators were killed on October 14, the military was forced to step down.

Thailand: The “October Movement” and the Transformation to Democracy, by Kittisak Prokati. This chapter of the book1968: Memories and Legacies of a Global Revolt by Philipp Gassert and Martin Kimke discusses the student protest movement and the subsequent social change in Thailand. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Th1M9h


14 Indigenous People’s Day (Columbus Day Observed). Indigenous People’s Day, also known as Native American Day, began as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day in Berkeley, CA. The goal is to commemorate Native American history and promote Native American culture.

Transform Columbus Day. Transform Columbus Day is an alliance of social justice groups who are committed to challenging traditional ethnocentric views of Columbus as pioneer and sole discoverer of the Americas. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/3syjAe

Reconsider Columbus Day, presented by Nu Heightz Cinema. This short PSA asks people to reconsider whether the crimes of Columbus should be celebrated. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/OODRT1

The People vs. Columbus, et al., by Bill Bigelow. This role-play begins with the premise that a monstrous crime was committed in the years after 1492, when perhaps as many as three million or more Taínos on the island of Hispaniola lost their lives. It’s a free download excerpted from Rethinking Columbus. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/hRdbSf 

Rethinking Columbus, edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools. 90+ lessons, interviews, poems, etc. that re-evaluate the myth of Columbus and issues of indigenous people. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/hJjxBA 

1492, a song by Nancy Schimmel. A great song to use to teach about Columbus’ arrival that provides a critical analysis of “discovering” a place when someone “is already there.” (E) http://bit.ly/unw71d


15 Eid al-Adha begins at sunset 10/14 (Islam). Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Best Eid Ever, by Asma Mobin-Uddin. During Eid, Aneesa is sad that her parents are thousands of miles away for the Hajj pilgrimage until her grandmother gives her a beautiful gift that comes in handy when she meets two sisters who are refugees and in need of her help. (E) http://bit.ly/uvueDf


15 40th anniversary of the founding of the National Gay Task Force. Among other actions, the National Gay Task Force has played a critical role in the campaign to eliminate the sickness classification of homosexuality and worked to lift the prohibition on federal civil service employment for gays and lesbians. 

Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. This is an example of one of the many reports, issue maps, and fact sheets that you can find at the Task Force website. The results of this report are also broken down into sub reports focused on the responses of individuals who identify as Black, Latino, and Asian. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/eE9DmV


16 World Food Day. World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

How’d That Get on My Plate?, by the Institute for Humane Education. This lesson PDF encourages students to explore how sample ingredients in our food affect the environment, people and animals and what humane alternatives might exist. (M, H) http://humaneeducation.org/blog/resource/howd-that-get-on-my-plate/

Fresh Food or Fast Food, by IndyKids, May/June 2009. This issue of the progressive newspaper for kids includes a special feature on food justice. There is also a teacher’s guide. Click on the May/ June 2009 link and scroll to P.3. (E, M) http://bit.ly/SIWoBc

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Young Readers Edition: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, by Michael Pollan. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/utIarp

Food First: Institute for Food and Development Institute. A list of books published by the Institute for Food and Development that examine the connections between human rights, social justice and food. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/viRzGF

Food, Inc. Classroom Discussion Guide, by TakePart.org. This guide, to be used with Food, Inc., helps students connect the issues behind mass production of food, abuses of government subsidies of major food corporations, and the challenges of keeping food healthy and affordable. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/8fBGuz


17     International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This day promotes the need to eradicate poverty worldwide, especially in developing countries.

Handouts on Poverty, by Paul Gorski. Handouts on many important topics, but several on class, poverty and equity in education. (TR) http://bit.ly/uLvAio

Finding Solutions to Hunger, by Kids Can Make a Difference. An educational program for middle and high school students focused on the root causes of hunger and poverty, the people most affected, solutions, and how students can help. (M, H) http://bit.ly/cYEDNd 

A Kids’ Guide to Hunger & Homelessness, by Cathryn Berger Kaye. This book explains hunger and homelessness and includes stories of how children around the world have helped their community deal with these issues. It is also a workbook that includes facts, quotes, write-on pages and resources. (E) http://bit.ly/rMioaO

Teaching Economics as if People Mattered, by United for a Fair Economy. A collection of lesson plans about economics from a social justice perspective. (H) http://bit.ly/6AIy7u


22 50th anniversary of 225,000 students boycotting Chicago schools in Freedom Day protest. Several civil rights groups staged Freedom Day, a mass boycott and demonstration against segregated schools and inadequate resources for Black students. The action dramatized the fact that racist barriers were as prevalent in the North as in the southern states of the US.

School Boycott Collection, by Chicago History Museum. Exceptional collection of primary resources such as photos and fliers from Freedom Day. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/PxLMEu



23 30th anniversary of the first protest of American Disabled for Accessible Public Transport. In 1983 disability activists learned the American Public Transit Association would be holding its annual public meeting in Denver, CO, the site of an earlier successful protest against bus inaccessibility. Activists gathered from around the country to organize a demonstration at the meeting and form the new organization to promote direct action against discrimination in public transportation.

“I was there…”, by Barbara Toomer, ADAPT.org. Barbara Toomer, a disability rights activist and member of ADAPT, writes about her experience protesting and raising awareness for accessible transportation. A link to audio of Toomer reading her narrative is also included. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Vo2Sr2 ALSO http://bit.ly/QU0LDE


25 30th anniversary of the US Invasion of Grenada. The United States was hostile to the pro-Cuban government of Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel Movement. Taking advantage of internal fighting in the Grenadian government that days earlier led to Bishop’s assassination, President Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada under the pretext of protecting American medical students on the island. The administration then installed a pro-US president.

1983: The US Invasion of Grenada, by Howard Zinn. In an excerpt from Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn recounts the US’s invasion of Grenada. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/OCtPTI


26 National Intersex Awareness Day. Intersex Awareness Day is the international day of grassroots action to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children.

Intersex Initiative Website. A website with information about intersexuality. The Intersex Initiative is a national activist and advocacy organization for people born with intersex conditions. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/RM3uQY


29 Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Mix It Up is an annual event sponsored by Teaching Tolerance that seeks to break down the barriers between students and improve intergroup relations.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day, by Teaching Tolerance. Teaching Tolerance provides free Mix It Up lessons and activities for teachers to use to organize a successful Mix It Up at Lunch Day and promote social border crossing all year long. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/SWiezA


31 Halloween

What Do Halloween Costumes Say?, by Teaching Tolerance. A variety of activities to raise awareness about the potential of stereotyping in Halloween costumes. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/3YNftY

Reverse Trick or Treat, by Global Exchange. This kit lets children help end the exploitation of adults and children working in the cocoa industry and raise awareness of Fair Trade. Trick-or-treaters hand out Fair Trade chocolate bars to adults, with informational cards attached, to explain the problems of the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade presents a solution. (E) http://bit.ly/ph5dpd

Ohio Univ. Students to Classmates: ‘We’re a Culture, Not a Costume,’ by Jorge Rivas, Colorlines. This article tells the story of Ohio Univ. student group Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS). The group created an educational campaign called “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” in response to racist costumes often worn on Halloween. Includes links to campaign posters. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/seCYEf


1     First day of Native American Heritage Month

American Indians in Children’s Literature Blog, by Debbie Reese. Reese’s blog is one of the finest collections of resources and critical perspectives on teaching about Native Americans. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/3HATt

The Alcatraz Proclamation: A Primary Document Activity. Teaching Tolerance offers a wealth of activity ideas tied to Thanksgiving, Native mascots and indigenous people’s proud heritage of resistance. (M, H) http://bit.ly/9sPNbx

We Shall Remain. We Shall Remain is a PBS mini-series and multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. Five 90-minute documentaries spanning 300 years tell the story of pivotal moments in US history from the Native American perspective. Website includes teacher’s guides. (H) http://to.pbs.org/10DjT

Unlearning “Indian” Stereotypes, by Rethinking Schools. Narrated by Native American children, the DVD Unlearning “Indian” Stereotypes teaches about racial stereotypes and provides an introduction to Native American history through the eyes of children. Includes teacher’s guide and other resources. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/tr5Tf


1 El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday during which ancient Aztec rituals honoring the dead are performed. The rituals, which have been practiced for at least 3,000 years, were first discovered when the Spanish Conquistadors first landed in what is now Mexico.

Pablo Remembers, by George Ancona. This photodocumentary-style children’s book follows Pablo and his family as they celebrate Dia de Los Muertos by honoring his grandmother. (E) http://bit.ly/RL0vbg


1 World Vegan Day. Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits, and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. With a focus on the meat industry, the book also explores the way cows and chickens are treated for the production of our milk and eggs. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/32Rc0a

The Vegan Society. The Vegan Society is an educational charity that promotes and supports the vegan lifestyle. Website includes a “young vegans” section. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/SY3Tx


3 Diwali (Deepavali), Indian Festival of Lights (Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism). Diwali (Festival of Lights) is an annual Hindu festival of lights that commemorates the return of Lord Rama from exile.

Lights for Gita, by Rachna Gilmore. This book introduces readers to Divali, one of the most important holidays observed by Hindus all over the world, through the eyes of Gita, a young immigrant girl. The author’s site includes a teacher’s guide and other books about Hinduism. (E) http://bit.ly/VfeOFI  


5 Muharram begins at sundown 11/4 (Islam). Muharram is the beginning of the first lunar month of the Islamic calendar.

My Name is Bilal, by Asma Mobin-Uddin. In this book, Muharram feels the need to hide his Muslim religion in fear he will be teased by other students. (E) http://bit.ly/w4nStZ

Salaam – A Muslim American Boy’s Story, by Trish Brown. This is a biography about a Muslim American boy named Imran. It tells about how he likes to do the same things that most children his age do. Not everyone understands what it means to be Muslim, and through his story, Imran tells about how Muslims strive to be good people, just like those of other faiths do. (E) http://bit.ly/tBgIH7


5 Election Day. Election Day is the day for the general elections of public officials. Election day always occurs on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Money in Elections: What is it Doing to America?, by Alan Shapiro as part of TeachableMoment.Org, a project of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. Three student readings, discussion questions, and suggestions for inquiry engage students in exploring the role of money in electoral politics. (H) http://bit.ly/sUIgL


It Ain’t Just About a Vote: Defining Democracy for Movement Building, by Project South. This toolkit asks students to take a broader look at democracy and citizenship. Each exercise was created specifically to begin conversations on the larger, longer-term view of democracy, struggle and movement building. (M, H) http://bit.ly/T4AKBx


7     40th anniversary of the War Powers Act of 1973. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 is a federal law intended to check the President’s power to commit the US to an armed conflict without the consent of Congress. It was passed as a rebuke to presidents who involved the US in war in Vietnam without democratic consent. However, Presidents since then have regularly engaged in wars by finding loopholes in the act and without getting congressional agreement.

Who Has the Power to Wage War? A Lesson on the Separation of Powers, by Mark Engler as part of TeachableMoment. Org, a project of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. Two student readings and discussion questions probe the history of the War Powers Act of 1973 and the current controversy over whether President Obama’s deployment of U.S. forces to Libya violates that law. (H) http://bit.ly/QaV8mX


7 40th anniversary of New Jersey becoming the first state to allow girls into Little League. Before 1973, Little League regulations prohibited girls from participating. This change led to greater opportunities, including ten girls who played on teams that have reached the Little League Baseball World Series.

Title IX: Striving for Gender Equity in Athletics, by Roberta McCutcheon. In this lesson, students will examine primary documents and engage in a role play, to develop an understanding of the struggle for gender equity. (M, H) http://bit.ly/NM25YW

The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth, by Jean L.S. Patrick. This children’s book tells the story of Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year-old female professional baseball player who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a 1931 exhibition game. (E) http://bit.ly/ORJr62   


10     50th anniversary of the “Message to the Grass Roots” speech by Malcolm X. Malcolm X gave this speech in Detroit. He famously aligned the Civil Rights movement with the worldwide anti-colonial struggle, advocated for violent revolution, and contrasted the subservient “house Negro” and the rebellious “field Negro” during slavery and today.

Malcolm X’s “Message to the Grass Roots,” Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Mos Def reads the speech in Voices of a People’s History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/S083sR

Malcolm X Talks to Young People, by Malcolm X. Four talks and an interview given to young people in Ghana, the UK, and the United States in the last months of Malcolm’s life. Preface by Steve Clark and eight-page photo section. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Qw49Dr


11     20th Anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, DC. Conceived of by former army combat nurse Diane Carlson Evans and sculpted by Glenna Goodacre, it honors the 265,000 women who voluntarily served during the Vietnam era.

Experience War (Women at War): Stories from the Veterans History Project, by the Library of Congress. This website contains a collection of women’s experiences from four wars in the Veterans History Project. The women interviewed ranged from nurses to code breakers to welders and more. Video, audio, photographs, and official documents are also included. (M, H, TR)http://1.usa.gov/RNrUZS  


11 Veteran’s Day (Observed Monday, 11/12). Veterans Day recognizes people who served in the US Armed Forces.

Veterans for Peace Speakers Bureau. Veterans for Peace Speakers Bureau provides knowledgeable speakers who share first-hand information about military service and war. They present facts and views that are necessary for a young person to consider in making an informed choice about military service. To find a Veterans for Peace chapter that has a Speakers Bureau, download the list of chapter contacts and call. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/S81AKK

Voices in Wartime Education, by The YES! Education Program and Voices in Wartime Education Project. This site seeks to enable students to engage deeply with the subject of war by hearing and re-telling the personal stories of witnesses to war and then engages students in imagining and creating a less violent world. The site includes the film’s trailer, curricular materials and poetry. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/cYDW7i


13 30th anniversary of an historic court case on the rights of gay partners. Injured by a drunk driver, Sharon Kowalski suffered brain injuries leaving her paralyzed and unable to communicate. Her parents, who did not approve of her relationship with a woman, tried to gain guardianship of her. Her partner fought them for almost eight years before finally being granted guardianship. They have become champions in both the disability movement and the LGBTQ rights movement.

Gay rights in the US, State by State, by The Guardian in America Interactive Team. This is an excellent resource for any students conducting research about the rights of people who identify as LGBT. It has an interactive graphic that shows which states have adopted laws that uphold rights such as the one Karen Thompson had to fight so hard to attain. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/IAAyXU

LGBT Parenting, by the ACLU. This section of the ACLU’s website is specifically dedicated to the rights of parents who identify as LGBT. It is also ideal for research on rights and contains a number of maps related to which states have discriminatory laws. It also has a link to cases that are considered victories in this struggle. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/T4Da2X


14     110th anniversary of the establishment of the Women’s Trade Union League. The Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) was formed to support the efforts of women to organize labor unions and to eliminate sweatshop conditions. The WTUL built massive strikes in the early twentieth century that established the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and Amalgamated Clothing Workers They also campaigned for women’s suffrage.

Labor Union Resources for Teachers, by Michigan Education Association. This website offers descriptions to various Library of Congress and National Education Association websites that include lesson plans and classroom materials to teach about labor. (TR) http://bit.ly/TXLC7w

Exploring Women’s Rights: The 1908 Textile Strike in a 1st-grade Class, by Dale Weiss. This four-day lesson plan helps students understand sexism within the context of the 1908 Textile Strike. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/TneZ68  


15     Sara Josephine Baker, physician and public health administrator, born (1873-1945). The work of Baker, a White Lesbian physician, stressed preventative medicine and good hygiene, and drastically reduced the death rate in the poor districts of New York City where she served as public health administrator. To succeed in the male-dominated world of public health administration, she minimized her femininity by wearing masculine-tailored suits.

Dr. Sara Jo Baker: The Women Who Saved Hundreds of Thousands of Babies, by Caitlind Alexander. This e-book from learningisland.com tells the story of Sara Josephine Baker’s life, beginning from her childhood through the tragic events that led her to become a doctor. (E, M) http://amzn.to/RRoZCI


17     International Students’ Day. This international observance celebrates student activism. 

ESL English Lesson Plan on International Students’ Day by Sean Banville. This lesson/short unit, created for ELLs, introduces students to International Students’ Day and the reasons why it was created. While giving students opportunities to practice English, it also allows them to learn about moments in history often not discussed in a traditional social studies class. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Ozeu2


20 Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day is set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

Beyond The Binary: A Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools, by the Gay- Straight Alliance Network, Transgender Law Center, and The National Center for Lesbian Rights. This guide includes information for helping students deconstruct some of the myths behind gender identity. It can be used to develop plans for Transgender Day of Remembrance, or for action planning to change school policies that are not supportive of all students. (M, H) http://bit.ly/9wjXL2

Luna, by Julie Anne Peters. This novel is told from the perspective of a young woman who is dealing with her brother’s decision to live as his true female self, Luna. (M, TR) http://bit.ly/uXD94h

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper. Transgendered and gender variant children have a hard time. They are generally discouraged by their families and bullied at school. This handbook is for families and teachers who want to understand and support children’s self-definition. (M, H) http://bit.ly/rQ4LZY

The Youth and Gender Media Project. The Youth and Gender Media Project encompasses a growing collection of short films that capture the diversity and complexity of gender non-conforming youth. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uZMJPy  


23 20th anniversary of the US apologizing for its illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. In 1893 a coup d’état lead by US American and European businessmen and supported by the US Marines deposed Queen Lili’uokalani. The apology, 100 years after the conquest, had been demanded by the majority of indigenous people of the islands.

