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2015-2016 Chronological Resources – EdLib

2015-2016 Chronological Resources

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



1     Richard Henry Dana, Jr. born (1815-1882). Richard Henry Dana, Jr. wrote the classic seaman’s memoir, Two Years Before the Mast, and was later a leading abolitionist and co-founder of the anti-slavery Free Soil Party. He was an attorney who defended many who had fled slavery, and worked to uphold the rights of seamen.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade, New York Public Library. This extensive multimedia website explores the history and events leading up to the abolition of the slave trade. (M, H) http://bit.ly/ctBe3C

2     Sanjit (Bunker) Roy born (1945). Sanjit Roy, known as Bunker Roy, is an Indian social activist known for his work in teaching literacy to peasants in India and around the world. He is the founder of Barefoot College, which has trained more than 3 million people in local empowerment through skills such as solar engineering, teaching, midwifery, weaving and healthcare.

What is Your Language?, Debra Leventhal. What is Your Language? is a book about a little boy who travels to and meets people from different countries. Through his travels, he explores 10 different languages.  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/rPKFHO

6     50th anniversary of Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 gave Black citizens the right to vote. Specifically, Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote. Previously, this had been a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African Americans from exercising their voting rights.

Race and Voting in the Segregated South, Constitutional Rights Foundation. This site offers the history of race and voting in the segregated South through the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and describes how grandfather clauses disenfranchised Black voters. Ideas for discussion, writing, further reading and classroom activities are also offered. (H) http://bit.ly/18kxLwd

It Ain’t Just About a Vote: Defining Democracy for Movement Building, 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://projectsouth.org/products-page-2/curriculum/it-aint-just-about-a-vote/

6     70th anniversary of bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima in Japan, leaving 60,000 to 80,000 Japanese dead, with an ultimate death toll of 135,000. Tens of thousands suffered from radiation poisoning. The victims were mostly Japanese civilians, but also included Koreans doing forced labor and American prisoners of war. President Truman claimed the bombing was to end the war quickly, but records show that the U.S. also wanted to counter Soviet Union advances in the region and signal its ultimate war power. The use of the bomb initiated the nuclear standoff with the Soviets that cast a shadow over the next five decades.

Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb, Ronald Takaki. In this book, Takaki considers the ways in which stereotypes of the Japanese influenced public opinion and policymakers. This is useful for educators teaching about Hiroshima or US foreign policy. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/LG57Ny

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Eleanor Coerr. This is a children’s book about Sadako, a young Japanese girl who contracted leukemia as a result of the atom bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.  The second link is to a compilation of lessons and resources that can be used with the book. (E) http://bit.ly/t7UJux http://bit.ly/vfyE6k

Haiku and Hiroshima: Teaching About the Atomic Bomb, Wayne Au. Lesson for high school students on the bombing of Hiroshima using the film Barefoot Gen and haiku. (H) http://bit.ly/1C0VTFp

11   50th anniversary of the Watts Rebellion. The immediate cause of the Watts Rebellion was the arrest of the Frye family; however, the root cause was African Americans’ deep frustration over the racial discrimination they experienced in Los Angeles. After six days of violence, 34 people were killed, more than 1,000 were injured and nearly 4,000 were arrested. Many consider the rebellion to be a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, shifting the focus to economic issues and the use of more militant tactics.

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

12    International Youth Day. International Youth Day, created by the UN, is designed to draw attention to cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. http://undesadspd.org/Youth/InternationalYouthDay.aspx

Youth Media Info Center, 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

14     80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act. The Social Security Act was passed in response to union and unemployed workers’ demands for social solutions to the displacements caused by the Great Depression. The purpose of the Act was to provide a safety net for situations such as old age, poverty and unemployment. It included provisions for medical and therapeutic services for disabled children, and made permanent the vocational rehabilitation program. The Act provided for continuous authorizations by the federal government, and was established outside the federal budget, supported by a separate Social Security tax, so that it could be self-sustaining.

A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn. While chapter 15 mentions the Chicago School Children’s strike only briefly, Zinn puts the event into context within labor movements and uprisings that took place following World War I and during the Great Depression. (M, H, TR) The text is also available at http://bit.ly/qnDIk8

15   70th anniversary of South Korea’s independence from Japan. Though independence from Japan was declared on March 1, 1919, the independence holiday, called Gwangbokjeol (“Restoration of the Light”) or Liberation Day, marks Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule at the end of World War II on August 15, 1945. The two independent Korean governments were created three years later.

My Name is Yoon, Helen Recorvits. This is a story 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

17  30th Anniversary of Hormel Meatpackers’ Strike. About 1,500 workers from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) P-9 went on strike after enduring the highest injury rate in the U.S. meatpacking industry, according to workers, as well as a 23% wage cut. The strike gained national attention at a time when many workers were accepting concessions, and led to a boycott of Hormel products.

Solidarity Forever, by Zinn Education Project. Information and a recording about this historic protest song. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1bvfGCa

20  Lawrence (KRS-ONE) Parker born (1965). Lawrence (KRS-ONE) Parker is a hip-hop artist known as a pioneer of “conscious hip-hop,” founder of the Stop the Violence Movement and a proponent and historian of hip-hop culture. Following the shooting death of DJ Scott LaRock, KRS-ONE started the Stop the Violence Movement. In addition to his political poetry, he has lectured at hundreds of universities and written three books on hip-hop culture. 

The Hip-Hop Education Guidebook, Volume 1, Marcella Runnell Hall and Martha Diaz. The H2ED Guidebook addresses the tenets of critical hip-hop pedagogy, framing the issues of concern and strength within hip-hop culture. The book offers an array of innovative and interdisciplinary lesson plans for teachers by teachers. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uQXXc2

25     190th anniversary of Uruguay’s declaration of independence from Brazil. After years of organized insurrection, Uruguay declared independence from Brazil in 1825, though Uruguay was not internationally recognized as an independent state until 1828.

Brazil: From Colony to Democracy,  The Choices Program. This site provides supplemental materials that can be used to teach about Brazil, from Portuguese colonialism through present-day Brazil. Materials include graphic organizers, videos, student activities and web links. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/sSMKHP

25     90th Anniversary of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. A. Philip Randolph, an advocate of Black labor rights, helped disgruntled porters organize the BSCP, a union of Black porters and maids, who served mostly White passengers on Pullman overnight trains, working long hours with low pay and no job security. Initially, the Pullman Company refused to negotiate with BSCP, but Congress passed legislation mandating that legitimate unions have the right to organize, and the BSCP gained the support of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).

Philip Randolph Exhibit, The George Meany Memorial Archives. This online exhibit includes photographs, articles, a bibliography and classroom activities about A. Philip Randolph. (H) http://bit.ly/IDxZnP

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

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 to 2000. This website offers documents and lesson plans for teaching American history. (M, H) http://bit.ly/bmuSYJ

29     10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina was one of the five deadliest and most destructive hurricanes in United States history, causing the deaths of at least 1,800 people and displacing over 500,000. The response to the storm from the local, state and national governments has been called everything from gross incompetence to criminal indifference. The disproportionate effects of the storm on people of color and people in poverty exposed deeply entrenched unjust policies and practices. Katrina’s negative impact continues to this day with respect to the economy, education and environment

If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise. Spike Lee revisits New Orleans five years after Katrina, examining the aftermath of that disaster and the impact of the next one – the British Petroleum oil spill. (H, TR) http://imdb.to/KD4Rj5


2     130th Anniversary of the Rock Springs Massacre. One of the most brutal instances of anti-Chinese violence in the U.S. in the 19th century, this clash between Chinese and White immigrant miners in Wyoming ended with at least 28 Chinese miners dead. The conflict emerged from racial tension between the two groups of miners and a dispute over the Union Pacific Coal Department’s policy of paying Chinese miners less than White miners, which resulted in the hiring of more Chinese miners.

Chinese Immigrants in America: An Interactive History Adventure, 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 worked as gold miners, railroad workers and more. (E) http://bit.ly/QfGB5Q

3     Americo Paredes, Mexican American scholar, born (1915-1999). Américo Paredes is generally recognized as one of the seminal Mexican American scholars of the 20th century. Along with George I. Sánchez, Arthur León Campa, Julian Samora, fellow Texan Carlos Castañeda and others, he helped develop the foundations of modern Mexican American scholarship with his outstanding scholarly contributions.