Links from Zinn Education Project for Critical Teaching of Hawai’ian History. Lesson on the history of Hawai’i and the impact of colonization and tourism. Link includes film and other resources. (H) http://bit.ly/xEBuOa

Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation, by Na Maka o ka `Aina. A comprehensive documentary that focuses on the events surrounding the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/QveIqd


27 520th anniversary of Columbus’ return to La Navidad, scene of the first indigenous uprising against Spanish conquerors. La Navidad marks not only the first European settlement in the New World but also the first major conflict between Indigenous people and Europeans. When Columbus returned from Spain in 1493, he found the Spanish he had left the year before dead and the fort destroyed. In retaliation for the cruelty and violence inflicted on them, the Taínos had killed the Spanish settlers. Columbus reacted with even greater repression. Of the three million Taínos on Hispaniola in 1492, within five decades the whole population was practically extinct.

The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus, by Irving Rouse. This book is about the Taínos of the northern Caribbean islands, from their ancestry on the South American continent to their rapid decline after contact with the Spanish explorers. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/XopgO8  


27 First day of Hanukkah, begins at sundown on 11/27 (Judaism). Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights. 

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah: With Lights, Latkes, and Dreidels, by Deborah Heiligman. This children’s book features National Geographic photography to illustrate how Jewish people around the world celebrate Hanukkah. (E) http://bit.ly/RflFhW


28     Thanksgiving 

Oyate. Oyate is a Native American organization that lists recommended children’s books on Native American history and culture. The website features Thanksgiving resources and provides criteria for evaluating the quality of books about Native Americans. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/4DUTbG

Unlearning “Indian” Stereotypes, by Rethinking Schools. Narrated by Native American children, the DVD Unlearning “Indian” Stereotypes teaches about racial stereotypes and provides an introduction to Native American history through the eyes of children. Includes teacher’s guide and other resources. (M, H) http://bit.ly/tr5Tf

Thanksgiving Mourning, by Teaching Tolerance. In this activity, students will explore the perspectives of two Native American authors about the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday and then draft letters to them. (E, M) http://bit.ly/qy6im

Rethinking Thanksgiving, by Vera L. Stenhouse in Rethinking Schools. An article for teachers that outlines the myths and truths about Thanksgiving, gives ideas for critical teaching activities and provides extensive resources. (TR) http://www.rethinkingschools.org/restrict.asp?path=archive/24_01/24_01_thanksgiving.shtml

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving, by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Marge Bruchac. Produced in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plymouth Plantation, 1621 weighs Wampanoag oral traditions and English colonial written records against the popular myth of “brave settlers inviting wild Indians over for turkey dinner.” (E, M, H) http://oyate.org/index.php/component/hikashop/product/168-1621-a-new-look-at-thanksgiving?Itemid=177


29     Buy Nothing Day. Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism strategically celebrated on “Black Friday,” the busiest shopping day of the year.

The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard. “The Story of Stuff” is a 20-minute free downloadable video that explores consumption and exposes the connections between different environmental and social issues, while providing suggestions for action. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/vXj7EC

The Story of Change, by Annie Leonard. Follow up video from “The Story of Stuff,” “The Story of Change” asks if shopping save the world. “The Story of Change” urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Vo6GIQ

Labor Rights in the Classroom, by International Labor Rights Forum. Workers all over the world suffer from conditions that many would consider unbearable. These conditions are in part a result of corporations taking advantage of workers and their rights. These lessons help students to understand how consumerism and corporate greed here in the US affect workers around the world. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/bVIovt

Rethinking Globalization: Teaching for Justice in an Unjust World, edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson for Rethinking Schools. This book is an extensive collection of readings and source material on critical global issues. It is ready to use in the classroom through numerous role plays, interviews, poems, stories, background readings, cartoons, and hands-on teaching activities. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uvPb0p


1     World AIDS Day. World AIDS day is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for those infected, and commemorate those who have died. World AIDS Day was the first global health day to be observed.

Teachers First HIV and AIDS Resources. This website offers a collection of reviewed resources to help teacher and students learn more about HIV/AIDS. Resources include unit and lesson plans, links to relevant websites and videos and more. (TR) http://bit.ly/WR9Brh

190th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. President Monroe introduced the policy, declaring that efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring US intervention. It served as a pretext for the US to establish economic and political domination over countries of the Americas.

The Monroe Doctrine: Origin and Early American Foreign Policy, by Edsitement. This unit of study prepares students to reflect on the Doctrine. What were its most significant goals? In what ways, if any, was it intended to provide peace and safety for the United States, protect the newly independent Latin American states, and/or promote expansionist goals of the United States in the Western Hemisphere? (H) http://1.usa.gov/U4Jrls

180th anniversary of the founding convention of the American Anti-Slavery Society. The convention in Philadelphia, which had a large population of Free Blacks, drew up the Declaration of the Anti-Slavery Convention, drafted by White abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. The document helped rally resistance actions for the following decades.

“If There Is No Struggle…”: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement, by Bill Bigelow. This role play puts students in the position of abolitionist groups working together to end slavery. (E, M) http://bit.ly/QsfVje 

Bodhi Day (Buddhism). Bodhi Day commemorates the day that Buddha reached enlightenment.

Under the Bodhi Tree, by Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. This book tells the story of the Buddha’s life, from his birth as a pampered prince, through his cultivation and enlightenment, to his founding of the Buddhist sangha and his final Nirvana. (E, M) http://bit.ly/sfwpqS

10 Human Rights Day. This day celebrates the UN’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Human Rights in Action. The UN’s cyberschoolbus page for students to explore the history of human rights, and ways to advocate for human rights. (E, M) http://bit.ly/a5TSHf

International Labor Rights Forum. Workers all over the world suffer from conditions that many would consider unbearable. These conditions are in part a result of corporations taking advantage of workers and their rights. These lessons help students to understand how consumerism and corporate greed here in the US affect workers around the world. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/bVIovt

Rethinking Globalization: Teaching for Justice in an Unjust World, edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson for Rethinking Schools. This book is an extensive collection of readings and source material on critical global issues. It is ready to use in the classroom through numerous role plays, interviews, poems, stories, background readings, cartoons, and hands-on teaching activities. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uvPb0p

Human Rights and Service-Learning: Lesson Plans and Projects, by Kristine Belisle and Elizabeth Sullivan, Amnesty International-USA and Human Rights Education Associates (HREA). The manual contains lessons and service-learning projects. The lesson plans are divided into five human rights topic areas: environment, poverty, discrimination, children’s rights to education and health, and law and justice. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/byc6E8

The Human Rights Education program (HRE) of Amnesty International. The Human Rights Education program was designed to support teachers to promote the human rights principles and positive value system that are set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Site includes curricular guides, letters for parents, lessons to use with popular films and more. (TR) http://bit.ly/d1D1BS

We Are All Born Free, published by Amnesty International. Published to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, We Are All Born Free uses pictures by internationally renowned artists to illustrate the meaning of these rights. (E) http://bit.ly/v1jRdL

50th anniversary of Kenya’s independence from Britain.

Dec. 12, 1963: Kenya Gains Independence, by The Learning Network, NYTimes. This article summarizes Kenya’s road to independence from Great Britain and offers discussion questions to connect today’s conflicts to colonial roots. (H, TR) http://nyti.ms/TgLLo6

13      Ella Baker, civil rights activist, born (1903-1986). Baker was an African American civil rights and human rights activist from the 1930s to the 80s. She played a leading role in developing movement strategy and community organizing approaches, believing that leadership should come from the grassroots. She was a founding mentor for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Ella Baker & the Black Freedom Movement, by Barbara Ransby. Site features a multitude of resources pertaining to the life of Ella Baker and continued activist projects. The site also includes a database of social justice events in several different categories. (H) http://bit.ly/SfYDqJ http://bit.ly/Wd1l7s

Unsung Heroes: Encouraging Students to Appreciate Those Who Fought for Social Justice at Zinn Education Project. Essay by Howard Zinn and lesson by Bill Bigelow. Students research and share stories about unsung heroes in U.S. history, including Ella Baker. Article and lesson plan. (H) http://bit.ly/RvapAz

101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History, edited by Michele Bollinger and Dao Tran. This book offers middle school students profiles of people who have fought for social justice and shaped the history of the US. (M) http://bit.ly/XtGidq 

16     240th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party
. The British Parliament’s Tea

Act of 1773 was signed as a means to save the failing East India Company and monopolize the tea trade. Seeing this as an example of taxation tyranny, colonists demanded the tea be returned to England. When the demand was refused, a group of colonists boarded three ships and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor.

A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence, by Ray Raphael. Series editor: Howard Zinn. Using hundreds of primary sources, this book tells the more accurate, populist, complicated, and interesting story of the American Revolution. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/NnR12U

Debunking Boston Tea Party Myths, by Ray Raphael. The article’s author argues that The Boston Tea Party is now an iconic event suffused with myth, but below the surface is the story of a true act of revolution, carried out in a context of power politics, with surprising parallels in the modern era. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/SsbAQK 

17     60th anniversary of intellectually disabled boys being fed radioactive isotopes as part of scientific experiments
. Researchers at Harvard and MIT hosted a Christmas party for these boys in a “Science Club.” They were, without their knowledge, fed radioactive isotopes in their cereal as part of scientific experiments. Similar tests occurred between 1949 and 1953.

Office of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. More in-depth description of the experiments with actual documents from the time and quotes from participants. (H) (This link is no longer available)

George Washington University Archives. Original documents showing the deception. (H, TR) http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/radiation/

70th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Chinese labor had been exploited in railroad, mining, and agriculture in the 19th century, and White laborers blamed Chinese workers for depressed wages. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 banned Chinese immigrants to the US. 61 years later the Magnuson Act reversed that law, allowing Chinese immigration and allowing immigrants already residing in the US to become naturalized citizens.

Chinese Immigrants in America: An Interactive History Adventure, by Kelley Hunsicker. This book describes the experiences and perspectives of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. in 1850. The book allows readers to interact with history by allowing them to choose what they would do next. By making choices, readers uncover historical details about the lives of Chinese immigrants who work as gold miners, railroad workers and more. (E) http://bit.ly/QfGB5Q

The Chinese Experience in the 19th Century, by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This unit focuses on the Chinese immigrant experience. Their coming raised issues of social and cultural diversity, discrimination, and national identity—issues that are still debated today. A section focuses on the process of exclusion, including immigration acts. (H) http://bit.ly/U2okRi 

50th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act is the first federal legislation regarding air pollution control. After seven years of studies under the act, the congress set up the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

In the Air: Tools for Learning About Airborne Toxics Across the Curriculum, by the Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center. Environmental education materials that can be used to help K-12 students better understand air pollution and to make connections between behaviors and air quality. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/ORpYhk 

20th anniversary of the beginning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The official US policy on homosexuals serving in the military prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing or speaking about their sexual orientation or relationships while serving in the US Armed Forces. DADT began in 1993 and lasted until it was repealed in 2011.

A History of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” by the Washington Post. This site features an interactive timeline of the rise and fall of this controversial policy. (M, H, TR) http://wapo.st/Xixefe

26     First day of Kwanzaa (Umoja = Unity). Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration honoring African American culture and heritage in which each of the seven days is dedicated to a specific principle.

The Official Kwanzaa Website, maintained by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa. This website provides information about the symbols, values and rituals of Kwanzaa. (E) http://bit.ly/2wtSIp 

Second day of Kwanzaa (Kujichagulia = self-determination).

Kwanzaa Books at Busboys and Poets. A collection of children’s books on Kwanzaa. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/t7iv0g

28     40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. After extensive agitation by environmentalists, the Endangered Species Act was passed for the purpose of conserving the ecosystems where endangered and threatened species live.

Endangered Species, by Sox Sperry with Project Look Sharp. A 185-page kit with 40 slides covering an historical overview of American representations of endangered species from the slaughter of the American buffalo to Palm plantations in Sumatra. The kit includes a teacher’s guide for each image, student readings, and both print and video case-study lessons. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/NnSSoq

PBS/POV: The Chances of the World Changing, directed by Eric Daniel Metzgar and Nell Carden Grey. Lesson plan by Cari Ladd, M.Ed. Discussion guide by Faith Rogow, PhD. This documentary chronicles the personal sacrifices and challenges faced by a New York writer who dedicates his time and resources to rescuing endangered turtles. Lesson plan and discussion guide available. (E, M, H) Lesson plan: http://to.pbs.org/Rbz3H0 Discussion Guide: http://to.pbs.org/NTJfht Purchase the film: http://bit.ly/OVya00

Third day of Kwanzaa (Ujima = collective work and responsibility).

Seven Principles, by Sweet Honey in The Rock. A song that teaches the seven principles of Kwanzaa. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/vNc77L

Fourth day of Kwanzaa (Ujamaa = cooperative economics).

Cultivate.Coop. Cultivate.Coop is an online hub for pooling knowledge and resources on cooperatives. It is a space to collect free information for those interested in cooperatives, and one where people can build useful educational tools for the co-op community. http://bit.ly/ekaidO

Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, by Toolbox for Education & Social Action. In this game for teens and adults where everyone wins or everyone loses, players work together to run a co-op and put their teamwork to test. The site features a short how-to video and offers other educational resources as well. (TR) http://bit.ly/V6A8gR 

Fifth day of Kwanzaa (Nia = purpose).

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Kwanzaa: With Candles, Community, and the Fruits of the Harvest, by Carolyn B. Otto. Through the use of photographs, this book helps children understand how Kwanzaa is celebrated. (E) http://bit.ly/ReeZkW


1     210th anniversary of Haiti’s independence from France. The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), in which slaves revolted against the French colony of Saint Domingue, resulted in the establishment of the independent Republic of Haiti. Through this, Haiti became the first Black country to gain its independence and the second independent state in the Western hemisphere.

Teaching About Haiti, by Teaching for Change. This free PDF provides lessons, songs, readings and activities that provide students with a critical history of Haiti that highlights the role of international colonization and the revolutionary spirit of the nation. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/W2p0aS

20th anniversary of NAFTA going into effect. Under NAFTA, Canada, the US, and Mexico agreed to eliminate trade barriers such as tariffs in an effort to reduce trading costs, increase investment opportunities and help North America become more competitive in the global marketplace. However, NAFTA has many disadvantages, including US job loss, the exploitation of Mexican farmers and the environmental deterioration in Mexico.

The New York Times: “Trading Off,” by Alison Zimbalist and Javaid Khan, The New York Times Learning Network. This lesson plan allows students to explore how NAFTA has impacted North America and Mexico’s people and economies. Suggestions for interdisciplinary connections and links to other web-resources are provided. (H, TR) http://nyti.ms/PbgLof

Trade Secrets: The Hidden Cost of the FTAA, by the Center for Labor Research and Education, UC Berkeley. The 16-minute documentary Trade Secrets examines how NAFTA has impacted workers’ rights, the environment and democracy, and how the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas would have multiplied these effects. The video comes with an accompanying curriculum guide, “Understanding the FTAA,” including a set of fact sheets, background materials, and fun interactive role plays. (H) http://bit.ly/SoDeuo

Globalization: Free Trade & Fair Trade, Jobs & Justice. Five readings and classroom suggestions for high school students on globalization and the impact of NAFTA. (H) http://bit.ly/Zsswwo

Globalization 101, by the Mexico Solidarity Network. This workshop helps participants understand key terms and ideas behind globalization, including NAFTA, through games. The material is free but you have to register with buildthewheel.org to download it. (M, H, TR) [This resource is no longer available]

20th anniversary of the EZLN (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) uprising in Chiapas, Mexico. On the day NAFTA was implemented, approximately 3,000 members of the EZLN seized towns, set prisoners free, and set fire to several military buildings in Chiapas in protest. The EZLN believed that NAFTA had negative repercussions on the indigenous population of Mexico, such as loss of land and work in the agricultural sector. Twelve days later, the Mexican Army and the EZLN agreed to a cease-fire.

The Zapatista Uprising 1994-2004, by Democracy Now. A video and transcript of a special report that aired on the 10th anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising. The special was produced in the Chiapas Indymedia Center and includes interviews with journalists and other experts. (H) http://bit.ly/Pbh02E

Anatomy of a Movement: The Zapatistas, by Project South. Through timelines of Mexican history, the history of globalization and an in-depth look at how the EZLN organizes, this workshop asks students to consider how to build a local movement against top-down globalization. Note—this material has a cost. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ SoCK7q

Neil Marcus, performance artist, actor, writer, and disability activist, born (1954). Marcus brings disability into the forefront of his work and has been a central figure in the development of disability culture. As a writer, actor, dancer, philosopher and visual artist, he has had a profound impact on the thinking and lives of disabled people.