The New Americans, PBS. This film follows a diverse group of immigrants and refugees as they leave their homes and families behind and learn what it means to be New Americans in the 21stcentury. Accompanying lessons trace the history of immigration and question the fairness of immigration policies.  Film available on iTunes. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/d8tEdW

6     Frances Wright, abolitionist and social reformer, born (1795-1852). Wright founded the Nashoba Commune in Tennessee as a utopian, egalitarian community to prepare slaves for emancipation.

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

8     50th Anniversary of Delano Grape Strike. The Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, comprising Filipino American farmworkers in California, demanded wages matching the federal minimum wage. On September 16, the Mexican American Farmworkers Association joined the strike; the two groups eventually formed the United Farm Workers (UFW). The strike and the grape boycott organized by the UFW were successful, and the union signed their first contract with the table grape growers in 1970.

“Filipino Farmworkers’ 1965 Strike a Pivotal Moment in California,” Dorian Merina. This article discusses the key role that Filipino farmworkers played in the Delano Grape Strike. An audio version of the story is also available. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1ls1Beq

8    40th anniversary of Leonard P. Matiovich on the cover of Time Magazine to fight the military ban on gays. Matlovich, a Vietnam War veteran, outed himself on the cover of Time Magazine – in uniform – becoming the first openly gay person on the cover of a U.S. newsmagazine.

“Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Takes Effect,” PBS Newshour. This PBS news footage of the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ provides an article and downloadable video clips, along with warmup and discussion questions. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1vMdTAC

14     Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on 9/13 (Judaism). Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.

Apples and Pomegranates: A Rosh Hashanah Seder, 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

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.

Latino Heritage: A Discussion Activity, 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/1kHi3b3

16     Mexican Independence Day. Otherwise known as El Grito, on this day Mexicans celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain.

El Grito: A Lesson Plan, Patricia Schwarz. In this elementary-middle school lesson plan, students read a book written by students (El Grito) to learn the story of Mexico’s fight for independence. Vocabulary activities, extension activities, links to build background information and other resources are included. (TR) http://bit.ly/1cNPPpp

18     180th anniversary of founding of first sugar plantation in Hawaii leading to its colonization. Ladd and Co. established the first major sugar plantation in Hawaii. The introduction of sugar cultivation as an economy would affect Hawaii in two ways: it led to an influx of immigrant workers, and it contributed to the eventual destruction of traditional Hawaiian culture. Sugar growers from the U.S., assisted by the Marines, would later overthrow Queen Liliuokalani, the head of the country’s government and a strong supporter of native Hawaiian power. This illegal act led to the colonization and annexation of Hawaii.

Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawai’ian Nation. A comprehensive documentary that focuses on the events surrounding the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. Through archival photographs, government documents, films, political cartoons and dramatic reenactments, Act of War explores colonialism and the conquest of a Pacific Island nation by Western missionaries and capitalists. (H) http://bit.ly/uetbEK

21     60th anniversary of the founding of Daughters of Bilitis. Founded as a secret social club for gay or questioning women in San Francisco, the DOB spread to other cities and ultimately helped launch an international lesbian movement. With a name intended to protect members from exposure, the DOB aimed to provide community and public support and resources, including a monthly magazine by and for lesbians, The Ladder.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, a Human Rights Perspective, Human Rights Resource Center, University of Minnesota. A series of lessons intended to help participants understand LGBT rights as human rights. The HRRC’s main website also has a wealth of resources, including a K-12 education initiative complete with lesson plans. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/14cTg4V

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.

Peace Tools for Teachers. This page on the peaceCENTER website offers a variety of resources for teaching peace, including lessons, activities, dates and quotes all designed with teachers in mind. (E, M, H ,TR) http://bit.ly/1InBVba

23     Yom Kippur begins at sunset on 9/22 (Judaism). Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is one of two Jewish High Holy Days. It falls 10 days after the first High Holy Day, Rosh Hashanah.

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

27     First Day of Banned Book 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.

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

27     Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Day. Also known as the Mooncake and Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes its name from the fact that the moon is at its roundest and brightest at this time of year.

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

28     First day of Sukkot, begins at sunset on 9/27 (Judaism). Sukkot is a 7-day harvest holiday that commemorates the 40-year period during which the Jews wandered the desert.

The Very Crowded Sukkah, Leslie Kimmelman and Bob McMahon. This children’s book tells the story of a family celebrating Sukkot by building a sukkah outdoors. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, the family makes a decision about the celebration that includes some surprising guests. (E) http://bit.ly/19QlvpC

28     David Walker, abolitionist and writer, born (1785-1830). The son of a slave father and a free mother, Walker was born a free African American man, but faced flagrant racism throughout his life. His work, Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, called for slaves to revolt against their masters, and is considered the most radical of all anti-slavery documents.

The African American Experience: North Carolina Freedom Monument Project. These lesson plans help students become familiar with the life and contributions of David Walker. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Juaqke


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

Museum of disABILITY History. This site features an extensive virtual exhibition of images from disability history, as well as lesson plans on various topics for all grade levels. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1jDKHWi

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

1     World Vegetarian Day/First Day of Vegetarian Awareness Month. 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, Charles Wilson and Eric Schlosser. This book, accompanied by a teacher’s 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 

Meet Your Meat, International Institute of Humane Education. This lesson plan from Sowing Seeds Workbook provides teachers with information and activities on modern agriculture and diet in order to educate students about the origins of the food they eat. Additional lessons available at teachkind.org (M, H, TR) http://www.peta.org/teachkind/

1     First day of LGBT History Month/Coming Out Month. LGBT History Month/Coming Out Month celebrates the lives and achievements of LGBT people.

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 administrators, educators, parents and guardians who want to strengthen their schools’ approaches to family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying. It is specifically designed 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, 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, 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://amzn.to/1m3JQUE

And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. And Tango Makes Three (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/1onzrxu

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 explains the genesis 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

1     70th anniversary of National Employ the Physically Handicapped week. President Harry S. Truman signed PL-176, creating the annual Employ the Handicapped week, proclaiming, “The people of this nation are determined to foster an environment in which those of their fellow citizens who have become physically handicapped can continue to make their rightful contribution to the work of the world and can continue to enjoy the opportunities and rewards of that work.”

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

1     40th Anniversary of the Washington Post Pressmen Strike. The pressmen’s union, the first union at the newspaper to win a cost-of-living wage contract clause, inflicted minor damage on printing presses and walked off the job when contract negotiations became an opportunity for management to bust their union. During the 19-month strike, the presses were run by scabs trained by the “right to work” movement, a movement opposed on the Post’s editorial pages.

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/Lgy8nX

50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Hart-Celler Act). This Act abolished the national origins quota system, which had restricted immigration on the basis of existing proportions of the population. The old system was replaced with one that focused on skills and family relationships with U.S. citizens or residents. Immigration policies prior to the Hart-Celler Act excluded specific ethnic groups and favored some over others.

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

5     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. These three films document different aspects of the community-based movement against the 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. (TR) http://bit.ly/MZjjV5 AND 

5     70th Anniversary of Hollywood Black Friday. 10,000 members of the Conference of Studio Unions went on strike, and 300 strikers clashed with strike-breakers and police at the gates of the Warner Brothers’ studio. The events of Hollywood Black Friday eventually led to the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, which restricts the activities and power of labor unions.

The 5 Basic Steps to Organize a Union. Student friendly step-by-step guide to starting a union from the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America’s website. (M, H, TR)http://bit.ly/VVGMxk

12     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, California. 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 that 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, Nu Heightz Cinema. This short PSA asks people to reconsider whether the crimes of Columbus should be celebrated. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/9ILuXF

The People vs. Columbus, et al., Bill Bigelow. This role-play begins with the premise that a monstrous crime was committed in the years after 1492, when an estimated 3 million 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

“1492, a song by Nancy Schimmel. A great song to use to teach about Columbus’ arrival as seen from the Native American Perspective. (E) http://bit.ly/unw71d

13     First day of Navaratri (Hinduism). Navaratri is a 9-night festival of worship and dance that honors Mother Goddess in all her manifestations.

Navaratri, Hindu Kids World. This multi-language web-mag on Hinduism for kids features a page about Navaratri. Visitors can read about the origins of the festival and the four different types of festivals that are celebrated to mark the occasion. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1d6a973

14     Muharram begins at sunset 10/13 (Islam). Muharram is the beginning of the first lunar month of the Islamic calendar.

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

Salaam – A Muslim American Boy’s Story, Trish Brown. This is a biography about a Muslim American boy named Imran. It describes 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 explains how Muslims strive to be good people, just like those of other faiths do. (E) http://bit.ly/tBgIH7

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

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Young Readers Edition: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, Michael Pollan. Based on Pollan’s best-selling book of the same title, this version is written for teens. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/utIarp 

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

Fresh Food or Fast Food, 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://indykids.org/main/teachers/teachers-guides-2/

Food First: Institute for Food and Development. A list of books published by the Institute for Food and Development that examine the connections between human rights, social justice and food. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1qeUHJT

16     20th anniversary of the Million Man March. African American men and boys traveled from all over the country to Washington, D.C. to declare their intention to become a force for change and to promote community unity and cultural revitalization. African American female leaders organized a parallel Day of Absence, and asked those who could not be present at the march to abstain from regular routines and engage in self-reflection and teach-ins.

Tough Boys: Schooled in hard knocks, young men of color reclaim lives, offer lessons for others to follow, The Skillman Foundation (2009 Annual Report). This report features the stories of several young men of color in Detroit who have overcome incredible challenges with the help of mentoring programs that serve boys ages 11-15. Their successes serve as a lesson for others and as a reminder that guidance from elders is crucial. (TR) http://bit.ly/19kM0Ku

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

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

Finding Solutions to Hunger, 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, Cathryn Berger Kaye. This book aims to explain the issues of hunger and homelessness, and includes stories of how children around the world have helped their communities deal with these issues. It is also a workbook that includes facts, quotes, write-on pages and resources. 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/rMioaO

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

18     30th anniversary of the National Day of Action for Justice for Immigrants and Refugees. This national day of action was organized to stop deportations and pressure Congress for fair immigration policies in opposition to the Simpson-Rodino-Mazzoli proposals introduced in the early 1980s.

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

22     National day of protest to stop police brutality. The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation has been mobilizing annually to expose the epidemic of police brutality. The coalition asks that we wear black on this day to honor those whose lives have been stolen by police brutality. http://www.october22.org/

Every Mother’s Son, P.O.V. A film that presents three examples of police brutality and what is being done about it. The lesson accompanying the video addresses what students can do to take action. (H) http://to.pbs.org/1cNyCMD

Teaching #Blacklivesmatter, San Francisco Public Schools. This LibGuide provides teachers with resources and tools that can be used to teach #Blacklivesmatter. Resources include syllabi, lesson plans, videos, grand jury documents and more. (TR) http://bit.ly/1BjYnxM

22     Dussehra (Hinduism). Dussehra is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over Demon King Ravana, or good over evil.

“Dussehra Festival Essay for Kids” (Students), Micky Khanna. This essay about Dussehra describes the meaning of the word, reasons for the festival and ways Dussehra is celebrated in India. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1d6aHKc

23     100th anniversary of women marching in New York Suffrage Parade. Over 25,000 women marched up Fifth Avenue in New York City to advocate women’s suffrage and women’s rights in the largest parade held in the city up to that point. Five years later, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution passed, granting 26 million women the right to vote.

Women’s Suffrage, Teaching Tolerance. Students will explore, using primary and secondary documents, how over a period of 75 years a movement of American women used nonviolent measures to persuade both federal and state governments to allow women to vote. In 1920 the 19th Amendment was passed, securing women’s right to vote. (M, H) http://bit.ly/15a89ks

24     Eid al-Adha begins at sunset 10/23 (Islam). Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Best Eid Ever, 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

26     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.

Teaching Intersex Issues: A Guide for Teachers in Women’s, Gender & Queer Studies (Second Edition), Emi Koyama, Intersex Initiative Portland. This project includes guidelines on how teachers can improve the way they handle intersex issues in the classroom, as well as materials about intersex activism relevant to Women’s, Gender and Queer Studies courses. (TR) http://bit.ly/1CSKTbP

What it’s like to be Intersex, by Buzzfeed. An informative and relatable video of intersex teens defining and sharing their experiences of being intersex.  (M, H, TR) http://bzfd.it/1FuXndJ

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

Mix It Up at Lunch Day, 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. Halloween is thought to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. 

What Do Halloween Costumes Say? Teaching Tolerance. This site provides a variety of activities to raise awareness about the potential of stereotyping in Halloween costumes. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1nyjLIm

“Ohio Univ. Students to Classmates: We’re a Culture, Not a Costume,”  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

Reverse Trick or Treat, 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 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/1gCxUkI


1    Edward Said, Palestinian American writer and cultural critic, born (1935-2003). Edward Said became the most well-known spokesperson in the U.S. for Palestinians. He became a target for pro-Israel extremists and faced death threats and acts of violence and hatred. Despite the threats, he continued to advocate for Palestinians and the creation of one state with equal rights for all of its citizens – Jews and Arabs.

Palestine Education Project. The Palestine Education Project (PEP) is a collective of educators, activists and artists committed to Popular Education about the struggle for justice in Palestine. The curriculum has been developed in various educational and community spaces throughout the US and Palestine over a six year period. (H) http://bit.ly/rYeVGI

1     First day of Native American Heritage Month. Native American Heritage Month recognizes the significant contributions of Native Americans.

We Shall Remain: Episode 5 Wounded Knee, PBS. We Shall Remain is a mini-series and multi-media project on Native American history. Episode 5 focuses specifically on the Wounded Knee Incident. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/9O6AqP

American Indians in Children’s Literature Blog, Debbie Reese. Debbie 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

Unlearning “Indian” Stereotypes, 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 have been practiced for at least 3,000 years.

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

1     World Vegan Day. World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated on November 1 by vegans around the world. The Day was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then President & Chair of The Vegan Society UK. This year marks the 71st anniversary of the term ‘vegan’ (and thus the verbally clarified concept of ‘veganism’), and of the Vegan Society.

The Vegan Society. The Vegan Society is an educational charity that promotes and supports the vegan lifestyle. The Society was formed in 1944 by a group of vegetarians who recognized the ethical compromises of eating eggs and dairy products. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/SY3Tx

Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer. Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits—folklore and pop culture, family traditions and national myth, apparent facts and inherent fictions—and how such tales can mask some of the realities of 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

2    50th anniversary of the self-immolation of Norman Morrison in protest of the Vietnam War. Influenced by the protests of Buddhist monks in Vietnam, Morrison, a Quaker peace activist, poured kerosene over himself and lit himself on fire in front of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

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 these lyrics, especially how they relate 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 students are familiar. Although it is presented as a single lesson, it can easily be expanded for further understanding. (E, H) http://bit.ly/JC0SEW

2     50th anniversary of the founding of El Teatro Campesino. A collaboration of students and farm workers, ETC performed one-act plays, or actos, in the bed of a pickup truck along the picket lines of the Delano Grape Strike to educate and politicize workers. Over the years, the organization expanded and continues today in its mission to “create popular art… that presents a more just and accurate account of human history.” 

El Acto: Studying the Mexican-American Experience Through Farmworkers’ Theater, edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray and Jenice L. View. This unit in the book, Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching, uses the Delano Grape Strike organized by the United Farm Workers (UFW) as an entry point into understanding theater as political action. It provides scenes and context for student groups to act out various elements of the event, as well as tools for evaluation of student work. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1B1tSxn

3     Election Day

Money in Elections: What is it Doing to America?, Alan Shapiro. Three student readings, discussion questions and suggestions for inquiry engage students in exploring the role of money in electoral politics. (H) http://bit.ly/sUIgLr

5     Eugene Debs, American union leader, born (1855-1926). Eugene Debs was a founder of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).  He helped lead the Pullman Strike, in which over 200,000 workers protested low wages.  The strike was declared illegal and he was arrested and sent to prison. He helped found the Socialist Party in 1901, running for President of the US five times as the Socialist Party candidate. He garnered over a million votes for President in 1920, despite the fact that he was in prison.   