Neil Marcus – Disability Social History Project. An online resume of the work of Neil Marcus, including a link to online videos. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/OV2BDN 

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The goal of this day is to raise awareness and vigilance for the millions of human trafficking victims around the globe as a means to eradicate this injustice.

Juliana Dogbadzi: Slavery/Trafficking, by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. Lesson plan about human trafficking. (M, H) http://blogs.nysut.org/sttp/2010/11/09/juliana-dogbadzi-slaverytrafficking 

20th anniversary of the creation of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE). President Clinton created the ACHRE to investigate reports of unethical human radiation experiments conducted during the Cold War. The advisory committee found that between 1944 and 1975, the government conducted several thousand human radiation experiments. President Clinton apologized to all subjects and the Federal government settled compensation claims of affected families. The committee also recommended steps to strengthen protection for human subjects.

Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed, written and produced by Wilbert Smith. This documentary chronicles the story of Bertus Hardiman and nine children from his elementary school in Lyles Station, Indiana who were used for radiation experiments at their local county hospital in 1927. The film reveals Hardiman’s severe physical complications due to the medical crime committed against him and his peers. The documentary also reveals others radiation experiments performed in the US and abroad. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/153TxWi

Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison, by Allen M. Hornblum. Hornblum writes using prisoners’ first-hand accounts of questionable medical experimentation that occurred in Philadelphia’s Holmesburg Prison from the mid-1940s to 1974. Hornblum also reveals other prisons with similar practices and links the practices to those of Nazi doctors, who cited American prison practices during their defense in the Nuremberg Trials. (H) http://bit.ly/S8HCUB 

Religious Freedom Day. Religious Freedom Day is the anniversary of the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which declared that government-mandated religion was a violation of one’s natural rights. In doing so, Virginia became the first state to separate church and state.

Maintain Neutrality, by Teaching Tolerance. This link provides a collection of lessons designed to help teachers maintain the distinction between “teaching religion” and “teaching about religion.” Explore the site for a wide array of other lessons and resources on the topic. (M, H) http://bit.ly/9B9stE

Taking a Closer Look at Religions Around the World, by Teaching Tolerance. This lesson offers a starting point for exploring religions and faith traditions and creating an ongoing respectful dialogue about religious tolerance. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/d0WqIg

Respecting Nonreligious People, by Teaching Tolerance. Students often learn the importance of respecting people of different religions, but what about people who do not hold religious beliefs at all? This lesson introduces students to people who choose not to follow a religion. (E, M) http://bit.ly/nonrelig

Tanenbaum Education Program. Tanenbaum produces both free lesson plans and curricula that you can purchase that focus on inter-religious understanding. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/vs0mDR 

Martin Luther King Day. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US federal holiday marking the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a prominent leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement. It is observed on the third Monday of each January, around the time of King’s birthday, January 15th.

Liberation Curriculum, by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Lesson plans, primary resources and articles based on the Martin Luther King archives at Stanford University. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/fakvex

Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching, by Deborah Menkart, Alana Murray and Jenice L. View. The book includes interactive and interdisciplinary lessons, readings, writings, photographs, graphics and interviews, with sections on education, labor, citizenship and culture, and reflections on teaching about the Civil Rights Movement. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/uPIYBc

Dr. King and the Movement, by Teaching Tolerance. This site provides lessons and resources for addressing Dr. King and his dream, including a ‘dos and don’ts’ guide for MLK day. (M, H) http://bit.ly/mlkmov

21     Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), born (1884-1981). Baldwin was the co-founder and director of the ACLU until 1950. In 1918, he was arrested for refusing the draft and spent nine months in jail. Under his leadership, the ACLU focused on cases of civil liberties including the Scopes “Monkey Trial” and the Sacco and Vanzetti murder trial. Baldwin also co-founded the International League for Human Rights and was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1981.

Stand Up! With the ACLU, by the ACLU. ACLU’s site for students and youth offers information about the most pressing civil liberties issues today. Resources include podcasts, facts, links and ways to get active. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Zvofsy

21     40th anniversary of Lau v. Nichols in which the Supreme Court endorsed bilingual education. In Lau v. Nichols, Chinese students argued that the San Francisco Unified School District was violating Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination on the basis of national origin for programs that receive federal funding, by not providing accommodations due to their limited English proficiency. The Supreme Court found that the lack of accommodations denied students equal educational opportunities based on their ethnicity and ruled in the students’ favor.

Lau V. Nichols: Bilingual Education in Public Schools, by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson. The book presents the history of education in the US as it relates to English language learners and minorities. It then describes Lau v. Nichols as it proceeded through the California State Courts and onto the Supreme Court. Also included is a “Questions for Discussion” section. (M, H) http://bit.ly/PMgmmZ

22     Elaine Noble, American politician and LGBT activist, born (1944). In 1974, Noble was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and thus became the first openly LGBT candidate to be elected to a state-level office.

Interview with Elaine Noble for Out and Elected in the USA, by Ron Schlittler. In this interview Elaine Noble describes some of the most difficult challenges she faced being out in politics. It is part of a larger project called “Out and Elected in the USA: 1974-2004.” (M, H) http://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/out-and-elected/1970s

23      50th anniversary the 24th Amendment prohibiting poll taxes. The 24th Amendment prohibits making the payment of any tax a prerequisite for being able to vote in federal elections. Prior to the amendment, poll tax requirements were used in southern states to prevent African Americans and those with little or no property from voting, thus marginalizing them from politics.

The Barber of Birmingham’ in Context: Modern Barriers to Voting, by POV, PBS. This site, which is designed to accompany the documentary “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement,” offers a modern context to James Armstrong’s heroic actions during the Civil Rights Movement. It offers information on modern barriers to voting and links to other resources such as lesson plans, toolkits, video clips and more. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/TRY7Sn

25     110th anniversary of the Harwick Mine explosion. The Harwick Mine explosion in Cheswick, PA, one of the worst US mining disasters, killed 179 miners. 100,000 coal miners in Pennsylvania went on strike, resulting in wage increases and shorter work week.

Coal Mountain Elementary, by Mark Nowak. Nowak, a poet and labor activist, integrates four elements—Chinese newspaper excerpts about mine accidents, testimony from survivors of the 2006 Sago, West Virginia mine accident and rescue team members, lesson plans from the American Coal Foundation’s curriculum, and photographs of Chinese miners by Ian Teh—to challenge readers to focus on the working people who produce the wealth. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/V0lvBp

Got Coal? Teaching About the Most Dangerous Rock in America, by Bill Bigelow. This teaching activity gives students the opportunity to play and analyze a game created by The American Coal Foundation. Students will also write from different perspectives and watch excerpts from films to expand their knowledge of coal mining and think critically about the industry’s motives and goals. (TR) http://bit.ly/VUuLD0 

Angela Davis, racial justice activist, prison abolitionist and professor, born (1944). Davis was a member of the Black Panthers and active in radical Black politics in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, Davis ran for Vice-President on the Communist Party ticket twice. As an activist, professor and author, Davis has fought for women’s rights and racial justice. Most recently her activism has focused on abolishing the prison-industrial complex.

Angela Davis on the Prison Abolishment Movement, Frederick Douglass, the 40th Anniversary of Her Arrest and President Obama’s First Two Years, by Democracy Now. This site contains video, audio and transcripts of Davis’ interview in which she discusses various topics. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/12AxV3J

The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975. This documentary features interviews with several people affiliated with the historic Black Power movement, including Angela Davis. The footage captured in this film sat, unreleased in a Swedish basement for nearly 30 years before it was discovered and released to the public. Within the feature is commentary from both historic personalities and contemporary artists who reflect on the Black Power era. (M, H, TR) http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/black-power-mixtape/

27     No Name Calling Week. No Name Calling Week, organized by GLSN and over 40 other organizations, is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an ongoing dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.

No Name Calling Week Website. This site includes free resources and information about the week, as well as a resource kit that can be purchased online. (M, H) http://www.glsen.org/nonamecallingweek

31     Ella Cara Deloria, Sioux ethnographer and linguist, born (1889-1971). Deloria was born on the Yankton Sioux Reservation, South Dakota and is part of the Dakota Sioux family. As a linguist, ethnologist, and anthropologist, Deloria recorded and translated Sioux oral history and texts.

Native American Oral Storytelling. This unit explores the art of storytelling inspired by the book Waterlilly by Deloria. Students watch video clips of Native American storytelling and excerpts from Waterlilly to then create their own stories. This is a great resource to allow students to understand more about the Sioux life style and history as well as explore the writing conventions of storytelling. (E) http://bit.ly/QWs7bx

     Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year is the beginning of the year according to the lunar calendar. It is celebrated throughout the world, particularly in Asia.

Lunar New Year Books Reviewed, by The Asian American Curriculum Project. A review of children’s books from several Asian cultures about the Lunar New Year. (E) http://bit.ly/aabooks

A Chinese New Year Celebration, by IndyKids. Bilingual essays by students discussing what Chinese New Year is about and what it means to them. (E, M) http://indykids.org/main/2010/01/a-chinese-new-year-celebration/

Shanghai Messenger, by Andrea Cheng. Shanghai Messenger is about a young Chinese girl, the child of an American father and Chinese mother, who travels back to China to visit her extended family and explore her roots. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E, M) http://bit.ly/tVVSjp

31     Tet, Vietnamese New Year. Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, is the most popular holiday in Vietnam. Tet marks the arrival of spring based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Celebrations last for at least three days, and people celebrate by visiting friends and family and cooking special holiday foods.

Vietnamese Americans Interdisciplinary Curriculum Guide, by Teaching Tolerance. This curriculum guide sheds light on the complexities of the Vietnamese American experience. (E, M, H) http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-25-spring-2004/feature/vietnamese-americans-lessons-american-history



1 First day of African American History Month

The African American Experience and Issues of Race and Racism in U.S. Schools, compiled by Working to Improve Schools and Education (WISE). A list of links to a number of resources useful in teaching about African American schooling experiences. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/tJv2aI

African American Odyssey, by Library of Congress. Comprehensive online display of materials and primary resources related to the African American experience. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/aXfZMt

50th anniversary of New York public schools boycott. In one of the largest demonstrations of the Civil Rights movement, 450,000 Black and Puerto Rican students refused to attend school as a protest against segregation in New York City public schools. While Brown v. Board of Education had made segregation illegal ten years earlier, NYC’s public schools were not fully integrated. Bayard Rustin was a key organizer and participating students attended freedom schools on that day.

On This Day in History, February 3: New York City School Boycott, by Brooklyn Daily Eagle. An article about the one-day boycott in which almost half of NYC school children did not attend school to protest educational segregation. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/WFE3XO

8     50th anniversary of adding sex to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning gender- based employment discrimination. In an effort to prevent passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congressman Howard Smith introduced an amendment adding “sex” to the categories protected from employment discrimination. Smith believed this would guarantee the bill’s failure when, in fact, it led to a more expansive bill banning employment discrimination on the basis of color, race, religion, and gender.

Teaching with Documents. This site by the US National Archives and Records Administration offers background information, primary sources and teaching ideas related to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (M, H, TR) http://1.usa.gov/R3EZfN

Women Deserve Equal Pay. For full- time year-round workers, women are paid on average only 78% of what men are paid. For women of Color, the gap is significantly wider. This website by the National Organization of Women includes information and activities to address the pay gap. (H) http://bit.ly/8fjvZy 

Alice Walker, writer, activist and Pulitzer Prize winner, born (1944). Walker worked as a teacher and social worker and participated in the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in the 1960s. Her fiction and poetry often focus on issues of race and gender. Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her 1982 novel The Color Purple, which was adapted into a film.

Alice Walker Lessons, by TeachKind. This lesson focuses on the celebrated author of The Color Purple, Alice Walker, and her essay “Am I Blue?” The essay raises interesting questions about animal communication and the treatment of animals. (M, H) http://bit.ly/VZ1lSz

Recently I Wrote a Letter, an interview with Alice Walker on her official website. Alice Walker explains the reasoning behind a letter she wrote to an Israeli publishing company, disallowing them to translate her award-winning novel, The Color Purple, into Hebrew because they are currently an apartheid state and she does not condone their treatment of the Palestinian people. Her decision provoked much controversy. This letter could be used to facilitate discussions about standing up for personal beliefs. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Pijn2d

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: The Creativity of Black Women in the South (1974). Article featured in Ms. Magazine (later, Walker published a collection of essays entitled In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens). In this article, Alice Walker argues that Black women of previous generations might not have reached their artistic potential due to institutional racism and systemic oppression. This is a good text to reference when examining the creativity of all women historically and at present. (H) http://bit.ly/Ohs77w

10      Gerald Baptiste, activist for the rights of people of Color with disabilities, born (1934). Baptiste, who is blind, co-founded the Multicultural Committee of the National Council on Independent Living, leading efforts to organize people of Color with disabilities. He was active in the fight for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and is a leader in efforts to connect African Americans with disabilities to disability rights activists in Africa.

On a Roll, film directed by Joanne Caputo. Greg Smith is a talk radio host, father, son and activist. In this film, he reveals the challenges he faces as he navigates life from his power wheelchair. (H) http://to.pbs.org/SJEWas

Center for Independent Living Still Strong at 35, by Judith Scherr, The Berkeley Daily Planet. Scherr interviews Baptiste to explore the origins of Berkeley’s Center for Independent Living, why it started in the Bay Area and the struggle that ensued for the civil rights of disabled people. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/12FrvQN

The Eyes of Me, film directed by Keith Maitland. This film follows four visually impaired teens in Texas as they face the challenges of adolescence while learning to cope with their disability. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/TQd8DZ 

Frances Moore Lappé, author and activist, born (1944). As an author and activist, Lappé has focused on changing the way people view the issue of world hunger. Lappé argues that it is a result of an uneven distribution of wealth and power as opposed to a lack of food. Lappé is also the co-founder of three national organizations that examine the causes of issues such as poverty, hunger and environmental crises.

Food Justice Toolkit. A growing compilation of food justice and food sovereignty trainings, resources, curricula, fact sheets and more. The resources are free, but you must register with buildthewheel.org to download them. (M, H, TR) [This link is no longer available]

Small Planet Institute, an organization co-founded by Frances Moore Lappé and her daughter, Anne Lappé. Use the interactive timeline, Forty Years of the Food Movement, to explore the inspiring developments of the food movement. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/OcekTi

20th anniversary of an executive order on the impact of environmental injustice. President Clinton signed Executive Order 12898 to focus attention on the environmental and human health conditions of low-income and minority communities. The Order sought to identify and address the harmful effects and to develop strategies and programs to eliminate them, in an effort to achieve environmental protection for all.

Poverty and Natural Disasters: Exploring the Connections, by Teaching Tolerance. In this lesson students explore connections between poverty and natural disasters. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/bAaAKp

The Creek Runs Red, a film by Bradley Beesley, James Payne and Julianna Brannum. Picher, Oklahoma, a former lead mining town, is named one of the most toxic places in America by the EPA, yet a dwindling population still calls it home. This film examines the response to environmental disaster and the connection between people and place. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/NXZSJ5

12      10th anniversary of San Francisco issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom authorized the county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. One month later, the Supreme Court ordered an immediate halt to same- sex marriages and on Aug. 12 voided 3,955 marriages. After years of heated debates, the gay marriage ban was overturned in May 2008.

6 Kid-Friendly Books about Gay Families, from Lilsugar website. List of picture books that address gay marriage for young children. (E) http://bit.ly/ZrEG8Z

I Now Pronounce You…, by the Human Rights Resource Center. This is an activity that provides a way to structure the debate about same-sex marriage in the classroom. Note that it was created directly following the decision by Vermont to allow all couples to marry regardless of sexual orientation. There is an emphasis on the historical notion of “separate but equal” and how it applies in this case. (H) http://bit.ly/Ne4te4

14     Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of a number of saints called Valentine and became associated with romantic connotations several centuries later during the Middle Ages in England. People celebrate by exchanging cards and gifts and sharing a romantic meal.

Valentine’s Day in the Classroom, by International Labor Rights Forum. This lesson plan explores workers’ rights in the cut flower industry and how consumerism on Valentine’s Day in the US affects workers abroad. Also includes an educator resource page called Labor Rights in the Classroom, with links to lesson plans on the topics of child labor, sweatshops, workers’ rights and the Sweatfree Schools movement. (E, M) http://bit.ly/tFAlAq

Fair Trade in the Classroom, by Global Exchange. Students learn about child labor and how it’s used by big chocolate companies. Students take social action by telling these companies that they should sell Fair Trade products instead. (E, M) http://bit.ly/95yZbZ

Parinirvana – Nirvana day (Buddhism). Parinirvana Day is a Mahayana Buddhist holiday that marks the day when the Buddha is said to have achieved Parinirvana, or complete Nirvana, upon the death of his physical body. Some Buddhists celebrate this holiday on Feb. 8 instead of the 15th.