Eugene Debs: Canton, Ohio Speech, Zinn Education Project.This webpage provides a clip of Mark Ruffalo reading union leader Debs’ famous anti-war speech for which he was arrested and convicted on espionage charges. (H) http://bit.ly/1x5yqmi

9     140th anniversary of US declaring Chief Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse hostile. Indian Inspector E.C. Watkins reported to Washington, D.C that Chief Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and hundreds of other Sioux people living off of the Black Hills South Dakota reservation were a threat to the U.S. This declaration led to the Battle of Little Bighorn the following year, in which Sioux and Cheyenne fighters defeated the US Army.

“Sitting Bull” The tragic, yet inspiring, tale of Chief Sitting Bull, sung by musician and artist Jeffrey Lewis. (E) http://bit.ly/bRWUrm

11    Veteran’s Day

Veterans for Peace: Exposing the True Costs of War and Militarism Since 1985. Veterans share their personal stories of why they became “Veterans for Peace” as a way to educate others on the reality of war. (M, H, TR) http://www.veteransforpeace.org/who-we-are/

Voices in Wartime Education, The YES! Education Program and Voices in Wartime Education Project. This site seeks to enable students to provide students with a deeper understanding 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/1uCgCMY

11    Diwali (Deepavali), Indian Festival of Lights (Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism 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, Rachna Gilmore. Author Rachna Gilmore introduces readers to Diwali, 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/KCeUSp

11     Him Mark Lai, historian and activist, born (1925-2009). Him Mark Lai was a pioneer in ethnic studies, co-teaching the first university level course on Chinese American history in 1969. Lai collaborated with other historians to write many influential books, including Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910–1940, which documented the experiences of those detained at the Angel Island Immigration Station.

Discovering Angel Island: The Stories Behind the Poems. Curricular resources from Angel Island Immigration Station include poems from Chinese immigrants written on the walls of the detention center, online videos and lesson plans. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/J9YC8X

12     Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women’s rights leader, born (1815-1902). Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an important part of the women’s rights movement. She presented the “Declaration of Rights and Sentiments” at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 and was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes. This film shows the struggle and development of women’s rights and Anthony’s and Stanton’s contributions to the movement. (E, M, H) http://to.pbs.org/XICld

19     100th anniversary of the Execution of Joe Hill. Joe Hill, born Joel Haaglund in Sweden, immigrated to the US, where he became an activist and songwriter with the International Workers of the World (IWW). After a controversial trial, in which the jury was likely influenced by Hill’s membership in the IWW, he was convicted of murder and subsequently executed by firing squad in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Putting a Face on the Organization of Labor, Jim Shannon (2004). Lesson from The American History Through Music Project: Voices Across Time, introducing students to Joe Hill through analyzing folk songs from the era. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1c5yZxY

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

Beyond The Binary, A Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools, 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. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9wjXL2

Luna, 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. It is included in the Gay-Straight Alliance Network’s list of recommended books for and about LGBTQ youth. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uXD94h

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper. Transgender and gender variant children have a hard time of it. Often they are 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. (TR) 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/1pDshdH

26     National Day of Mourning. In 1970 Frank James, a Wampanoag Indian, was invited by the state of Massachusetts to deliver a speech about Thanksgiving. The speech was titled, “The National Day of Mourning.” When the text of the speech was revealed, Massachusetts uninvited him. In response a group of New England Native Americans declared Thanksgiving 1970 the first annual National Day of Mourning.

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. (M, H) http://bit.ly/qy6im

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving, Catherine O’Neill Grace and Marge Bruchac. Produced in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plymouth Plantation, 1621weighs Wampanoag oral traditions and English colonial written records against the popular myth of “brave settlers inviting wild Indians over for turkey dinner.” (E, M) http://bit.ly/1tTFP7H

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

27     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, 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) Website: http://bit.ly/vXj7EC Reading guide: http://bit.ly/vXj7EC

The Story of Change, Annie Leonard. Follow up video to The Story of Stuff, The Story of Changeasks if shopping saves 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. 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. The lessons on this website help students to understand how consumerism and corporate greed in the US affect workers around the world. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1sqWRpj

27     #BlackOutBlackFriday. Shortly after the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Rahiel Tesfamariam created #notonedime to urge citizens to boycott Black Friday. The economic boycott was meant to protest racial profiling and police brutality in the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others. Other widely used boycott hashtags included #BlackOutBlackFriday and #BlackFridayBoycott

The Syllabus of All Syllabi: My Top Six #FergusonSyllabus, Magaela Young.  A compilation of highlights from #FergusonSyllabus, a teaching resource for exploring contemporary racism and police brutality. (H) http://bit.ly/1AHHjWb

Teaching #Blacklivesmatter, San Francisco Public Schools. This LibGuide offers resources to be used to teach #Blacklivesmatter. Resources include lesson plans, readings, poetry, grand jury documents and more. (TR) http://bit.ly/1BjYnxM

29     40th anniversary of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. The EAHCA, the predecessor of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is an education bill of rights for children with disabilities and their families. Among the provisions of the law are students’ rights to be educated in the least restrictive environment and to have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and parents’ rights to be involved in the educational decision-making process.

“Inclusion on the Bookshelf,” Teaching Tolerance. An article about the importance of using children’s books that include characters with disabilities. Includes recommended books. (E, M) http://bit.ly/5GBVIR

30     Linda Bove, actor, born (1945). In the longest-running role on television for a deaf person, Bove played Linda the Librarian on Sesame Street from 1971 to 2003. The National Association of the Deaf recognized Bove with the Media Advocacy Award in 2012 for her efforts “to ensure that all… characterizations of deaf and hard of hearing people are authentic and use deaf and hard of hearing actors.”

National Association of the Deaf (NAD) website. This is the official website of NAD. It was designed by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to provide information about deaf-related civil rights legislation. (TR) http://www.nad.org/


1     World AIDS Day. This global health day is intended to bring people together to fight HIV, support people living with AIDS and commemorate those we have lost to AIDS.

TeachersFirst HIV and AIDS Resources. This website offers a collection of reviewed resources to help teachers 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/1t9G5zc

1     60th anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist, refused to give up her seat to a White person on a Montgomery, Alabama bus and was arrested.  This led to boycotts of the Montgomery bus company. The US Supreme Court ruled in 1956 that segregation on buses was illegal.

Rosa, Nikki Giovanni. Children’s book, beautifully illustrated, that gives a clearer and more accurate picture of Rosa Parks and all that she did and stood for. (E, M) http://bit.ly/v12yhJ

If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, Faith Ringgold. In this book, a bus does talk, and on her way to school a girl named Marcie learns why Rosa Parks is the mother of the Civil Rights Movement. At the end of Marcie’s magical ride, she meets Rosa Parks herself at a birthday party with several distinguished guests. (E) http://amzn.to/tiKFAy

1     60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Led by Martin Luther King, Jr., the Montgomery Bus Boycott set the precedent for nonviolent activism. The boycott started in December 1955, when Rosa Parks was forced to give up her seat on the bus to a White passenger, and lasted until December 1956, when the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Court ruling Browder v. Gayle, which found segregated buses to be unconstitutional.

The Politics of Children’s Literature: What’s Wrong with the Rosa Parks Myth, Herbert Kohl. This background reading for teachers challenges the image of “Rosa Parks the Tired” presented in most curricula. (TR) http://bit.ly/dLCyZ0

1     60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest. Rosa Parks, a well-respected member of the Black community and long-time member of the NAACP, refused to give up her seat to a White passenger on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Local organizers had wanted to protest segregation on city buses for quite some time, and Parks’ arrest and subsequent trial provided the case and storyline they had been waiting for to spark the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Teaching With Documents: An Act of Courage, The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks, the National Archives. Original documents related to Parks’ arrest, along with associated lesson plans. (H) http://1.usa.gov/bAbt5f

6     150th anniversary of the Ratification of the 13th Amendment. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. Despite their new citizenship, many African Americans would continue to face racism and discrimination throughout the country. Today, the Thirteenth Amendment is the basis for laws against sex trafficking and other forms of contemporary slavery.

Slavery by Another Name, directed by Sam Pollard. Based on the Pulitzer prize-winning book, Douglas A. Blackmon’s Slavery by Another Name, this 90-minute documentary challenges the view that slavery ended with the 13th Amendment in 1865. The PBS site includes video clips and links to other useful resources. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/zZnn6p

7     First day of Hanukkah, begins at sunset on 12/6 (Judaism). Hanukkah is an 8-day Jewish holiday, which is also known as the Festival of Lights.

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah: With Lights, Latkes, and Dreidels, 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

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

Under the Bodhi Tree, 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    William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist and journalist, born (1805-1879). Garrison, one of the most famous Whites to try to end slavery, started his own newspaper in 1831 called The Liberator. He cofounded the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, which fought for an immediate end to slavery.  He wrote and gave many speeches calling for equal rights for Black people. 

The Liberator Files. This site hosts a wealth of articles that appeared in The Liberator between 1831 and 1865. (H) http://bit.ly/7SjkKZ

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, H) http://bit.ly/a5TSHf

Human Rights and Service-Learning: Lesson Plans and Projects, 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 topics: 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. (E, M, H, 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

10     International Animal Rights Day. International Animal Rights Day began in 1998 when a group of animal rights activists declared that all animals are sentient beings and deserve to be treated with respect. The group picked December 10 because it is also Human Rights Day and the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Animal Protection Activities, by the Institute for Humane Education. Activity topics include the connections between animal and human oppression, the inconsistencies in how we make choices about how we treat others, and more. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/10R5cUS

16     50th anniversary of Mary Beth Tinker’s Protest of the Vietnam War. Mary Beth Tinker, a 13-year-old junior high school student, wore a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War. Tinker, her brother John, and Christopher Eckhardt were suspended for their protest. The students took their case all the way to the Supreme Court. In a ruling consistent with the Fifth Circuit’s decision in the Burnside v. Byars case, the Court affirmed the students’ right to free speech.

The Kids’ Guide to Social Action, Barbara A. Lewis. This five-part book gives elementary and middle school students the tools and knowledge they need to take action on issues that interest them. A summary of the book and activity suggestions for its use in the classroom can be found on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Education blog, an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/KiWXiH

18     International Migrants Day. There are around 200 million migrant workers in the world. The U.N. marks this date to recognize this diverse group of workers and the economic, social, and political contexts that affect their rights and livelihood.

ICED—I Can End Deportation. What better way to truly understand a person’s experience than to find yourself in his/her shoes for a moment? This immigration-themed video game from Breakthrough: ICED—I Can End Deportation – does just that. It puts the player in the shoes of an immigrant to illustrate the ways in which unfair immigration laws deny due process and violate human rights. Site includes curriculum and discussion guides. (H) http://bit.ly/1p7ao1L

What is the DREAM Act and Who Are the DREAMers?, by Anti-Defamation League. In this high school lesson, students will learn about the DREAM Act’s background, history, current status and different perspectives. Students will write a reflective essay and connect their own dreams to the DREAMers’ dreams. Links to additional resources included. (TR) http://bit.ly/1D7p2SB

19     Carter G. Woodson born (1875-1950). Carter G. Woodson, often called the “Father of Black History,” was a pioneer in African American history. In addition to his books and papers, Woodson founded the Journal of Negro History and Negro History Week, which would later become Black History Month. Woodson published the Negro History Bulletin, developed for elementary and high school teachers.

Blackpast.org Remembered and Reclaimed. This is a searchable online reference guide to African American history. It includes links to multiple timelines, speeches, primary references, digital archive collections and more. This specific link leads to biographical information about Pearl Primus. (TR) http://bit.ly/J1UuBe

21     20th anniversary of Occidental Chemical Corp. settlement in the Love Canal disaster. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department won a $129 million settlement from the company for the cleanup of toxic waste at the Love Canal Superfund site in Niagara Falls, NY after pursuing the case for 16 years.

Education: Love Canal Images, Susan Allen, WNYLRC. This part of the New York Heritage Digital Collections presents a webquest that takes students on a journey of researching Love Canal. Students will take on the role of major stakeholders and develop persuasive presentations to be delivered at a mock town meeting. Resources include activity sheets, rubrics, a slide show and additional relevant resources. (TR) http://bit.ly/1A1O1QK

26    First day of Kwanzaa (Umoja = Unity). Kwanzaa is a 7-day celebration honoring African American culture and heritage in which each of the 7 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, M, H) http://bit.ly/2wtSIp

27     Second day of Kwanzaa (Kuji-chagulia = self-determination).         

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

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

“Seven Principles,”  Sweet Honey In The Rock. A song that teaches the seven principles of Kwanzaa. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/vNc77L

28     180th anniversary of the Second Seminole War. The Seminoles were a multiracial group of American Indians from several tribes and ex-slaves living in central Florida. Motivated by the desire to move the Seminoles west and to eliminate a refuge for runaway slaves, the US Army mobilized for war. It was the longest and most expensive war the U.S. fought against the American Indians.

The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role-Play. The role-play encourages students to explore the dynamics that led to the  forced relocation of Native Americans. As they portray individuals in some of the groups that shaped these historical episodes, the aim is for them to see not only what happened, but why it happened—and perhaps to wonder whether there were other options available. (M, H) http://bit.ly/vT0KrP

The Relocation of Native Americans in Florida. A lesson plan detailing the United States’ attempt to relocate Native American tribes, specifically Seminoles, in Florida. (M, H, TR)http://bit.ly/rZ5fYn

29     Fourth day of Kwanzaa (Ujamaa = cooperative economics).

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

Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, 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 the test. The site features a short how-to video and offers other educational resources. (TR) http://bit.ly/VT9G1d

30     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


6     10th anniversary of the death of Hugh Thompson, Jr. During the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, Thompson, a US Army pilot, used his helicopter to prevent US troops from killing Vietnamese civilians. His official report of the Massacre caused army officers to cancel similar operations, possibly preventing the deaths of more civilians.

Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War, Inside A People’s History for the Classroom, 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/1vqiUBs

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

What Is Modern Slavery? Investigating Human Trafficking, Holly Epstein Ojalvo. In this lesson, students learn about human trafficking, also known as modern slavery. Using coverage of human trafficking by Nicholas D. Kristof, a New York Times columnist, they explore the causes of human trafficking, the consequences for victims and traffickers, the role of globalization and ways to respond effectively. (M, H) http://nyti.ms/XG0Z3n

14     Makar Sankranti (Hinduism). Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival that celebrates the day when the sun begins its ascent into the Northern Hemisphere.

Uttarayan, BAPS Swaminarayn Sanstha. This kid-friendly site provides information about “Uttarayn” or Makar Sankranti. Visitors can read about the various rituals that take place and view photographs of these events. Links to other festivals and related topics are also available. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1gx1RE2

16     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 a person’s natural rights. In doing so, Virginia became the first state to separate church and state. 

Maintain Neutrality, 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. (E, 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, creating an ongoing respectful dialogue about religious tolerance. (M, H) http://bit.ly/d0WqIg

Respecting Nonreligious People,  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, H) http://bit.ly/nonrelig

Tanenbaum Education Program. Tanenbaum produces both free lesson plans and curricula that you can purchase, which focus on inter-religious understanding. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1zL1ixQ

18     No Name Calling Week. No Name-Calling Week is a bullying prevention initiative created by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing. Originally inspired by the young adult novel The Misfits, by James Howe, it is now an annual week of activism with more than 60 partner organizations. 

The Power of Words: Examining the Language of Gender, Ethnic and Sexual Orientation Bias. The lessons in The Power of Words encourage students to explore the words used in the United States to label ethnic groups, women and sexual minorities, and to examine the ways in which these words reveal our nation’s social landscape. The curriculum offers standards-based lesson plans for use in Language Arts and Social Studies classrooms. (M, H) http://bit.ly/XPZyrE

Speak Up at School, 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

No Name-Calling Week Website, GLSEN. This site includes free resources and information about the week, as well as a resource kit that can be purchased online. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1rxZ1aQ

18     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 3rd Monday of each January, around the time of King’s birthday, January 15th.