Becoming Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha, by Whitney Stewart. This book follows Buddha from pre-birth prophecies through his pampered youth, his break with royal life and his quest for enlightenment. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/udMbPl 

Randy Shilts, journalist and author, dies (1951-1994). Shilts was an openly gay journalist and author who many credit with drawing national attention to AIDS and other gay-related issues such as discrimination against homosexuals in the military. Shilts authored the biography of Harvey Milk, The Mayor of Castro Street, and also wrote And the Band Played On and Conduct Unbecoming. Shilts died in 1994 from AIDS-related complications.

We Were Here, directed by David Weissman. This film documents the arrival in San Francisco of what was then called the “Gay Plague” in the early 1980s. It illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic, as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed. (H) http://to.pbs.org/Rdmiw2

17     Presidents’ Day

Write the Truth, by Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools. Peterson describes an inquiry project in which his 5th graders investigated which US Presidents owned slaves, and then wrote letters to textbook publishers to demand that this information be included. (E, M) http://bit.ly/svqysP 

Audre Lorde, poet and activist, born (1934-1992). Lorde was a Caribbean American poet and essayist whose work focused on issues of gender, race and sexual orientation. Lorde was also a civil rights activist, anti-war activist and feminist who critiqued some mainstream feminist organizations for being too focused on the experiences of White, middle-class women. In her own words, Lorde was a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.”

A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, a film by Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson. This documentary explores the life of an activist whose work was entrenched in the Civil Rights movement, Feminist/Womanist movement and the Lesbian and Gay Rights movement. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/Uhh41T

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name — A Biomythography, by Geraldine Audre Lorde. This book chronicles Audre Lorde’s own coming-of-age tale. It would offer a wonderful literary study in its entirety or in excerpts. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1084OVJ

Julia “Butterfly” Hill, environmental activist, born (1974). Hill is best known for living in a 180-foot tall, roughly 1,000 year-old California Redwood tree in order to prevent loggers from cutting it down. She is an author and speaker and co-founded the Engage Network, a nonprofit that trains civic leaders to work toward social change.

The People Who Hugged Trees, adapted by Deborah Lee Rose and illustrated by Birgitta Säflund. An environmental folk tale based on the legend from India in which Amrita Devi and several hundred villagers gave up their lives while protecting the forest. This struggle continues today in the form of the Chipko “Hug the Tree” movement whose members support nonviolent resistance to tree cutting. (E) http://bit.ly/Ocf4aR

The Ecology Hall of Fame: Julia “Butterfly” Hill. This website tells Julia’s story and provides links to other environmental sustainability sites. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/RL89oD

80th anniversary of Augusto César Sandino’s assassination. Sandino was a Nicaraguan nationalist leader who led the resistance against US occupation. Sandino conducted several guerilla movements against the US Marines until they withdrew in 1933. Sandino was assassinated by Anastasio Somoza’s National Guard, whose family dynasty ruled Nicaragua for the next 40 years. Members of the revolutionary group Sandinistas formed in 1962 in Sandino’s honor.

The Sandino Rebellion, by Michael J. Schroeder, Ph.D. This site is a digital archive of the nationalist rebellion against the US, led by Augusto Sandino. The site houses about 3,000 primary documents as well as videos and curricular suggestions and materials. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/RHdYCH

Inside the Volcano: A Curriculum on Nicaragua, by Bill Bigelow and Jeff Edmundson, Teaching for Change. This teaching guide features 14 interactive lessons on the history of Nicaragua. A free download of the 130-page book is available after free registration to the Zinn Education Project website. (TR) http://bit.ly/R93GxG 

23     110th anniversary of the US taking control of Panama Canal construction
. After acquiring control of the Canal Zone from the newly established Panama, the US built the Panama Canal from 1904- 1914, signaling America’s emergence as an imperialist force. The Canal and Canal Zone were administered by the US until President Jimmy Carter signed it over to Panama in 1977 (authority was officially transferred at the end of 1999).

Panama Canal Teacher’s Guide, by PBS. This guide is designed to be used in conjunction with Panama Canal, an American Experience documentary that explores the technological, political, scientific and social aspects of the construction of the Panama Canal. The site also contains bonus videos, interactive maps, photo galleries, primary resources and more. (H) http://to.pbs.org/SeeFkm

The Panama Deception, directed by Barbara Trent. The film provides a critical account of the US invasion of Panama in 1989, showing the complexities of US imperialism of the isthmus. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ar87U2

Panama, the 1991 Gulf War and the War at Home, by Robert Standish, Zinn Education Project. This site contains a teaching activity PDF that offers questions and ideas for teaching Chapter 22 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on Panama, the 1991 Gulf War and the War on the Poor in the United States. (TR) http://bit.ly/12KYl1y

26      50th anniversary of Muhammad Ali announcing his membership in the Nation of Islam. The day after winning the heavyweight title from Liston, Ali announced he was a member of the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Cassius X. This caused controversy as the Nation of Islam advocated for a separate Black nation.

What’s My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the US, by David Zirin. This book examines US history from a progressive perspective, focusing on racism, sexism and homophobia in sports. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/12yYSEN

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, by Walter Dean Myers. This book follows the extraordinary career and accomplishments of Muhammad Ali, focusing on Ali’s impact on race relations inside and outside the sports world. (M, H) http://bit.ly/OZvv4G 

170th anniversary of the Dominican Republic’s independence from Haiti. After being under Haiti’s rule for 22 years, the Dominican Republic gained its independence in 1844 after the Dominican War of Independence. The country experienced a brief return to Spanish rule, US occupation and dictatorship before its last civil war in 1965. The country has since adopted a representative democracy.

Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided, by PBS. This site contains videos of the series Black in Latin America, in which Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores race and identity in Latin America. In the first episode, “Haiti & the Dominican Republic,” Professor Gates explores how the Dominican Republic’s history with Haiti informs their understanding of race. This site also contains timelines, lesson resources and more. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/P7F71e

The Dominican Republic, by Anne Callin, Ruth Glasser and Jocelyn Santana. A collection of essays, oral histories, poetry, fiction, analysis, interviews, primary documents, timelines, maps and interactive and interdisciplinary teaching aids on the history, politics and culture of the fourth largest Latino community in the United States. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/w3ZM8b

Ralph Nader, politician and activist, born (1934). Nader is a lawyer, politician, author, activist and four-time US Presidential candidate. Nader is considered a pioneer in consumer advocacy and his book Unsafe at Any Speed led to the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966. Nader is also responsible for passing the Wholesome Meat Act in 1967, which imposed federal standards on slaughterhouses.

Immigration Television Service: Third Party Voices. Students watch an excerpt from the documentary about Nader, Unreasonable Man. They research the political parties of countries other than the United States and ask how they benefit from having more than two political parties. (H) http://itvs.org/educators/collections/vote-democracy/lesson_plans/third-party-voices

Navarre Scott Momaday, professor and author, born (1934). Momaday, a Native American of Kiowa descent, is a professor and author who won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for his novel House Made of Dawn. Momaday writes about oral tradition and other aspects of Indian culture and uses his father’s artwork in his books.

Making Connections to Myth and Folktale: The Many Ways to Rainy Mountain, by Read, Write, Think. Students read and analyze the text written by Navarre Scott Momaday, “The Way to Rainy Mountain,” to understand the Kiowa People. This unit encourages students to understand underlying themes and connections and how Momaday challenges them to understand the Kiowa people through storytelling. After analysis, students create a class anthology modeled after Momaday’s text. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/MJh6xJ

27      50th anniversary of Puyallup Indian’s first “fish-in” to assert treaty rights. Inspired by the sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement, Native Americans staged the first of many “fish-ins” to assert treaty rights to fish on reservations. Fish-ins were conducted frequently until 1974, when a Federal court ruled that tribes were entitled to management of half of the fishing industry in Western Washington through a tribal fisheries commission.

Against the Current, by Teaching Tolerance. This story about Billy Frank analyzes the fishing rights conflict between the Native Americans and the state government. This story also includes discussion topics, writing assignments and project ideas. (M, H) http://bit.ly/SihN1m


1     Ralph Ellison, author and professor, born (1914-1994). Ellison was an African American author best known for his novel, Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. Through this novel and later essays Ellison explored ideas about race and identity, making an important contribution to American concepts about race.

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison. Invisible Man follows a young man as he grows up in a Black community in the South, attends a Negro college from which he is expelled, moves to New York and becomes the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood,” retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/PLj3r0

A Columbia Directing Student’s Vision, Court Theater Website for Invisible Man Production. In this short clip, the director adapts the opening scene of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, which could serve as an introduction to a literary study of Ellison’s work or to accompany other literature that addresses themes associated with isolation and identity. (H) http://bit.ly/QI2FWE 

60th anniversary of the Castle Bravo nuclear weapons test. Castle Bravo was the code name given to the first US hydrogen bomb test, which took place in the Marshall Islands. The test led to the most significant accidental radiological contamination ever caused by the US. Many Marshall Island natives and the crew of a nearby Japanese fishing boat developed radiation sickness. The incident prompted demands for a ban on the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices.

Nuclear Weapons Controversy, by Alan Shapiro at TeachableMoment. Three lessons to help students learn about and debate the history of nuclear weapons policy, up to the Bush administration. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/O7C5Mi

Nuclear Weapons: What Should Our Policy Be?, by the Choices Program: Teaching with the News. Two lessons provide students with opportunities to use a framework of “policy options” to analyze the issues and values framing the debate over nuclear weapons and weapons proliferation. (H) http://bit.ly/ReEb7y 

60th anniversary of Puerto Rican Nationalists opening fire in the US House of Representatives. Four members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party opened fire in the US House of Representatives, injuring five. The party often used violent means to advance its cause of full independence for Puerto Rico and made an assassination attempt on President Harry Truman in 1950. The shooters were tried and sent to prison. Puerto Rico remains a commonwealth of the US.

US Capitol Shooting of March 1954, by History.com. This site contains audio of news coverage of the event and links to other similar speeches, audio and video. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/P7GmO1 

First day of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month, which grew out of a weeklong celebration in California, honors women’s contributions to history, society and culture.

Gender Issues, by Ithaca College WISE. This site includes a list of links, a bibliography and a list of films related to gender issues. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/sZUmpg

Beyondmedia Education. Beyondmedia Education’s mission is to collaborate with underserved and underrepresented women, youth and communities to tell their stories, connect their stories to the world around us and organize for social justice through the creation and distribution of media arts. Videos available for viewing and purchase. (M, H) http://bit.ly/v1Kaix

5      70th anniversary of organized resistance by a group of Japanese draft resisters in a WWII internment camp. The Fair Play Committee (FPC) was organized to oppose the reinstatement of the draft for Nisei men in the Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming. The FPC was the largest group of resisters, but across all camps, a total of over 300 men refused to be inducted into the army. The majority of them were convicted and sent to prison.

Conscience and the Constitution, by PBS.org. The website for the PBS documentary  Conscience and the Constitution offers information about the FPC and their story. The resource section provides other reading resources, printable viewers’ guides and lesson plans. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/MHGQWn

It Was About “Protecting Our Civil Rights,” by Amber Peabody. In this local news article, Yosh Kuromiya describes his experiences as one of the Fair Play Committee’s “resisters of conscience” and discusses what it was like to stand trial and serve prison time for resisting draft. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ObsoM8

Ash Wednesday/First day of Lent (Christianity). Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the time of preparation before Easter.

BBC Schools: Guide to Christianity. This site includes basic information about Christianity including Lent and Easter, as well as links to classroom activities intended to help students understand the beliefs and practices of Christians. (M, H, TR) http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/religion/christianity

8      130th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s speech arguing for women’s right to vote. Susan B. Anthony, who was fined for voting illegally in the 1872 presidential election, gave a speech before the House of Representatives arguing for women’s right to vote.

The People Speak – Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport, by History.com. This site contains a video clip of Susan B. Anthony’s suffrage trial speech performed by actors Christina Kirk and Josh Brolin, as well as other clips from The People Speak DVD. (M, H, TR) http://www.history.com/images/media/pdf/the_people_speak_studyguide.pdf

Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, resource website for the film by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes. This site contains resources aligned with the film, which explores the work of Stanton and Anthony in the struggle and development of women’s rights. The site includes an interactive narrated timeline, classroom activity ideas, related articles, essays, historical documents and links to other suggested reading. (H) http://to.pbs.org/R3KdYZ 

International Women’s Day. German socialist Clara Zetkin in 1910 proposed March 8 as a working-class women’s holiday to celebrate past victories and carry the fight forward.

Not Yet Rain, directed by Lisa Russell of Governess Films. A film about unsafe abortion and reproductive rights in Ethiopia told through the voices of women who have struggled for safe health care. The website has other resources about how to get involved. (M, H) http://bit.ly/mNVoB

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai: Shaking the Tree, by Marieke van Woerkom. To mark International Women’s Day, students think about women they admire, learn about African leader Maathai and discuss the Peter Gabriel song “Shaking the Tree.” (H) http://bit.ly/t11Crk

Deaf History Month. Deaf History Month celebrates three key events in deaf history: the 3/13/1988 Deaf President Now protest, 4/8/1864 establishment of Gallaudet University, and the 4/15/1817 establishment of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT.

Observing Deaf History Month, by Alexandra Gomez. This article provides readers with information about milestones in deaf history as well as links to fiction and nonfiction books about deaf people. (M, H, TR) http://on.nypl.org/VDs76u

Deaf Jam, directed by Judy Lieff. This film follows Aneta Brodski, a deaf teen living in New York City who discovers the power of American Sign Language poetry. As she prepares to be one of the first deaf poets to compete in a spoken-word slam, her journey leads to an unexpected collaboration. The website includes clips and a deaf history timeline. (M, H) http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/deaf-jam/film.html

Sound and Fury, by PBS. Two lesson plans about deaf culture. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/PtSfe6

14     220th anniversary of Eli Whitney patenting the cotton gin
. Whitney’s machine allowed for the mass production of cotton, which enabled Southern plantation owners to expand the institution of slavery.

How the Cotton Gin Started the Civil War, by Robert O. Woods. In his article, Woods describes how a simple machine like the cotton gin had complex consequences on slavery. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/13bIlGc

14      60th anniversary of the opening of the film Salt of the Earth. Salt of the Earth is based on the strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in which Mexican American workers struck for equity in wages alongside White workers. The film highlights the pivotal role of the miners’ wives in the strike. It was also controversial because the writer, director and producer had all been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment because of their alleged involvement in communist politics.

Salt of the Earth, by Internet Archive. This site offers free download and streaming of the movie. (M, H) http://bit.ly/PK6QRj

Salt of the Earth: Ground Students in Hope, by S.J. Childs, Rethinking Schools. S.J. Childs describes how she introduces students to the film. The site provides a link to download the lesson plan as well as links for additional activities and resources. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/N3y8Dx

16      Purim begins at sundown on 3/15 (Judaism). Purim celebrates the defeat of a plot to exterminate Jews living in Persia about 600-500 BCE.

Judaism 101. Website for basic information about Judaism and Jewish holidays and customs. (TR) http://bit.ly/cYCpN7

Purim (Celebrations in My World), by Lynn Peppas. This children’s book explores the story and customs of Purim. (E) http://bit.ly/TGc6Id

First day of Holi (Hinduism). Holi is a spring festival of colors that can last anywhere from one to 16 days, depending on where it is celebrated.

Holi, by Uma Krishnaswami. This children’s book uses photographs to explore Holi. It shows how participants use colorful powders to celebrate this holiday. (E) http://bit.ly/ZUxEKc

United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed to remind people of the negative consequences of racism. The day commemorates the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa in which police opened fire at a demonstration against apartheid, killing 69.

South African History Online. This website gives the historical context of the demonstrationsacrossSouthAfricain1960, one of which resulted in the Sharpeville massacre. Eyewitness accounts and other useful primary sources are provided. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/XiIHeL

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, by Teaching Tolerance. This article describes how Canadian citizens have observed and expanded upon the day to create a nationwide movement toward the eradication of racism. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/XyNFUR

40th anniversary of the Coalition of Labor Union Women’s first convention. The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) was formed when more than 1,200 union women from across the US convened in Chicago to form an organization to address the needs of millions of unorganized working women and make unions more responsive to the needs of all working women.

Coalition of Labor Union Women, by CLUW.org. The CLUW’s four mission goals are to organize the unorganized; promote affirmative action; increase women’s participation in their unions; and increase women’s participation in political and legislative activities. The website offers news, information and resources on topics relevant to their goal of equal pay, child and elder care benefits, safe workplaces, affordable healthcare and more. Includes radio interviews, video reports, blogs and articles. (TR) http://bit.ly/VvKA55

UFCW Launches: Making Change at Walmart Campaign, by Coalition of Labor Union Women. This CLUW campaign challenges Walmart to use its size and political influence to help working families and rebuild the economy by raising the standard on working conditions and environmental and sustainability efforts. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/WjgKwA

25th anniversary of Exxon Valdez oil spill. En route from Valdez, AK to Los Angeles, CA, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, AK and spilled approximately 11 million gallons of crude oil, making it the largest US oil spill prior to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill in 2010. The spill had detrimental impacts on the environment and economy, decimating wildlife and habitats and causing huge economic losses in sport fishing, tourism and more.