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

Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching, 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

20     20th anniversary of the first Palestinian elections. Palestinians voted for the President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Those optimistic about the peace process believed they were voting for what would become the government of an independent Palestinian state. Hamas refused to participate in the elections and Fatah won the Presidency of Yasser Arafat and the majority of the PLC seats.

Teaching the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict through Dual Narratives, 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, and methodology for teaching peace initiatives and barriers to peace. (H) http://bit.ly/KFuvbw

25     90th anniversary of the Passaic Textile Strike. In the first Communist-led work stoppage in US history, approximately 15,000 workers went on strike for a reversal of a 10% pay cut and the right to unionize, among other demands. To build national support for the strike, activists produced and distributed a film, The Passaic Textile Strike. As mill owners refused to negotiate with Communist leaders, control of the union was given over to more conservative leadership in order to settle the strike.

AFL-CIO Labor History Links. Collection of links to online labor history collections, including online museum exhibitions. (TR) http://bit.ly/1c5y94k

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, Doreen Cronin. This children’s book addresses labor conflict and resolution through the story of a fictional farmer whose cows start making demands. (E) http://bit.ly/rvRF1a

29     80th anniversary of the Akron Rubber Strike. Facing poor working conditions, low wages and minimal benefits, workers at three major rubber manufacturers in Akron, Ohio successfully established the United Rubber Workers and organized the first sit-down strike. This tactic made it difficult for management to replace workers with scab laborers and to use force against striking workers for fear of damaging company property.

The 5 Basic Steps to Organize a Union. Student-friendly step-by-step guide to starting a union from the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America’s website. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/VVGMxk

30     60th anniversary of the bombing of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home. While at a meeting of supporters of the Montgomery bus boycott, a bomb exploded on the front porch of King’s home. His wife and daughter, who were home at the time, were unharmed. Addressing a mob of reporters, armed Black men and White policemen crowded around his home, King stressed that the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a nonviolent and collective movement.


1     First day of African American History Month

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

6     International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a UN-sponsored awareness day that takes place on February 6 each year. It is an effort to make the world aware of female genital cutting (also called female genital mutilation or FGM) and to promote its eradication.

Five Ways to Teach About Female Genital Mutilation, by Vaila McClure, The Guardian. This article offers different ways to explore FGM in the classroom and links to about a dozen related resources including case studies, stories from victims, and other lesson plans. (TR) http://bit.ly/1ypvuPc

7     130th anniversary of Anti-Chinese Riots in Seattle. Believing that the presence of Chinese workers depressed wages, a mob affiliated with the Knights of Labor attempted to remove 350 Chinese people from their homes in Seattle. Though federal and local troops protected the Chinese people throughout the ensuing three days of rioting, most of Seattle’s Chinese population left the city.

The Chinese Experience in 19th Century America, Roberta Kugell Gumport and Marcella M. Smith, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This unit focuses on the Chinese immigrant experience. Their arrival 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. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/KnPSNz

7     10th anniversary of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. The Agreement between the Provincial Government of British Columbia, First Nations and a coalition of conservationists, loggers and hunters established the protection of the forest by restricting logging, and created the implementation of ecosystem-based forestry management. Collaboration continues to ensure the effective implementation of the plan.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest. The magical inhabitants of a rainforest called FernGully fight to save their home, which is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus. (E) http://amzn.to/11T5Jfw

8     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 East 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, IndyKids. Bilingual essays by students discussing what Chinese New Year is about and what it means to them. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1ezU9co

Shanghai Messenger, 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) http://bit.ly/tVVSjp

9     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. Festivities last at least three days; people celebrate by visiting friends and family and cooking special holiday foods.

Vietnamese Americans Interdisciplinary Curriculum Guide, Teaching Tolerance. This curriculum guide sheds light on the complexities of the Vietnamese American experience. (M, H) http://bit.ly/9Q1L0r

10     Ash Wednesday/First day of Lent. 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://bbc.in/ROXVFb

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.   

Flower Workers Lesson Plans, 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. (E, M) http://bit.ly/tFAlAq

Fair Trade in the Classroom, Global Exchange. Through this Valentine unit, 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

15     Presidents’ Day. Presidents’ Day began as an official holiday to honor George Washington’s birthday. Today, the holiday honors both Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who had February birthdays, as well as all others who have served as President.    

“Write the Truth,” Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools. Peterson describes a project in which his fifth 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

15     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. 8th instead of the 15th.

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

19     40th anniversary of the rescinding of Executive Order 9066, which created internment camps. In response to decades of activism by Japanese Americans and their allies, President Gerald Ford officially rescinded Executive Order 9066, which allowed for the creation of internment camps during World War II. Though Ford acknowledged that the evacuation was wrong, Japanese American citizens did not receive official letters of apology or redress payments until 1990.

Baseball Saved Us, Ken Mochizuki. In Baseball Saved Us, Shorty (a young Japanese American boy) and his family are forced to move to an internment camp during WWII. Shorty’s father builds a baseball field to try to restore normalcy for the children, and they rally around the idea. 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/1p2VMQM

Explore the Japanese American Internment Through Film and the Internet. This site hosts a vast array of resources for teaching about the internment. Educator section has unit plans and discussion questions. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/JsoIB4

19     30th anniversary of the US Senate ratifying the Genocide Convention. 38 years after the Convention was adopted by the UN as a reaction to the Holocaust, the US Senate voted 83 to 11 to ratify the international agreement. Opponents to ratification were concerned about possible infringement of US sovereignty. It took two more years for the US to enact the legislation needed to implement the treaty.

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

25     20th anniversary of death of Dr. Haing S. Ngor. In order to survive Pol Pot’s regime, Ngor, a Cambodian gynecologist, hid his medical training. In 1980 he immigrated to the US, where he wrote books and acted in films in order to raise awareness of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. Ngor’s murder in Los Angeles was ruled a bungled robbery, but many suspect it was a politically motivated assassination.

Refugee: Revisiting the Killing Fields. The film follows three young Cambodian American men on their journey to Cambodia to find family members. Students evaluate the sacrifices and benefits of becoming a refugee in another country. (M, H) http://bit.ly/12HR17N

The Cambodian Genocide Program. This website hosts bibliographic records, photographs, documents, translations, maps and an interactive Cambodian Geographic Database, which documents the Cambodian genocide that occurred between 1975 and 1979. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/dxiEzQ

26     110th anniversary of the publication of The Jungle. Upton Sinclair worked undercover in the stockyards and meatpacking plants of Chicago to research this novel, which highlights issues of poverty and poor working and living conditions that immigrants faced, business and government corruption, and unsanitary practices and health violations in the meatpacking industry. Public and political reaction focused on food safety and led to the creation of the FDA.

Fast Food Nation Lesson Plans, Portland Public School’s High School Literacy Institute.  This comprehensive unit plan goes with Eric Schlosser’s book, Fast Food Nation (2nd link).  The unit aims to use the book to explore American culture, working conditions, health and other issues. It includes a section connecting current issues to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1xuSr6l AND  book: http://bit.ly/1wQ9pH9 AND film: http://bit.ly/1wcJn1N

Labor Unions and Working Conditions: United We Stand. Students will work with primary source documents to study the working conditions of U.S. laborers at the turn of the century. Students will answer the question: Was there a need for organized labor unions? (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/1aS3pUI


1     First day of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month, which grew out of a weeklong celebration in California, is a celebration of 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 under-served and under-represented 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 purchasing. (M, H) http://bit.ly/v1Kaix

1     30th anniversary of the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. Hundreds of people started in Los Angeles and marched for nearly 9 months and 3,700 miles to Washington, D.C. Conceived by David Mixner and initially supported by the organization “People Reaching Out for Peace (PRO-Peace),” the March soon became a marcher-run cooperative. Along the way, marchers spoke formally and informally in towns they passed about nonviolent conflict resolution and ending the nuclear arms race.

Nuclear Weapons: What Should Our Policy Be?, The Choices Program. This unit engages students in exploring a balanced range of views on the questions that surround the future of nuclear weapons. The material in this 2-day lesson is drawn from a larger curriculum called: The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons. (H) http://bit.ly/uIMKs0

6     130th anniversary of the Great Southwest Railroad Strike. Though more than 200,000 members of the Knights of Labor went on strike against railroads owned by Jay Gould, Gould was able to crush the strike by hiring strikebreakers and employing the violence of both Pinkerton guards and state militias. The failure of the strike weakened the Knights of Labor and led to the creation of the American Federation of Labor.

History of Railroad Unions in the U.S. Comprehensive collection of documents, videos and links about the history of railroad unions in the United States. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1vuka6C

7     Maha Shivaratri (Hinduism). Maha Shivaratri (Night of the Shiva) is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates Lord Shiva.

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

8     10th anniversary of the first State Bill establishing Disability History Week. The West Virginia Youth Disability Caucus pushed for and achieved legislation requiring schools to educate students about people with disabilities, disability history and the Disability Rights movement. Since the passage of this legislation, many other states have followed suit, celebrating a Disability History Week and/or Month in October.

The ABCs of Disability Rights, Teaching Tolerance. This site provides lessons and resources that introduce students and teachers to the history of the Disability Rights movement and to the powerful ideals and changes it has brought to the country. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/K8sjk0

9     40th anniversary of the Scotia Mine Explosions. Twenty-three miners and three mine inspectors died in two separate explosions. An investigation found that the Scotia Coal Company had a history of safety violations and the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration (MESA) failed to effectively enforce the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act. As a result, stronger regulations were passed in 1977 under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act.

Coal, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Mountaintop Removal, Bill Bigelow.  This lesson examines the motives, goals and environmental consequences of the coal mining industry. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1xPHOeh

10     10th anniversary of US immigration policy reform protest. In late 2005, the US House of Representatives passed HR 4437, which called for increased border security and classified undocumented immigrants as felons. Though the bill did not become law, it sparked a series of protests across the country. The first was in Chicago, where more than 100,000 people gathered to advocate for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

No Human is Illegal!, 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

13     First Day of Deaf History Month. Deaf History Month celebrates three key events in deaf history: the 3/13/1988 Deaf President Now protest; the 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, 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://to.pbs.org/PrShXc

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

17     50th anniversary of Cesar Chavez’s march from Delano to Sacramento. Drawing on a strategy successful in the Civil Rights Movement, leaders of the Delano Grape Strike planned a 340 mile march from Delano, CA to the state capitol to draw public attention to their cause. Upon their arrival in Sacramento, marchers numbered 10,000 and growers finally agreed to negotiate with representatives of the United Farm Workers.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez, 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/cechbook AND  http://bit.ly/tLyjqJ

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 to help teachers prepare lessons for this holiday. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/cb8NfJ

20     Palm Sunday (Christianity) Western and Eastern Orthodox. Palm Sunday falls on the Sunday before Easter; it is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week.

Easter, Gail Gibbons. This children’s book explains, clearly and simply, why Easter is celebrated, and includes descriptions of many Easter traditions. The book also introduces children to other related holy days, such as Good Friday. (E) http://bit.ly/1crHuCY

20     130th anniversary of the Cloakmakers Strike. 6,000 members of the Dress and Cloak Makers Union, most of whom were recent immigrants, went on strike against 11 New York clothing manufacturers to demand that they be hired directly, rather than through subcontractors. Though workers did not achieve their goals, 1886 was a year of increasing labor activity, and more successful cloakmakers’ strikes followed in 1890 and 1894.

Work, Workers & the U.S. Labor Movement, 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/1qNSzGg

20     60th anniversary of Tunisia’s independence from France. Soon after the establishment of the French protectorate of Tunisia in 1881, activism and organizing for independence began. Groups, such as the Young Tunisians, the Destour Party and the Neo-Destour, published newspapers and organized civil disobedience. The French negotiated an agreement with Neo-Destour leaders and Habib Bourguiba was chosen as Prime Minister. 

Colonization and Independence in Africa, The Choices Program, Brown University. African experiences of colonialism were diverse. Nevertheless, there are common themes within the continent’s colonial history. This resource, from the Choices Program, explores these themes generally, as well as specifically through four country case studies: Ghana, Algeria, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The readings and activities help students gain an understanding of the perspectives of Africans and the ways in which they responded to European colonialism. (H) http://bit.ly/1jiHVZr

21     International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“100 Years of Progress Poster, YES! Magazine. This poster highlights celebrated “firsts,” landmark court cases, such as Brown v. Board of Education, and legendary protests, such as the March on Washington, as well as lesser-known political, social and cultural milestones that have gradually marked the way. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1mNGFv1

21     World Down Syndrome Day. This day is dedicated to raising public awareness of and advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down Syndrome.

My Friend Isabelle, Eliza Woloson. This book is about the friendship between Charlie and Isabelle. At first, Charlie sees only the differences between himself and Isabelle, who has Down Syndrome, but in the end, he realizes that they have many similarities, as well. Book description is on 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Blog, which offers a summary of the book and other social justice-themed children’s literature titles. (E) http://bit.ly/154hueW

21     70th anniversary of Méndez v. Westminster School District. After his children were prohibited from enrolling in school because of their dark skin and Mexican last name, Gonzalo Méndez, along with four other fathers, sued the school districts in Orange County, California. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that school segregation based on national origin was unconstitutional, California became the first state to pass a law against segregation.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, Duncan Tonatiuh. This book teaches about the Méndez v. Westminster desegregation case in California, in which Sylvia Méndez and her parents helped end segregated education almost 10 years before Brown v. Board of Education. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1zgX6rK

23     First Day of Holi (Hinduism). Holi is a spring festival of colors, which can last anywhere from 1 to 16 days, depending on where it is celebrated.

Holi, 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

24     Purim begins at sunset on 3/23 (Judaism). Purim celebrates the defeat of a plot to exterminate Jews living in Persia.

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

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

24     David Takayoshi Suzuki, scientist, broadcaster and environmentalist, born (1936). Suzuki, an award-winning professor of genetics, has written 52 academic and popular books, and has produced numerous radio and TV programs to raise public awareness of science. In addition to public advocacy for the environment, he co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation, which works for nature conservation and sustainability.

Heroes of the Environment, Harriet Rohmer. Twelve true stories of people across North America doing things to help the environment. 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/ufsBfz

27     Easter (Christianity) Western. 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), 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

28     Clara Lemlich, labor, suffrage, and consumer activist, born (1886-1982). Lemlich was a leader in the 1909 Uprising of 20,000, a strike by shirtwaist workers, which won union contracts at most New York garment factories. She was also active in the suffrage movement because she saw the connection between women’s working conditions and the right to vote. Throughout her life, Lemlich continued her involvement in struggles for economic and social justice. 

Brave Girl, Michelle Markel. This is the story of Clara Lemlich, an immigrant who traveled to America with her family and became an organizer against horrific conditions of garment factory workers.  Clara leads a general citywide strike, which begins the largest walkout of women’s workers in United States history. (E) http://bit.ly/1B78ZQu 

Exploring Women’s Rights: The 1908 Textile Strike in a 1st-grade Class, by Dale Weiss.  A teacher’s reflections about a curriculum unit on women’s rights contextualizes the history of the feminist movement within the broader struggle of people working for greater equality in the United States. (E) http://bit.ly/1C0VeDV

30     40th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day. In addition to curfews and restrictions on political activity, Palestinians living in Israel were subject to the government’s policies on land expropriation. When a plan to confiscate approximately 60 square kilometers of privately owned Arab land and expand Jewish settlement in Galilee was announced, Palestinians organized a general strike and public demonstrations, the first widespread act of civil disobedience since 1948. 

A Little Piece of Ground, 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

31     César Chávez Day. César Chávez Day celebrates the birthday of César Chávez, an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist. Chávez also co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later known as United Farm Workers of America), which achieved unprecedented gains for farm workers.

Viva La Causa: The Story of César Chávez and a Great Movement for Social Justice, 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. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/ffoc4E


1     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 on how to prevent sexual violence.