Chief Walter Meganack on Native Alaskan Life in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. A first-person account of how the oil spill affected Native Alaskans. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ReHBHF

Resource Depletion, by Sox Sperry at Project Look Sharp. This unit compares conflicting media constructions about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the damming of rivers and Chukchi Sea oil drilling. By showing the slow realization that natural resources are finite, students will learn valuable lessons in earth, natural and environmental sciences. All materials are classroom-ready, including teacher guides, student handouts, overviews and assessments. Unit 4 focuses on Exxon Valdez. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Qvjh3K

120th anniversary of Coxey’s Army, a march to protest unemployment. In 1894, a group of unemployed workers called Coxey’s Army marched from Massillon, OH to Washington, DC to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of 1893. What started out as a group of 100 men grew to be about 500 marchers and thousands of supporters. Jacob Coxey was arrested for trespassing. This was the first significant march on Washington.

From Coxey’s Army to Occupy Wall Street, by Matthew Robert Isham of the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State. This blog post compares the Occupy Wall Street movement with Coxey’s Army. (H, TR) [This resource is no longer available]

Coxey’s Army: An American Odyssey, by Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes. Coxey’s Army is a book that tells the story of the remarkable movement to persuade Congress and President Cleveland to create public works jobs and stimulate the American economy. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/SEwX1i

Gloria Steinem, feminist and activist, born (1934). Steinem, a White feminist and journalist, is considered a leader of Second Wave feminism in the 1960s and 70s. Steinem helped launch Ms., a women’s magazine that covers feminist topics. Steinem has also been a strong advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights, ending domestic violence, and equal pay for women.

Interview: Gloria Steinem, by PBS. Stacey Tisdale interviews Gloria Steinem about what the women’s movement has achieved and the challenges it faces today. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/PJ5v17

Gloria Steinem: Testimony Before Senate Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment, by Voice of Democracy. This site contains resources based on Steinem’s testimony before the Senate on the Equal Rights Amendment including the testimonial transcript, a list of related resources (web, audio/visual and readings), and teaching materials and activity ideas. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Nj4jUe

20th anniversary of the Basel Ban prohibiting shipments of hazardous waste to developing countries. Despite strong opposition from powerful countries such as the US, Australia, Germany and Canada, the Basel Ban was agreed upon in 1994. The Ban–which became an amendment to the Basel Convention in 1995–prohibits international shipments of hazardous wastes from industrialized countries to poorer nations. The Ban was a victory for international environmental justice; however, disagreement over its implementation left it unenforceable for over a decade.

Chemicals in the Environment, by Sox Sperry at Project Look Sharp. Classroom- ready teacher guides, student handouts, overviews and assessments for an in- depth study of the use of chemicals in our environment. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/RnnnLR

The Digital Dump: Exporting Re-Use and Abuse to Africa/Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia, two films by Basel Action Network. These two documentaries expose the ugly underbelly of what is thought to be an escalating global trade in toxic, obsolete, discarded computers and other e-scrap collected in North America and Europe and sent to developing countries by waste brokers and so-called recyclers. (M, H) Purchase films: http://bit.ly/QngAFu 

40th anniversary of the Chipko Movement in India. In an act of nonviolent resistance against development, a group of local women in Reni village in Uttarakhand, India hugged trees that were designated to be cut, and they refused to move. The movement spread to many other districts and achieved a 15-year ban on green felling in the Himalayan forests. It also became a rallying point for many future environmental and nonviolent protests.

Aani and the Tree Huggers, by Jeannine Atkins Classroom Guide. A collection of activities to be used with Aani and the Tree Huggers, a children’s book about the Chipko Movement in India. (E) http://bit.ly/OSOSRb Purchase the book here: http://bit.ly/Oihwbx 

200th anniversary of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was a decisive battle in the Creek War in which Colonel Andrew Jackson sought to clear Alabama for European American settlers. The Creek Indians of Georgia and Alabama had become divided into the Upper Creeks (or Red Sticks) who opposed American expansion and the Lower Creeks who were assimilated. US forces joined with the Lower Creeks to defeat the Red Sticks.

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend: Collision of Culture, by the National Park Service. This high school lesson plan uses maps, readings, images and activities that allow students to explore the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Link to related lesson and other resources are also included. (H, TR) http://1.usa.gov/WyOHKe

Lester Brown, author and founder of Worldwatch Institute and Earth Policy Institute, born (1934). Brown, whom the Telegraph of Calcutta called “the guru of the global environmental movement,” is an author and the founder of Earth Policy Institute and Worldwatch Institute. Through his work, Brown has provided a vision of an environmentally sustainable economy. His “State of the World” reports are widely considered the bible of the global environmental movement.

Summary Presentation for Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, by Lester Brown. This link provides PowerPoint and PDF slideshows that can be used to present students with information from Lester Brown’s book, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/OSTgzK

Environmental Poster, from Yes! Magazine. Visual that could be used to begin class discussion about a variety of environmental issues (climate, global population, energy solutions, etc.). (M, H) http://bit.ly/RFhvhp

31      César Chávez Day. César Chávez Day celebrates the birthday of César Chávez, a Mexican American farmworker, labor leader and civil rights activist. Chávez also co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now known as United Farm Workers of America), which achieved unprecedented gains for farmworkers.

Viva La Causa: The Story of César Chávez and a Great Movement for Social Justice, by Teaching Tolerance. This short documentary film and accompanying teacher’s guide explore the Grape Strike and Boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. The free teaching kit includes a 39-minute film on DVD and a teacher’s guide. (H) http://bit.ly/ffoc4E

Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez, by Kathleen Krull. This picture book chronicles Chávez’s youth and the struggles he endured on his journey to becoming a leader. The second link is to a teacher’s guide. (E) http://bit.ly/Vj0I7w http://bit.ly/XAZVSx

Model Curriculum and Resources for Teachers. This curriculum on the life and work of César E. Chávez from the California Department of Education includes biographies, pictures and other resources provided to help teachers prepare lessons for this holiday. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/cb8NfJ


1 First day of National Poetry Month. National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. It is an annual celebration of poetry and its place in American culture.

Growing up Hip-Hop, by kahlil almustafa. In this collection written throughout his youth and young adulthood, award- winning poet kahlil almustafa captures the experiences, contradictions and healing that have defined the hip-hop generation. (M, H) http://bit.ly/utbiVK

Brave New Voices. Brave New Voices is a national poetry slam competition that truly engages everyone involved, from the participants to the adult mentors and audience members. The first episode of the HBO series, which chronicles the 2008 festival, is available online. (M, H) http://bit.ly/o7Ol

Hip Hop and the Classics for the Classroom, by Alan Sitmor and Michael Cirelli. This collection of lesson plans analyzes the poetry of Hip Hop and compares its motifs, themes and general poetic devices to the poems traditionally studied in order to teach the core elements of the poetic craft in an appealing, relevant and accessible manner. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/arzHBR 

First day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals about how to prevent sexual violence.

Sex Education Resource Center, by Advocates for Youth. This website has an education resource center that offers educators K-12 lesson plans, curricula, national standards and state legislation about sex education. (H) http://bit.ly/6aiCSa

NO! Confronting Sexual Assault in Our Communities. This documentary explores the impact of sexual violence on Black women and girls. As the incidents of violence and sexual assault continue, this film can be used to support both women and men, regardless of race, as they learn to navigate the challenging terrain of sexuality without violence. Second link is to a facilitator’s guide to the film. (H) http://bit.ly/filmNO http://bit.ly/guideno

Tough Guise. Tough Guise is aimed at a general student audience to analyze masculinity as a social construction, a performance or a role; in short, a tough guise. The film links violence to the construction of masculinity around domination and violence. (M, H) http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=211

Media Education Foundation, on YouTube. Media Education Foundation’s channel on YouTube offers video clips of Jackson Katz, one of the writers of Tough Guise, talking about the documentary. http://bit.ly/UeG6hD

3     Jane Goodall, British primatologist, ethnologist, anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace, born (1934). Goodall, an expert on chimpanzees, is best known for her study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. Goodall also founded the Jane Goodall Institute and has worked to educate people about the ethical treatment of animals and conservation issues.

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, by the Jane Goodall Institute. This website offers tools and resources related to the Roots & Shoots program’s goal—making positive change happen for people, animals and the environment. (E, M) http://bit.ly/RzS86r

Jane Goodall’s Childhood Fascinations, by Steve Jenkins, NYTimes.com. This article discusses Goodall’s children’s books, Me…Jane and The Watcher. A video of Goodall and her work is also included. (E, TR) http://nyti.ms/P3OiRR 

70th anniversary of Smith v. Allwright, which prohibited all-White primaries. Black voter Lonnie E. Smith of Harris County, TX sued a county election official for the right to vote in an all-White primary election. The US Supreme Court ruled in Smith’s favor and prohibited the Democratic Party from holding all-White primaries. Black voter registration quickly rose immediately following the ruling and many characterized the case as a turning point in the struggle for civil rights.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: Smith v. Allwright, by PBS. This section describes the events and issues surrounding Smith v. Allwright and the Supreme Court ruling. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/XbMS8a

7      World Health Day. World Health Day marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. Each year, a theme that represents a priority area of concern is chosen.

Critical Condition and other films about health care, by P.O.V. and Media That Matters. Critical Condition puts a human face on the health care crisis by capturing the harrowing struggles of four critically ill Americans who discover that being uninsured can cost them their jobs, health, home, savings and even their lives. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/sGen3S

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, documentary series by PBS. This seven-part series exploring race and socioeconomic disparities in health investigates how the social circumstances in which we are born, live and work can actually get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and viruses. The website includes a classroom section, discussion guide and video clips. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Umtras

Health: The Big Picture, by The Change Agent. Issue 28, March 2009 of The Change Agent explores students’ experiences dealing with health challenges and their individual and community-based responses to those challenges. It also contains information about the US health insurance industry, student-recommended home remedies and more. The resource is available after free registration. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/zUqblo

8      150th anniversary of Gallaudet University being established as the first college for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Gallaudet University in Washington, DC is still the only liberal arts college for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the world. It has played a major role in the education of Deaf people and the preservation of American Sign Language.

History Through Deaf Eyes, by Gallaudet University. The DEAF EYES project at Gallaudet University was established to bring Deaf history to the public and expand our understanding of United States history. It includes an online exhibition, book and a documentary. (M, H) http://bit.ly/U73AW2

Gallaudet University website. The link displays the Gallaudet University celebration of President Lincoln’s bicentennial and Gallaudet’s 145th anniversary with Congress’ Concurrent Resolution, a history leading up to Lincoln’s decision, ASL video-log with English captions by Gallaudet University’s former president Dr. Robert Davila, as well as special events and presenters. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/139PCdr

Rama Navami (Hinduism). Rama Navami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama.

BBC Schools: Guide to Hinduism. This site offers basic information about Hinduism, including some of the major festivals. Links to commonly asked questions as well as classroom activities and worksheets are also included. (M, H, TR) http://bbc.in/10sh2K9

13     Lucy Craft Laney, early African American educator, born (1854-1933)
. Laney was an African American educator who opened her own school for Black students in 1883. Laney’s school grew to more than 200 students by the end of the second year. Laney’s school was the first to offer kindergarten classes and a center to train Black women to become nurses.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow-Lucy Craft Laney. From a larger collection of Jim Crow stories on the PBS website, this webpage features biographical information on Lucy Craft Laney. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/OUeTvW

14      Vaisakhi (Sikh). Vaisakhi is a festival that celebrates the founding of the Sikh community.

My Sikh Year: A Year of Religious Festivals, by Cath Senker. This book moves chronologically through the calendar year and looks at the typical events, customs and celebrations celebrated by Sikh children. (E) http://bit.ly/wLQQtK

BBC Schools: Guide to Sikhism. This website offers basic information on Sikhism and provides links to commonly asked questions and classroom activities. (M, H, TR) http://bbc.in/UX41Sz

First day of Passover, begins at sundown on 4/14 (Judaism). Passover is an eight-day festival that commemorates when Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

This is the Matzah, by Abby Levine. This children’s book follows Max and his family as they prepare to celebrate Passover. (E) http://bit.ly/XD7hUc 

10th anniversary of Margie Eugene-Richard becoming the first African American to win the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. Eugene-Richard successfully led the campaign to address the pollution from the Shell petrochemical plants in her Norco, Louisiana community and to relocate the residents of this predominantly Black neighborhood who suffered unusually high rates of cancer, birth defects and respiratory diseases. This was the first community relocation victory of its kind in the Deep South and is an important victory in the fight against environmental racism.

Justice, by Thomas and Eli Il Yong Lee. This workshop expresses the intersectionality of environmental injustice and presents the history and root causes of environmental justice. It includes a symbolic role-play that will help youth visualize the elements of environmental debates between corporations and community organizers. The materials are free but you must register with buildthewheel.org. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/YjoWSH

A People’s History of American Empire: A Graphic Adaptation, by Howard Zinn. Pages 78-81 address the Ludlow Massacre. Also view a brief interview on YouTube with Howard Zinn regarding how he learned of the Ludlow Massacre. (H, TR) Video: http://bit.ly/13pjcZF. Book: http://bit.ly/TzzHhQ

19      50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s speech during the Rivonia Trial. Nelson Mandela and nine other leaders of the African National Congress were tried for their work to overthrow the apartheid system in South Africa. As the defense opened its case, Mandela made a statement in which he said that he was prepared to die for the ideal of a free society. He would spend the next quarter century in prison.

Famous Trials: The Nelson Mandela (Rivonia) Trial. This website provides a wealth of information about the Rivonia Trial, from the indictment to biographies of the accused, as well as Mandela’s speech in which he said that he was prepared to die for the freedom of South Africans from apartheid. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/YrUYI3 

50th anniversary of the Cleveland, Ohio School Boycott. During the 1963- 1964 school year, Black citizens in Cleveland, Ohio launched a year-long protest to desegregate the school district and improve learning conditions for their children. On April 20, 1964 nearly 86% of Black students boycotted school and many attended volunteer-run Freedom Schools where they learned about African American life, history and culture. Change came slowly, but the strong unity of the Black community ultimately altered the political power structure in Cleveland.

The Boycott, Then and Now, by Teachable Moment. Two student readings (with discussion questions) examine the historical development of boycotts as a tactic used by both progressives and conservatives, and include recent boycotts targeting Glenn Beck and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/XzwItd

Kids on Strike!, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This book for grades 5 and up features stories of strikes led by young people in the US to demand better wages, safer working conditions and more. (M) http://bit.ly/SrjBIV

Easter (Christianity). Easter is a holiday in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Celebrate Easter With Colored Eggs, Flowers and Prayer (Holidays Around the World), by Deborah Heiligman. This children’s book uses National Geographic photographs to document the celebration of Easter around the world including the White House’s Easter Egg Roll and traditional bonfires in Europe. (E) http://bit.ly/T4xiH4

100th anniversary of US invasion of Veracruz, Mexico. US troops invaded and occupied the city of Veracruz, Mexico for six months in response to the Tampico Affair (where nine American sailors were arrested by the Mexican government for entering off-limit areas in Tampico, Tamaulipas). The incident came in the midst of poor diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States, related to the ongoing Mexican Revolution.

The Border: History, by PBS.org. The “History” section of this site contains timelines, a morphing map showing how borders have changed over the years and links to other resources. Click on “Interactive Timeline” at the bottom, then scroll to “1914” to find more information about the Tampico Affair and U.S. invasion of Veracruz. (H) http://to.pbs.org/No9vDX 

60th anniversary of the Army- McCarthy hearings. The Army-McCarthy hearings were held to investigate conflicting accusations between the US Army and Senator Joseph McCarthy about whether McCarthy sought preferential treatment for an army private and former McCarthy aide. The hearings were televised from April 22 to June 17, 1954 and the coverage contributed to McCarthy’s decline in popularity and his eventual censure by the Senate the following December.

Propaganda: Name-calling, by the Michigan History, Arts and Library. This lesson plan explores Sen. Joe McCarthy’s tactic of name-calling. Students will explore how name-calling led to denial of civil rights during the 1950s. (H, TR). http://1.usa.gov/J6pF3Q

The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy, by Edsitement. In this lesson students will learn about McCarthy’s crusade against communism, from his bombshell pronouncements in 1950 to his ultimate censure and disgrace in 1954. Through an examination of documents and political cartoons, students will study key points in McCarthy’s career, with an eye to understanding how his efforts brought American anticommunism to fever pitch, and then how he fell into disrepute. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/RUyRa2 

Earth Day. Earth Day is celebrated in more than 190 countries. Events are held worldwide to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Environmental Protection Activities and Online Games, by the Institute for Humane Education. Among other great resources and lesson plans, this website hosts several online games that help students explore issues of environmental sustainability. (H, TR) http://humaneeducation.org/blog/category/resources/?c=lesson-plansactivities,environmental-protection

Race, Poverty and the Environment. This journal links issues of racism and poverty with environmental justice. Some recent resources are available for free to download; older resources require a purchase. (E) http://bit.ly/rtuLVm

Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day, by Jane O’Connor. In this picture book, Nancy learns in school that “every day is Earth day.” She tries to impose strict green rules on her family but she learns to balance her environmental enthusiasm with common sense. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/VMnmV7

I’m Not Too Little to Help the Earth, by W.Y. Taylor. This book teaches young children about things they can do during their everyday routines to help the Earth. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/u3Nh1k 

24     Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
. This observance is held annually to commemorate the victims of the massacre and deportation of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923.

Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians, by Facing History. This resource provides students with the latest scholarship on the genocide with an interdisciplinary approach to history, enabling students and teachers to make the essential connections between history and their own lives. (H, TR) https://www.facinghistory.org/for-educators/educator-resources/resources/crimes-against-humanity-and-civilization-genocide-1

Confronting Genocide: Never Again?, by The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that examines how the US responded to five cases of genocide, including the Armenian Genocide. Materials include videos, maps, graphic organizers, surveys and web links. (M, H) http://bit.ly/136NnUk

25     110th anniversary of the formation of The National Child Labor Committee
. The National Child Labor Committee, or NCLC, is a non-profit organization in the US that serves as a leading proponent for the national child labor reform movement. Its mission is “to promote the rights, well- being and dignity of children and youth as it relates to work, working and education.”

Lewis Hine’s Photographs, by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson. Lewis Hine was a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. This lesson uses his photographs to spark creative writing and critical thinking about child labor issues and social justice. (E, M, TR) http://zinnedproject.org/posts/12005 

Arbor Day. Founded in Nebraska in 1872, Arbor Day is America’s national tree holiday. On the first Arbor Day, prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting the largest number of trees that day. This custom of planting trees has spread to all states and has grown to include educating people and raising awareness about the importance of trees.

The Rainforest Alliance Lesson on Deforestation. For Arbor Day, teach about deforestation and its effects on communities and wildlife in countries including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Each grade level has a set of detailed lessons that include how corporations who sell bananas, chocolate, coffee and other common foods should be regulated in how they reuse and treat farmland. (E, M) http://bit.ly/Ur0tIa

The Vanishing Rainforests. Teaching Activity using math to discuss the importance of rainforests and how we can analyze their health. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/dAVhfr 

27     20th anniversary of the first multiracial, democratic elections in South Africa
. In 1994, for the first time, all South Africans could vote for the government of their choice without regard to the former apartheid categories of race. Nineteen political parties participated and twenty-two million people voted. The African National Congress (ANC) won the election with 62.65% of the vote and formed a Government of National Unity under the first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela.

South Africa Ten Years After Freedom: Background, Activities and Critical Analysis, by PBS. This PBS Social Studies teaching resource introduces students to the system of apartheid, how it ended and the first ten years of post-apartheid South Africa. (M, H, TR) http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/lessons_plans/south-africa-ten-years-freedom/

Inaugural Speech Pretoria [Mandela], University of Pennsylvania African Studies Center. This site contains Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech. (M, H, TR) Video: http://bit.ly/136OdRd. Transcript: http://bit.ly/UJtoYS

Movers and Movements: Fighting for Social Justice in South Africa, by Brenda Randolph, published in Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching: A Resource Guide for Classrooms and Communities. A teaching lesson that highlights unsung activists associated with the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Ur1Gzb 

20th anniversary of South Africa’s Interim Constitution, which achieved legal protection for LGBT South Africans. South Africa’s Interim Constitution guaranteed legal equality for all, including LGBT South Africans for the first time. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was explicitly prohibited in this and the final constitution.

Resources for Teaching about LGBT History. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network is a useful web-based resource. It focuses on the US but could be adapted to teach about South Africa, perhaps in comparison with the US. [This resource is no longer available]

28      First day of Screen Free Week. Screen Free Week, formerly TV- Turnoff Week, is a national celebration that encourages families, schools and communities to spend a week without entertainment screen media. People are encouraged to play, read and spend more time with family and friends.

Lesson Ideas for Screen-Free Week, by Rethinking Schools Blog. This post features tips, lesson ideas and essays surrounding Screen-Free Week. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/YMVTIV

Turn Off TV…Turn on the Possibilities, by Pat Degracia from Kitsap County Health District. Describes the significance of TV Turnoff Week. This site includes a log that students and families can use to report how many hours of television they watched during this week compared to a normal week. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/d5AKWk

Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sundown on 4/27. Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and is an internationally recognized day of remembrance.

Days of Remembrance. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has extensive resources for honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/WuFDI

Paper Clips, film directed by Elliot and Joe Fab. This documentary shows how students in Tennessee responded to lessons about the Holocaust with a promise to collect a paper clip for each individual killed by the Nazis. The result, a memorial railcar filled with 11 million paper clips standing permanently in their schoolyard, shows how a committed group of children and educators can make a difference. (E, M, H) http://nflx.it/S7twDj

One Survivor Remembers. The film One Survivor Remembers tells the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein’s six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. The free teaching kit includes the documentary and lesson plans. (M) http://bit.ly/17OwOL

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: Online Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This online exhibit provides resources, photographs and more to learn about the Nazis’ persecution of homosexuals. (M) http://bit.ly/91L1sK

160th anniversary of the creation of the first college founded solely for African American students. The 160th anniversary of the charter for the Ashmun Institute in Pennsylvania. In 1866, the institution was renamed Lincoln University.

Historically Black Colleges, by Nikilia Reid. Students will research Historically Black Colleges and understand their impact on the freedmen and women. (M, H) http://bit.ly/UJusvR


1      International Workers’ Day/May Day. International Workers’ Day, or May Day, recognizes the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement. It also commemorates the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886, in which Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight-hour day, killing several demonstrators.

UN Cyberschoolbus. This UN Cyberschoolbus site provides an animated and interactive experience for students to inquire about labor rights. (E, M) http://bit.ly/so5iaC

The Power in our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States, by William Bigelow and Norman Diamond. This celebrated book provides entertaining, easy-to-use lesson plans for teaching labor history. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/rtAWyl

1     First day of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian American Curriculum Projects. An extensive catalog of resources and services that underscore the importance and diversity of the Asian American experience. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2unIYN

Ancestors in the Americas, by Loni Ding, PBS. This series and companion website provide stories, timelines and historical resources helpful in teaching about the experiences of Asian Americans. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/rMYJYG

A Century of Challenge and Change: The Filipino American Story. The aim of this curriculum is to highlight the historical and cultural experiences of Filipino Americans within a multicultural and global context by emphasizing ethnic pride, cultural connections, critical thinking and community activism. (E) http://bit.ly/8YgL2J

My Name is Yoon, by Helen Recorvits. My Name is Yoon is about a Korean girl who has difficulty adjusting to her new life in America. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/tn5FXo

First day of National Bike Month. National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the many reasons people ride bicycles including the preservation of one’s health and the environment. Within the month is Bike to Work Week and Day and Bike to School Day.

Tools for Life: A Start-Up Guide for Youth Recycling & Bicycling Programs, by Transportation Alternatives. This website has a guide for helping youth start bicycle recycling programs based on the successful NYC Recycle-a Bicycle program. Includes curricula and resources. (M, H, TR) http://www.transalt.org/files/resources/toolsforlife

Romaine Brooks, painter, born (1874- 1970). Brooks was an American painter who specialized in portraiture and is best known for working in black, white, and grays. Brooks’ work depicts themes of cross-dressing, androgyny, feminism and transgenderism. Brooks’ portraits of the 1920s portray powerful and self-confident subjects. Brooks is credited with creating new images of strong women.

Romaine Brooks Documentary, by feliciac705. This is a short documentary about Romaine Brooks made by a college student as a final project at Mills College. (M, H) http://bit.ly/V08lj5

3      60th anniversary of Hernandez v. Texas. Hernandez v. Texas was a Supreme Court case that decided that Mexican Americans and all other racial groups in the United States had equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

A Class Apart, by PBS.org. This site contains teacher’s resources, photos, bonus videos, and additional resources that can be used in conjunction with the film “A Class Apart,” a film that chronicles Hernandez v. Texas. (H) http://to.pbs.org/OXvuSU

How History Affects Supreme Court Decisions and Supreme Court Decisions Affect History: A Look at the Fourteenth Amendment, by Julie Zimmer, Street Law Inc. This site is part of The Supreme Court series by PBS and features a lesson plan designed to help students analyze Supreme Court decisions involving the 14th Amendment, like Hernandez v. Texas. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/QX0ovo

3      World Press Freedom Day. World Press Freedom Day is a date that celebrates the principles of press freedom. It also serves as a time to evaluate press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their independence and to remember journalists who have lost their lives.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever- enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know. (M, H) http://www.outfoxed.org/

The Ten Most Egregious Fox News Distortions, by The Huffington Post. This site houses videos of the 10 worst examples of Fox News’ misleading reports. A link to a site containing more examples is also included. (TR) http://huff.to/VXcXqv

IndyKids. IndyKids is a free newspaper and teaching tool that aims to inform children of current news and world events from a progressive perspective and to inspire a passion for social justice and learning. It is geared toward kids in grades four to eight and high school English Language Learners. IndyKids is produced five times during the school year. (E, M) http://bit.ly/dnlh5

Media Literacy Lessons, by Educators for Social Responsibility. Six lessons that help students deconstruct media messages and the construction of the news. While the lessons are free, you will have to create a free account to access them. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9gnRUt

5      Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Jane Cochrane), journalist, born (1864-1922). At a time when the role of a female journalist was to write for “women’s pages” covering fashion, society, and gardening, Nellie Bly convinced editors that she could do more. She wrote a series about the plight of female factory workers and, after faking illness to gain first-hand information, she wrote about the conditions in mental institutions. Her work inspired a grand jury investigation into asylum conditions that led to change.

American Experience: Around the World in 72 Days, by PBS. This site is dedicated to the film, Around the World in 72 Days, which tells the story of Nellie Bly’s achievements including her 72-day trip around the world that turned her into a celebrity. Resources include a list of books relating to the topic, maps and a teachers’ guide. (E, M, TR) http://to.pbs.org/WroNYS

Nellie Bly: Daredevil Reporter, by Sean McCollum, Scholastic.com. This Junior Scholastic article tells the story of Bly’s life through the use of narration and quotes. Discussion questions and books about Bly are listed at the bottom. (E, M) http://bit.ly/NL6VFK

5      Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Despite this victory, France eventually defeated Mexican forces and occupied the country for three years.

Celebrate, Don’t Desecrate Cinco de Mayo, by Educational Justice blog. Article tracing the origins of the celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the United States to the Chicano anti-imperialist movement in the 1960s. (TR) http://bit.ly/ccDwhK

Cinco de Mayo Inc. This blog is dedicated to documenting and critically examining the commercialization of Cinco de Mayo. This Mexican holiday has become more popular in the US than in Mexico in part because of corporate America’s desire to make millions off the Latino consumer market while perpetuating damaging stereotypes about Latinos and Latinas and not educating the American public about the historical significance of this day. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/rryYIN 

6     International No Diet Day
. No Diet Day is an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and raising awareness of the dangers and futility of dieting.

Reshaping Body Image, by Teaching Tolerance. This lesson is intended to help students examine how people of varying shapes and sizes are typically viewed in our society. How and why have perceptions of beauty and body image changed over time? (H, TR) http://bit.ly/dVObJ0

National Teacher Day. Celebrate National Teacher day by re-asserting what you believe is in the best interests of teachers and students. Link up with like-minded educators to take action inside and outside of your classroom.

Teacher Activist Groups. The Network of Teacher Activist Groups (TAG) is a national coalition of grassroots teacher organizing groups. Together, they engage in shared political education and relationship-building in order to work for educational justice both nationally and in their communities. Look for a group near you or find a local cause and get involved! (TR) http://bit.ly/ihT9QP

9      90th anniversary of one of the worst storms of the Great Dustbowl. The Great Dustbowl was a period of severe dust storms that swept through the Great Plains region in the 1930s. The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming. Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains displaced the natural deep-rooted grasses that normally kept the soil in place. The soil turned to dust and blew away in the storms. The storms worsened the impact of the Great Depression, forcing millions of people leave the region.

Voices of the Dust Bowl, written by Sherry Garland and illustrated by Judith Hierstein. This series of sixteen narrative profiles brings to life the voices of this time period. (E) http://bit.ly/OomWlm

Surviving the Dust Bowl: American Experience, by PBS. This film tells the story of famers in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas who lived through 10 years of dust, disease, drought and death. The website includes other related resources such as timelines, transcripts, biographies, photo galleries and teacher resources. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/X2FY3i

The Dust Bowl, by Ken Burns, PBS. This film explores the Dust Bowl, the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history. The film contains interviews with survivors, photos and movie footage to chronicle the Great Plow-Up, followed by the 1930s drought. (H) http://to.pbs.org/VSUI84

11      Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Proclamation-1870, by Julia Ward Howe. This poem by Julia Ward Howe advocates that women from around the world organize to resolve conflicts peacefully. (H) http://bit.ly/eT5sy 

120th anniversary of the Pullman Strike of 1894. The Pullman Strike was a revolt against demeaning and unfair treatment of the employees of Pullman Palace Car Company. The American Railway Union supported the strike and railway workers across the nation refused to run trains with Pullman cars. The movement was brutally crushed when US Marshals and some 12,000 Army troops were called in. Two people were killed and many wounded.

The Pullman Strike of 1894, by Michael Burgan. This book depicts how in the summer of 1894, employees of Pullman Company decided they were fed up with their work conditions. The laborers went on strike and railroad workers from across the country joined the strike to show their support. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/QI3zCD

12      50th anniversary of draft card burning to oppose Vietnam War. On this date, 12 young men in New York publicly burned their draft cards in opposition to the impending Vietnam War. This started a war resistance trend that carried on throughout the war. As a result, legal involvement by Congress tightened policies against the act.

Vietnam War: Draft Resistance, by Jessie Kindig, Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Right Project, University of Washington. This website details important information about protests and other forms of resistance against the Vietnam War. This site contains an abundance of information, resources and photos on the topic and can be useful to older students and teachers alike. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/SIQefg

John Lennon’s “Imagine” and the Vietnam War in the 1970s. This lesson plan explores the lyrics of “Imagine” and encourages students to think about the meaning of the lyrics, especially how they related to Lennon’s feelings about the Vietnam War. Students are also encouraged to think about how these same ideas apply to more recent wars with which the they are familiar. Although it is presented as a single lesson, it can easily be expanded for further understanding. (M, H) http://bit.ly/JC0SEW 

Bruce Voeller, scientist and LGBT activist, born (1934-1994). Dr. Voeller was a gay rights activist and leader in the fight against AIDS. Voeller served as the president of the New York Gay Activists Alliance and co-founded the National Gay Task Force. Voeller also founded the Mariposa Foundation, which researches human sexuality, with a focus on reducing the risks of sexually transmitted diseases.

We Are Here, by David Weissman. This film focuses on five individuals who lived in San Francisco prior to the AIDS epidemic of the early 1980s and explores their different perspectives as caregivers, activists, researchers, friends and lovers of those afflicted with the virus. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/P9J1Ut

A 30 Year History of AIDS via ChronoZoom. This interactive timeline containing images and text details an engaging history of HIV/AIDS spanning from the cosmos to the present day. (M, H, TR) [This resource is no longer available.]

13      400th anniversary of the Viceroy of Mexico finding Spanish Explorer Juan de Oñate guilty of atrocities against the Indians of New Mexico. Oñate led a Spanish expedition to “pacify” New Mexico. Oñate met with resistance from the Acoma, who he subsequently tortured, enslaved and murdered. In 1614, the Viceroy of Mexico found Oñate guilty of atrocities against the Indians of New Mexico. As part of his punishment, he was banned from entering New Mexico again. He was ordered to pay a fine, but his great wealth made this inconsequential, and he was pardoned in 1623.

The Last Conquistadora, PBS. lesson plan, in conjunction with the movie The Last Conquistadora, encourages students to analyze whether tax dollars should be used to fund a public statue of Juan de Oñate. Students will learn about Oñate and debate whether a statue of him should be displayed in public. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/PSSNys

Court Cases in Prelude to Brown, 1849- 1949, published in Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching. From the Brown v. Board Orientation Handbook, an examination of six court cases that predate Brown, but deal with similar struggles for equal educational access and opportunity. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Ur1Gzb

Brown vs. Board of Education Booklet, by Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access. This booklet for grades K- 12 examines the national battle for equal schooling before and after Brown vs. Board of Education. (TR) http://bit.ly/VAllz4

Warriors Don’t Cry: Connecting History, Literature, and Our Lives, by Linda Christensen. 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. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/RHiFzh 

10th anniversary of Tennessee v. Lane, a landmark disability rights case. Two Tennesseans sued the state because the upper levels of the courthouse were not accessible, which they argued was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The US Supreme Court’s decision in favor of the plaintiff’s strengthened enforcement of the ADA nationally.

Tennessee v. Lane – The Oyez Project. The site provides a summary of the case with audio clips of the oral arguments and opinion announcements. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/NTgp0v

Lives Worth Living, by Eric Neudel on PBS. This film features Fred Fray, who suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of 17, in his fight for equal rights for the disabled. He is considered a father of the disability rights movement. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/OS3Rw1 

10th anniversary of Massachusetts becoming the first state to legalize gay marriage. In November 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that denying homosexual couples marriage rights was unconstitutional. In May, 2004 the state began to issue marriage licenses to gay people.

Safe Schools Coalition Marriage Equality Page. A list of resources from icebreakers to talking points about the movement to create marriage equality. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/txb0tb 

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). IDAHO aims to coordinate international events to promote respect for LGTB people worldwide.

And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. This book (based on a true story) is about a penguin family living in New York City’s Central Park Zoo that is a bit “different.” A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/138tCMl

Molly’s Family, by Nancy Garden. This book is about a five-year-old girl with two moms and her struggle to understand the true meaning of family. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/100wf4X

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) Website. This website contains resources about LGBT injustices all around the world and ways to contribute to campaigns fighting for LGBT justice. (TR) http://bit.ly/5Oazc 

18     20th anniversary of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop into the consumer market
. The Californian company Calgene genetically slowed the ripening process of tomatoes, claiming they would stay fresh longer and taste better than conventional tomatoes. Despite research that suggested negative health effects, the US approved the GM tomato and decided that GM foods in general would not require pre-market approval. The Flavr Savr was ultimately a financial failure and the company was acquired by Monsanto.

Genetically Modified Foods: From the Lab to the Dinner Table, by Christopher Charnitski. In this high school lesson plan, students use role play, discussion, and brain-storming to explain what genetically modified foods are, how they are created and to discuss issues surrounding the GMO debate. (H, TR) http://nsdl.org/resource/2200/20080618224425335T

Lesson Plan: The Impact of Genetically Modified Seeds, by POV, PBS. This lesson plan, designed to be used in conjunction with the film Food, Inc., allows students to consider the prevalence of genetically modified seeds, explore the relationship between biodiversity and food security and consider the benefits and controversies related to the topic. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/10pTOnZ 

25     African Liberation Day
. African Liberation Day was first established in 1958 after African leaders and political activists gathered at the first Pan-African conference held on African soil.

Wonders of the African World, by PBS. Join Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he takes you on a journey to discover a wealth of African history and culture in Wonders of the African World. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/3BHM0I

Africa Access. Organization whose aim is to help schools, public libraries and parents improve the quality of their children’s collections on Africa. This site includes an online database of children’s book reviews about Africa, bibliographies for specific research topics related to Africa and awards for the best children’s books on Africa published in the US. (TR) http://bit.ly/K1g9m

I Didn’t Know There Were Cities in Africa!, by Teaching Tolerance. Article with dos and don’ts for teaching about modern Africa. (TR) http://bit.ly/9pooY

How Big is Africa Poster, by African Studies Outreach Program, Boston University. The website features a poster of the map of Africa with other countries superimposed to compare size. Links to other K-12 resources as well as children’s and young adult books are also provided. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/TPNKgi 

90th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1924. The 1924 Immigration Act, also known as the Johnson-Reed Act, limited the number of immigrants allowed into the US to 2% of the number of people of each nationality already living in the US. The aim of the law was to further restrict immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans, mainly Jews fleeing persecution in Poland and Russia, and prohibit the immigration of Middle Easterners, East Asians and Asian Indians.

Immigration: Legislation for the 21st Century. In this lesson, students will use their knowledge of historical Congressional acts to create their own piece of legislation. This will cause them to reflect on how they believe immigration should be handled in the present day. (H) http://bit.ly/ULq4fZ

Pearl S. Buck: “On Discovering America.” In this lesson, students will explore American immigration patterns in the 1930s and look at how the media portrayed immigrants during that time. Through a study of Pearl S. Buck’s essay, “On Discovering America,” they will learn about American attitudes toward immigrants and the meaning of the term “American” to both native and immigrant populations. This lesson makes specific reference to the 1924 Immigration Act. (H) http://1.usa.gov/WrDgE1

Shut the Door”: A Senator Speaks for Immigration Restriction, transcript from historymatters.gmu.edu. This is a transcript of the pro-immigration restriction speech Senator Ellison DuRant Smith gave during a congressional debate over the Johnson-Reed Act. (H) http://bit.ly/MHBDUC 

Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day to remember and pay tribute to those who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces.

Project YANO – The Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities. Celebrate Memorial Day by helping students find alternatives to military service. Project YANO is a nonprofit community organization that provides young people with an alternative point of view about military enlistment. (H) http://bit.ly/TOgd82

Nancy Cárdenas, author and gay rights activist, born (1934-1994). Cárdenas was the first publicly declared lesbian in Mexico when she revealed her sexual orientation on TV during an interview about the firing of a gay employee. !n 1974, she founded the first gay organization in Mexico, the Gay Liberation Front (FLH), of which she was a committed activist.

Cárdenas, Nancy, by Tina Gianoulis. This entry in the Arts section of the encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, & queer culture gives Cárdenas’ biography as well as links to other related entries. (TR) http://bit.ly/VFJY9H

80th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Relations between the US and Cuba. The Treaty of Relations between Cuba and the US dissolved the 1903 “Permanent Treaty,” which gave official control of Guantánamo Bay to the US, but included provisions for US use of the bay which has been maintained against the wishes of the Cuban people and government. The US prison on Guantánamo Bay has detained prisoners of war without regard to human rights ensured by the Geneva Convention.

U.S.-Cuba Relations, by Joy Brewster and Geri Hastings, DiscoveryEducation. com. This high school lesson plan allows student to examine the history of US/Cuba relations. Links to suggested readings are also provided. (H) http://bit.ly/TC9xJi

Homeland Guantanamos: The Untold Story of Immigrant Detention in the U.S., by Breakthrough. This website gives viewers the chance to take on the role of a journalist visiting an immigrant detainee at Guantanamo. Other resources available on the site include detainee stories and ways to take action. (M, H) http://bit.ly/WAOiqh

30     160th anniversary of the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This legislation created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening new lands for settlement. The Act served to repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing people in those territories to decide whether to allow slavery within their borders. Both pro- and anti-slavery supporters rushed to settle in Kansas to affect the outcome of elections there. Violence erupted between the opposing factions. Those against slavery finally had the majority and Kansas was admitted as a free state.

Lesson 3: The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854: Popular Sovereignty and the Political Polarization over Slavery, by EDSITEment.org / We the People. This lesson provides students with resources on multiple perspectives of the Kansas Nebraska Act. Site has an interactive map that uses data from US Census Bureau. (H, TR) http://1.usa.gov/136dxaI


1     First day of Caribbean American Heritage Month

Caribbean Connections Series, by Teaching for Change. This six-book series brings the Caribbean experience to the classroom. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/VBN6Xg 

1    First day of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month is celebrated to commemorate the 1969 Greenwich Village riots where gay rights activists clashed with NYC police over discrimination and to work to achieve equal justice and opportunity for LGBT Americans. The demonstration took place at the Whitehall Induction Center in New York City. The demonstrators were protesting against discrimination in the military.

Beyond Tolerance: A Resource Guide for Addressing LGTBQI Issues in Schools, by NYQueer and NYCoRE. A comprehensive resource guide with activities, websites, organizations and an annotated bibliography to support educators in addressing queer issues. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9nCcFt

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Curriculum. This website features tools and resources for teaching about gay issues, addressing homophobia and supporting students to start Gay/Straight Alliances. (E, M, H, TR) http://glsen.org/educate/resources

Speak Up at School, by Teaching Tolerance. This is a guide for teachers and students who want to develop skills and find the courage to speak out against prejudice, bias, and stereotypes. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/SJ1PKw

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s Trans 101, by Jody Marksamer and Dylan Vade. Trans 101 is a resource for beginning discussions with students about transgender people and issues. Their introduction to gender identity can help clarify common misconceptions about transgender people. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/QbIaaY

2     90th anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act. This act extended citizenship and voting rights to all American Indians. The federal government saw this as a way to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American life. Some however, did not want to become US citizens, and preferred to maintain only their tribal membership.

The Wild Rivers Teaching American History Project. The project website presents a series of short two- to six-day lesson plans on special topics that have historical and contemporary significance within Indian Country. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Ni8Ccj

1900-1924 Native American Citizenship. This website contains teacher resources and lesson plans about how the Indian Citizenship Act impacted Native Americans and important individuals during this time. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Pu9PBZ http://bit.ly/RzLMo0

2     20th anniversary of Chevron Settlement with West County Toxics Coalition. The community in Richmond, California organized to oppose the Chevron Corporation’s attempts to increase hazardous chemical storage in one of the poorest zip codes in California. Having already had over three hundred industrial accidents in Contra Costa County in the five years leading up to this settlement, Chevron agreed to fund $5 million dollars in community development projects in the area.

Environmental Justice: Opposing a Toxic Landfill. A clip from Earthkeeping: Toxic Racism introduces the beginning of the environmental justice movement, the opposition to a toxic landfill in Warren, SC and how those protests led to wider awareness of and dialogue about the environment and communities of Color. (M, H) http://bit.ly/PEn2Fw

Introducing Kids to the Idea of Environmental Racism, by Teaching Tolerance. This lesson allows students to participate in an activity designed to simulate the inequity of environmental racism. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/SlJucH

3     40th anniversary of Corning Glass Works v. Brennan. Although the Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women for equal work, employers can argue that a “factor other than sex” caused the disparity. In Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, the company offered male inspectors greater pay in order to attract men to the job. The Supreme Court rejected the argument that “market forces” made it necessary to pay men more.

Women Deserve Equal Pay, by the National Organization for Women. For full-time, year-round workers, women are paid on average only 78% of what men are paid. For women of Color, the gap is significantly wider. This website includes information and activities to address the wage gap. (M, H, TR) http://now.org/resource/women-deserve-equal-pay-factsheet/

4     25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre
. In April of 1989, mass gatherings and protests took place in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, calling for economic reform, freedom of the press, accountability from officials and political liberalization. On June 4th, Chinese army troops entered Tiananmen Square and crushed the largely student-run pro- democracy movement killing hundreds, possibly thousands.

Teachers’ Guide – The Tank Man, by PBS.org. This website features high- school lesson plans and additional teacher resources that can be used in conjunction with the film The Tank Man, a film that explores the clash between the China’s communist government and those who advocated for a more democratic society. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/NkEZuK

Forbidden City: A Novel of Modern China, by William Bell. Alex’s father, a news cameraman, is sent to Beijing to cover the unfolding events at Tiananmen Square. Alex accompanies his father and finds himself in a situation where he must trust the students who are fighting the Chinese army in order to escape. (M, H) http://bit.ly/MIbW04

Tiananmen Square, by Kathy Ray. This unit explores the protest in Tiananmen Square from a present-day perspective. Students will examine a variety of topics, such as China’s government, Chinese culture, similar protests in other countries, free press, the United Nations, human rights and the repression of citizens through police force. (M) http://www.lessonplanet.com/teachers/lesson-plan-understanding-tiananmen-square

4     Shavuot begins at sunset on 6/3 (Judaism)
. Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of three major festivals that have agricultural significance. It commemorates the time when the first fruits are harvested and brought to the Temple.

A Mountain of Blintzes, by Barbara Diamond Goldin and Anik McGrory. This children’s book tells the story of a family saving up to make cheese blintzes, a traditional food eaten during Shavuot. (E) http://bit.ly/Tn2986

4     UN Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
. Appalled by the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression, in the 1980s the United Nations General Assembly decided to commemorate June 4 of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. It reminds people that throughout the world there are many children suffering from different forms of abuse, and there is an urgent need to protect the rights of children.

Teaching the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Through Dual Narratives, by Samia Shoman. This curriculum provides insights into the challenges of teaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, suggestions for how to present the historical context and current situation using essential and unit questions and methodology for teaching peace attempts and barriers to peace. (H, TR) http://cis.uchicago.edu/events/2008-2009/090213-israeli-palestinian-conflict

A Little Piece of Ground, by Elizabeth Laird with Sonia Nimr. This novel is about a young boy named Karim who is living through the Israeli occupation of Palestine. (E) http://bit.ly/rxsebu

Voices of a People’s History of the United States. This short video features Alice Walker reading a letter from Rachel Corrie, a young, White American who traveled to the Gaza Strip as part of the International Solidarity Movement and was killed by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the IDF. (M, H) http://bit.ly/aKr5Q4

7     520th anniversary of the Treaty of Tordesillas. The Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world outside of Europe exclusively between the Spanish and the Portuguese. The lands to the east would belong to Portugal and the lands to the west to Spain.

The Treaty of Tordesillas: Resolving “a Certain Controversy” over Land in the Americas, by Elizabeth Berlin Taylor. This lesson plan uses the original translated text of the Treaty of Tordesillas to engage students in discussions and the creation of thesis statements. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/UKlJXe

8     160th anniversary of the Gadsden Purchase. The Gadsden Purchase was an agreement in which the US promised to pay Mexico $10 million for approximately 30,000 square miles of land that later became part of Arizona and New Mexico. This purchase was largely made in the interest of business so a railroad route could go through the area. This deal was unpopular with the Mexican people.

The Border: History, by PBS. The “History” section of this site contains timelines, a morphing map showing how borders have changed over the years, and links to other resources. Click on “Interactive Timeline” at the bottom, then scroll to “1853” to find more information about the Gadsden Purchase. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/No9vDX

The Line Between Us, by Bill Bigelow. This book shows teachers how they can help students understand the Mexican immigrant experience by exploring the history of US-Mexico relations and the roots of immigration through the use of role plays, stories, poetry and more. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/T7yo59

9     60th anniversary of Joseph Welch confronting Senator Joseph McCarthy at the Army-McCarthy hearings.
In the midst of the Army-McCarthy hearings, Joseph Welch, special counsel for the US Army, finally challenged the aggressive anti-Communist investigations of Senator Joseph McCarthy, exclaiming, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Welch’s outburst was met with thunderous applause from the crowded hearing room and marked the beginning of McCarthy’s downfall.

World War II and McCarthyism, by Gayle Olson-Rayner. 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. (M, H) http://bit.ly/SOI76o

12     50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s life prison sentence. This day marked the end of the Rivonia Trial in which Nelson Mandela and nine other leaders of the African National Congress were tried for their work to end the apartheid system in South Africa. Mandela and seven others were found guilty of sabotage and sentenced to life in prison. Mandela served 27 years in prison and upon his release, led the establishment of democracy and became the President of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book, by Umlando Wezithombe, The Nelson Mandela Foundation. A graphic novel about the life and times of Nelson Mandela produced for school children in South Africa and now available for readers in the US. (E, M) http://bit.ly/NMcns4

Mandela: An Audio History, by Radio Diaries. This five-part radio series documents the struggle against apartheid through sound recordings, the voice of Nelson Mandela himself, as well as those who fought with him and against him. (M, H, TR) http://www.mandelahistory.org

14     50th anniversary of a training session for Freedom Summer. Freedom Summer was an effort to register African American voters in Mississippi, which had the lowest percentage of African American registered voters in the country. The effort brought more than 1,000 mainly White volunteers to the state, many of whom participated in two, one-week training sessions at a college in Oxford, Ohio, in June. The effort brought attention to the extreme racism Mississippi Black people faced.

Letters from Mississippi: Reports from Civil Rights Volunteers and Freedom School Poetry of the 1964 Freedom Summer, edited by Elizabeth Sutherland Martinez, introduction by Julian Bond (2007). This expanded version of Letters from Mississippi retains the introduction by Julian Bond, while updating the biographies of over a dozen volunteers from that summer, and, most important, adds over 40 pages of poetry that was written by students in the Freedom Schools, along with the original preface by Langston Hughes. (H) http://bit.ly/NM5Xcr

15     Father’s Day

Million Father March, by Black Star Project. The Million Father March has grown out of recognition of the power of male involvement in the education of Black students. This site provides more information about the event. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/VqXmiN

18     80th anniversary of the Indian Reorganization Act. John Collier, commissioner of Indian affairs, proposed the abolition of allotment and the establishment of Indian self-government as well as the preservation of “Indian civilization” including their arts, crafts, and traditions. Many tribes accepted the Act, but others viewed it as a way for White men to control what it meant to be an American Indian.

“It Didn’t Pan Out as We Thought It Was Going To” Amos Owen on the Indian Reorganization Act. This conversation (also available in audio) between an historian and Amos Owen, Mdewakanton Sioux tribal chairman in 1970 depicts the mixed views around the Indian Reorganization Act and its impact on Native American Culture. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/OVRizC 

18     Autistic Pride Day.
The Autistic Pride movement is based on the idea that the neurological differences present in people diagnosed with autism can and should be celebrated. Autistic Pride Day celebrates this diversity and potential for all people to achieve great things.

Temple Grandin (HBO Movie). This movie was shown on HBO as a mini-series. It chronicles the life of Temple Grandin, a woman with autism, who revolutionized livestock handling in the US and has written several books about her life with autism. (M, H) http://itsh.bo/UqGyrj

19     Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.

Slavery and Indentured Servitude, by Michael Ray. This six-minute digital history of slavery includes the voices of slave survivors as well as pictures that depict the struggles and inequities that these individuals had to face. (H) http://bit.ly/uuIyHj

“Been Here So Long” Selections from the WPA American Slave Narratives, by the New Deal Network. This resource highlights seventeen of the approximately 2,300 American Slave Narratives collected by the Federal Writers Project with lesson plans. (H) http://bit.ly/uy2uKF

Perspective on the Slave Narrative, by EdSITEment. Lesson about the Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (1847). This book is analyzed both as a work of literature and for its contribution to the abolitionist movement. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/115SVAR

Rethinkin’ Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation, by Bill Bigelow, Huffington Post. This article questions the portrayal of President Lincoln as an abolitionist in the movie Lincoln. Bigelow also discusses how he and his students approached the study of the Emancipation Proclamation, beginning with Lincoln’s inaugural address. (H, TR) http://huff.to/UpgZq8

20     World Refugee Day. For many years, several African countries celebrated June 20 as Refugee Day. As an expression of solidarity with Africa in 2000 the UN declared June 20 World Refugee Day.

Lost Boys of Sudan, directed and produced by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk. This Emmy-nominated documentary follows two Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America. The site includes information, action and study guides and links to other information about refugees. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Sbn8ex

21     50th anniversary of the murders of civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were working as part of the Freedom Summer project dedicated to voter registration in Mississippi. They were followed and pulled over by a gang of Ku Klux Klan members and local police and beaten to death. The national outrage over these deaths led to increased commitment to Freedom Summer and to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

June 21, 1964: Three Civil Rights Workers Missing, by The Learning Network, NYTimes.com. Historical Headlines presents this event as a key event in history and connects it to today. Links to the New York Times article about the event as well as related modern-day events are included to help students make connections. (M, H, TR) http://nyti.ms/X2NaMJ

Child of the Civil Rights Movement, by Paula Young Shelton. Shelton’s father, Andrew Young, was a civil rights activist and she draws on memories of her upbringing to provide a child’s unique perspective of the Civil Rights Movement. (E) http://bit.ly/XtTq24

22     70th anniversary of President Roosevelt signing the GI Bill. The GI Bill provided benefits for returning WWII veterans, including low-cost mortgages, loans to start a business or farm, unemployment compensation and payments for continuing education. Although it helped many working-class men buy homes and get an education, its benefits were received nearly exclusively by White men. The loan programs for housing were racially restrictive, with less than 2% going to non-White families between 1934 and 1962.

The National WWII Museum, New Orleans. This webpage has images of primary source documents that teachers can use during lessons about the GI Bill. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/RDDU3z

Bill of Whites: Historical Memory Through the Racial Looking Glass, by Tim Wise. In his commentary, Wise argues that the GI Bill, while it had positive effects, also reinforced racial disparities. Wise also argues that the VA and FHA loan programs for housing did the same by utilizing racially-restrictive criteria. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/VXjl0K

Those Who Say “I Support the Troops” Should Just Stop, Out of Respect for the Troops, MichaelMoore.com. While this blog post is a bit of a rant, Michael Moore provides links to evidence of all the ways in which current veterans are unsupported before, during and after their time in service. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/NRMPIj

25     30th anniversary of Sure-Tan, Inc. v. NLRB. The US Supreme Court ruled that undocumented immigrants are protected by US labor laws under the National Labor Relations Act. The decision makes it clear that an employer’s use of workers’ immigration status to threaten, intimidate or remove workers in retaliation for their union activities constitutes an unfair labor practice.

The Trail of Dreams. This site and film tell the story of four undocumented young people who embarked on a 1,500-mile walk from Miami, FL, to Washington, DC in 2010. Their goal was to share their stories so that everyday Americans could understand what it’s like for the millions of US immigrants, especially young people, unable to fully participate in society. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/b9ZL9M

Should Undocumented Workers Have a Shot at the American Dream?,by Alan Shapiro at Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. This lesson plan presents four readings and activities that invite students to learn about and debate immigration policy and devise their own legislation to address the issue. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/WkSlHn

27     60th anniversary of the end of a CIA-backed coup in Guatemala. At the time of President Arbenz’s election in 1950, 2% of the people owned 70% of the land in Guatemala with the largest land owner being the US corporation, United Food Company. Arbenz attempted to nationalize the plantations of the United Fruit Company and redistribute land to the people. The CIA supported a coup to protect the interests of US corporations in Guatemala.

Timeline: Guatemala’s Brutal Civil War,by PBS NewsHour. This article describes the 2-part PBS NewsHour series on the Guatemala’s civil war. A timeline of key event is presented, starting with the 1954 CIA-backed coup against President Arbenz. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/Muy3vJ

1954 Guatemalan Coup D’état,by World News Inc. This site houses several videos pertaining to the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état including a documentary. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/MX6Seq

27     Ramadan begins at sundown (Islam). During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims around the world spend daylight hours in a complete fast. It is a time for Muslims to re-evaluate their lives, refocus attention to God, and practice self-sacrifice. Note that these dates are based on astronomical calculations to affirm each date, and not on the actual sighting of the moon with the naked eyes. This approach is accepted by many, but is still being debated.

Ramadan, by Susan L. Douglass. This book describes Ramadan, which is the time when Muslims fast and pray each day between sunrise and sunset. Ramadan is the time when family and friends come together and at the end of Ramadan, Muslims have a special celebration called Eid al-fitr. (E) http://bit.ly/tHwrHI

Arab Stereotypes and American Educators, by Marvin Wingfield and Bushra Karaman. This teacher resource describes the impact of Arab stereotyping on students. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/cXjoy4


1     Mary Steichen Calderone, physician, public health advocate for sex education, born (1904-1998). Calderone was a strong advocate for sexuality education. She served as medical director for Planned Parenthood and overturned the American Medical Association’s policy against physicians disseminating information about birth control. She also started the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States. 

The New Sex Ed: Empowered Youth Strengthening Communities, by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice. These organizing tools and resources present sexuality education justice that is holistic, relevant to ALL people and grounded in young people’s communities. (M, H) http://strongfamiliesmovement.org/the-new-sex-ed

2     50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This landmark piece of legislation outlawed discrimination against women and racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities. The law also prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public. It was a major triumph of the Civil Rights Movement. 

Civil Rights: An Investigation, by Discovery Education. This mini-unit allows students to understand and evaluate the roles played by Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King and J. E. Hoover in the American Civil Rights Movement. (H) http://bit.ly/TGK5UU 

The Power of Language and Literacy: Student Historians for Social Justice, by Irene McGinty, Monica Larenas, et al., (published in Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching). This lesson examines the historic and continued systematic denial of human rights. It also invites students to explore the concept that freedom requires all people to live free from oppression. The lesson embraces literacy skills while encouraging students to look to the past as an example for contemporary participation in social justice and activism. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Ur1Gzb 

4     160th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1864. The Immigration Act of 1864 was designed to increase the flow of laborers to the US during the Civil War. The act provided for immigrant labor contracts, up to a maximum of one year, to pledge wages against the cost of transportation to America. It tried to shape flow of immigration, both in terms of the ethnicity of the immigrants and the types of labor they would perform.

ICED, an online game by Breakthrough. This is an online game about immigration. ICED puts you in the shoes of an immigrant to illustrate how unfair immigration laws deny due process and violate human rights. Includes teacher’s guide. (H) http://bit.ly/TWNfGR (M, H) http://bit.ly/PSuPBR 

Whom Shall We Welcome, by The Nation. This education pack from The Nation magazine includes a five-page historical overview, four pages of questions for discussion and reproductions of original primary source documents, articles as they originally appeared in The Nation dating back to 1868. (H) http://bit.ly/QrLz1t 

Learning About U.S. Immigration With The New York Times, by Sarah Kavanagh and Katherine Schulten, The Learning Network. This site provides teachers with ideas about ways to teach about immigration as well as about 40 lesson plans on immigration-related issues. The site also provides links to other useful topics and resources on the web. (TR) http://nyti.ms/RN5Fa4 

Using Photographs to Teach Social Justice: Exposing Anti-Immigration Sentiment, by Teaching Tolerance. In this middle and high school lesson plan, students use photographs from an anti- immigration protest at UC Berkeley to explore anti-immigration sentiment. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/115mfqo

4     Independence Day. Independence Day is an American federal holiday that commemorates the American colonies’ declaration of independence from Great Britain. 

Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom, by Bill Bigelow. This lesson introduces students to the numerous and varied ways African Americans resisted their enslavement, using the autobiographical Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, published in 1845. It includes a video of Danny Glover reading Douglass’ speech questioning what Independence Day means to African Americans. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/twIr1s

13     80th anniversary of the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU). A group of African American and White sharecroppers formed the STFU to protect sharecroppers from eviction and to ensure that they received their share of the money due from the Agricultural Adjustment Act. One of the few unions in the 1930s that was open to all races, the STFU promoted both nonviolent protest and the idea that Blacks and Whites could work together. 

Workplace Issues and Collective Bargaining in the Classroom, Teaching Guide, by Linda Tubach and Patty Litwin. A joint project of the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles, this six-unit curriculum immerses students in labor relations education through role playing and simulations of real-world labor events. Students organize union meetings, negotiate contracts and role play both worker and management positions. (M, H) http://bit.ly/PAF5PE 

Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union: Black and White Unites?, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond, Zinn Education Project. This teaching activity examines efforts by Black and White workers to overcome deep divisions and racial antagonism. Students are faced with a “What would you do?” assignment that helps them grasp many of the difficulties in achieving some degree of racial unity. (M, H) http://bit.ly/rYmZcW

14     Kenneth Clark, psychologist and expert on the effects of segregation on children, born (1914-2005).  Clark and his wife, Mamie Phipps Clark worked together to study the psychological effects of segregation on black children. They were known for their research using dolls to study children’s attitudes about race. Their expert testimony contributed to the ruling of the US Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional. 

A Girl Like Me, short film by Kiri Davis (Media That Matters). In her documentary, A Girl Like Me, teen filmmaker Kiri Davis conducts interviews with her peers to explore the impact and consequences of the standards of beauty imposed on today’s Black girls and how this affects their self-image. She then re-conducts Dr. Kenneth Clark’s “doll test” with young African American children with sobering results. (TR) http://bit.ly/XtXCPt and http://bit.ly/VUL7vo 

15     60th anniversary of Operation Wetback. Operation Wetback in Texas was an effort by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to remove undocumented immigrants from the southwest. Operation Wetback was criticized for its “police-state” methods, including stopping “Mexican-looking” citizens on the street and asking for identification and deporting undocumented immigrants along with their American-born, US citizen children. 

Bracero History Archive. The “Teaching” section of the Bracero History Archive offers background information about the Bracero Program, which temporarily allowed Mexican workers into the US. The site also contains lesson ideas that include the use of photographs, maps and atlases and primary source documents. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/P89ynw

The New Americans, by PBS. This site provides lesson plans that can be used in conjunction with the series “The New Americans,” a documentary film that follows subjects from their homelands to the US. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/On0ixA

U.S. Immigration Policy Analysis, by Cari Ladd, PBS. This site contains a lesson plan in which students explore how US immigration policy affects families who have mixed citizenship status. A clip of the documentary Sin País (Without Country) is used in the lesson. The site also links to other related resources. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/RB1xse

Rep. Gutierrez House Floor 6/27/12 – Spot the Immigrant, C-SPAN Video Library. In this five minute video, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL) presents a “spot the immigrant” quiz during a discussion regarding the Supreme Court decision on the “Show Me Your Papers” law (Arizona, SB1070). (M, H, TR) http://cs.pn/ZLWTss

No Human is Illegal!, by New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE). This educator’s guide offers curricular information, resources and recommendations for educators to use in teaching about HR 4437, the controversial immigration bill passed in 2005. (TR) http://bit.ly/StMCUq 

16     160th anniversary of an early case about segregation on public transportation
. Elizabeth Jennings, who was Black, attempted to ride a horse- drawn streetcar to church in New York City. She was forcibly removed and later sued the railway company. In Jennings v. Third Ave. Railroad Company, a jury in a Brooklyn circuit court decided in favor of Jennings. That company ordered its cars desegregated, and by 1861 all of the city’s street and rail cars were desegregated.

Teaching American History Lesson Plan, by Kirsten C. Hopes-McFadden. In this middle school lesson plan, students examine the actions of three women who fought for civil rights and analyze how their actions contributed to the end of segregation on public transportation. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/OrCXWC 

50th anniversary of Harlem Uprising of 1964. A White off-duty police officer fatally shot 15-year-old James Powell and riots erupted, lasting a total of six days. This was the first of several racial uprisings that occurred in the mid- to late-1960s in cities including Rochester, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, DC and Baltimore.

June ‘64, by Carvin Eison. This film tells the story of the three-day race riot that erupted in Rochester, NY after rumors of police brutality surfaced. The uprising was one in a series of summer uprisings. (H) http://to.pbs.org/MJ7GlH

Bringing it Back Home: Applying Community Based Responses to Violence. This online workshop, shares examples, struggles and strategies that Creative Interventions (CI) used in developing a model for addressing interpersonal violence without relying on state-based or social service approaches. Drawing from CI’s Community-Based Interventions pilot project, the workshop explores the context of community accountability from which CI’s model developed, thinks through different ways in which community-based responses to harm and violence have been used and gives participants hands-on opportunities to imagine how they might respond to the kinds of violence facing their own communities. (Free registration at Buildthewheel.org required) (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/U74FgC 

10th anniversary of the first Disability Pride Parade. A coalition of disability rights advocates and organizations held the first Disability Pride Parade in Chicago to “change the way people think about and define disability, to break down and end the internalized shame among people with disabilities and to promote the belief in society that disability is a natural and beautiful part of life.” Nearly 2000 people attended.

Disability Pride on YouTube. Disability Pride is a short film about a community fighting to be seen and heard, to be acknowledged as able and proud. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/112IGxM 

40th anniversary of US v. Nixon. President Nixon, claiming executive privilege, tried to deny a Special Prosecutor’s subpoena of tapes and documents related to the illegal break-in of the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate office. The US Supreme Court decided unanimously that the President is not above the law and cannot use executive privilege to withhold necessary evidence in a criminal trial.

CIVIO–A Civil Rights Game, by Reach and Teach. CIVIO is a strategy card game that explores the relationship of issues, freedoms, laws, and Supreme Court cases that have both strengthened and reduced civil rights and civil liberties. Includes information on US v. Nixon as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Brown v. Board of Education. (M, H) http://bit.ly/bo1bEG 

28     100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I
. World War I (WWI) was a major war centered in Europe between 1914 and 1918. More than 37 million people lost their lives and many countries jailed those who spoke out against the conflict, including Eugene Debs in the United States, where the Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918 made it a federal crime to oppose military recruitment or make any statements deemed “disloyal.”

A United States Entry into World War I: A Documentary Chronology, from EDSITEment. This unit explores the US entry into World War I and urges students to reconsider the events leading up to it through archival documents. (H, TR) http://1.usa.gov/TPEIRu

Protesting the First World War, by Colby Smart, Zinn Education Project. This teaching activity offers teaching ideas and questions to go along with Chapter 14 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States, which discusses anti-war efforts during the First World War and the government’s response. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ZXIhuM 

Eid al-Fitr begins at sundown on 7/29 (Islam). Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-Breaking) is celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan to mark the end of fasting. It is often celebrated over the course of three days.

Islamic Celebrations, by Teachers’ Domain. In this video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, members of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC, discuss the religious and spiritual significance of the Eid al-Fitr annual event. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/uFXEix

BBC Schools: Guide to Ramadan. This site includes basic information about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, as well as links to lesson plans intended to help students understand the beliefs and practices of Muslim people. A lesson on Islamic art is included here. Follow links to “BBC Food” for information on Eid al-Fitr around the globe. (M, H, TR) http://bbc.in/bFTw84

The Arab World in the Classroom: An Introduction to Islam, by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. “An Introduction to Islam” is a 16-page reader- friendly guide that can be downloaded for free to share with teachers and students. (M, H) http://bit.ly/islam411

Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr: With Prayer, Fasting, and Charity (Holidays Around the World), by Deborah Heiligman This children’s book explores Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr through the use of text, photographs, and maps. (E) http://bit.ly/T7pNU9