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

Tough Guise. Tough Guise is aimed at a general student audience to analyze masculinity as a social construction, performance or role; in short, a tough guise. The film links violence to the construction of masculinity around domination and violence. (H) http://bit.ly/1fbU4yc

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. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/UeG6hD

NO! Confronting Sexual Assault in Our Communities. This documentary explores the impact of sexual violence on Black women and girls. As incidents of violence and sexual assault increase in number, this film can be used to support both women and men, as they learn to navigate the challenging terrain of sexuality–without violence. 2nd link is to a facilitator’s guide to the film. (H) http://bit.ly/filmNO AND  http://bit.ly/guideno

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.

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/HMZE9L

Hip Hop and the Classics for the Classroom, 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. (M, H) http://bit.ly/arzHBR

1     Swaminarayan Jayanti (Hinduism). Swaminarayan Jayanti is the birthday of Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan tradition.

The Story of India: Tracking Early Hinduism, PBS.org. In this lesson for the middle to high school level, students explore the foundation of Hinduism by examining the ancient texts that defined it and learning about the major deities. Then students create a scrapbook of images and texts, which represents their journey of learning. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1cqVvVc

1     70th anniversary of the Bituminous Coal Strike. 1945 and 1946 saw nearly 10,000 strikes involving more than 9 million workers. 400,000 members of the United Mine Workers of America struck for better wages, benefits and safety regulations. They were eventually joined by railroad workers, which effectively brought the country’s economy to a halt, prompting President Truman to offer a compromise that met most of the workers’ demands.

Harlan County, USA, Barbara Kopple. This Oscar-winning documentary about the coal miners’ strike uses archival footage, Appalachian coal mining songs and intimate footage from the picket lines and union meeting rooms to give voice to the miners and their wives, who stood up against the owners and violent scabs. (M, H) http://bit.ly/LhcHxg

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

Critical Condition and other films about healthcare. Films about healthcare from P.O.V. and Media That Matters. (H) http://to.pbs.org/sGen3S

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, 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. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/eSKw

10   150th anniversary of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere, the ASPCA’s mission is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The organization works to pass humane laws, rescue animals and share resources.

“10 Best Things We Can Do For Animals,” YES! Magazine. A colorful poster illustrating Jane Goodall’s list of simple ways people can help animals. (E, M) http://bit.ly/gqBP5v

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

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

Countdown to Vaisakhi, by Navjot Kaur. A teacher’s guide for recognizing Vaisakhi in schools. (E, M, TR) http://bit.ly/WwPDDl

A Lion’s Mane, Navjot Kaur. A Lion’s Mane is a picture book that helps young readers journey to cultures around the world to explore the meaning of the dastaar, the Sikh turban. The second link is to a teacher’s guide for the book. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1fbUwfZ Teacher’s Guide: http://bit.ly/V1oNlK

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

Resources for Educators, The Sikh Coalition. Resources for all grade levels on how to teach about Sikhism. If you live in the Bay Area, Washington DC Metro Area, New York or New Jersey and want someone to deliver a Sikhism presentation in your school, please contact education@sikhcoalition.org. http://bit.ly/1edL3DS (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1edL3DS

14     30th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Libya. Because the Libyan government opposed Israel, was allied with the USSR and was potentially developing nuclear arms, President Reagan considered it an enemy. Following the bombing of a West Berlin night club by Libyan terrorists, which killed three people, including one U.S. serviceman, Reagan felt justified in bombing Libya. Regarded by some as an incident of international terrorism, the U.S. airstrikes killed approximately 100 people.

A People’s History of American Empire, Howard Zinn, Paul Buhle and Mike Konopacki. This is a general source for discussing the century-long history of US imperialist actions in the world. (M, H) http://bit.ly/ih2QiV

15     Rama Navami (Hinduism). Rama Navami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama or the marriage of Rama and Sita.

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

17     National Day of Silence. This student-led day of action was created to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying. On this day, students take a vow of silence to symbolize the silencing that results from bullying.

Day of Silence Website. This site includes information about the day’s history as well FAQs, reproducible materials, an organizing manual for students and more. (M, H) http://bit.ly/3SF54f 

The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project operates a nationwide crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves lives through its free and confidential helpline, its website and its educational services. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1cpnJMB

18     The 110th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake.
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed local public records, and thus provided many Chinese people the opportunity to circumvent the Chinese Exclusion Act and obtain U.S. citizenship by claiming the original documents were lost. Fathers could then obtain citizenship papers for their children born in China – papers that were sometimes sold to boys who became their “paper sons.”

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, PBS curriculum and documentary. This documentary describes the ways the first arrivals from China in the 1840s, their descendants and recent immigrants have “become American.” Facing History offers a teaching unit to accompany the film. (E, M, TR) http://to.pbs.org/MQcxL

21     50th anniversary of the Mattachine Society Sip-In. To protest the New York Liquor Authority’s regulation against serving gay patrons, members of the Mattachine Society, a gay rights group, entered the Julius Bar in Greenwich Village, announced their sexual orientation, placed an order and were denied service. They sued the City, which led the NYC Commission on Human Rights to declare that homosexuals have the right to be served.

“A Life Lived on the Front Line of the Gay Rights Battle,” Randy Wicker, Dallas Voice. In this article, Wicker discusses his experiences growing up as a homosexual, being a gay activist with the New York Mattachine Society, and a writer. A photograph of him in the public demonstration for gay rights at the Army Induction Center is also included. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/19vHxDD

22     Hanuman Jayanti (Hinduism). Hanuman Jayanti commemorates the birth of Hanuman, the Vanara god.

Hanuman Jayanti. This is a religious website that tells the story of the life of Hanuman Jayanti. Illustrations are provided; links to other festival and related topics are also available. (M, H) http://bit.ly/KntMvy

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

Environmental Protection Activities and Online Games, 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. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/13D4Xxt

Race, Poverty and the Environment. This journal links issues of racism and poverty with environmental justice. Some recent resources can be downloaded at no cost; older resources require a purchase. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/rtuLVm

I’m Not Too Little to Help the Earth, 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) http://bit.ly/u3Nh1k

23     First day of Passover, begins at sunset on 4/22 (Judaism). Passover is an 8-day festival that commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

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

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.

Teacher’s Guide for Cobblestone Armenian Americans, Lucine Kasbarian. This teacher and classroom guide provides lessons about the Armenian genocide, genocide denial, social justice, ethnic preservation and ethnic identity. This guide accompanies the May 2000 edition of Cobblestone children’s magazine. (E, M, H) Teacher’s guide: http://bit.ly/1cX8ZZM

Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians. This resource provides students with the latest scholarship on the genocide. (H) http://bit.ly/18ZZ9Uk

Confronting Genocide: Never Again?, The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that examines how the U.S. 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

24     20th anniversary of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Congress and President Clinton joined to pass the law, which limits habeas corpus petitions, thereby expediting the execution of people on death row. The law also requires that noncitizens be detained even for minor crimes. Later that same year, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act expanded the offenses for which noncitizens must be detained. 

A Matter of Life and Death, Amnesty International. A Matter of Life and Death is a collection of lessons, assembly topics and films for students to explore the issues surrounding the use of the death penalty, one of Amnesty International’s primary areas of concern. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1dQdsOg

26     30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The explosion and fire at Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident, killed 31 people directly and caused thousands more to suffer from radiation burns, sickness, cancer and deformities. Soviet authorities attempted a cover-up, but acknowledged the accident after abnormally high radiation levels were detected at Swedish monitoring stations.

Peace Education, The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This site houses three free units about the impact and issues surrounding nuclear weapons. Includes: Concepts about Conflict; Chernobyl; Famous Whistleblowers; Pressure Groups, among others. Students are able 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://bit.ly/WyMKUE

29     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 Vanishing Rainforests. The lesson uses math to discuss the importance of rainforests and how we can analyze their health. (M) http://bit.ly/dAVhfr

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


1     First day of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month is a month designated to celebrate the history, traditions and culture of Asian-Pacific Americans.

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

Ancestors in the Americas, Loni Ding, PBS. This series and companion website provide stories, timelines and historical resources helpful in teaching about the experiences of Asian Americans. (M, H) 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, TR) http://bit.ly/8YgL2J

1      International Worker’s 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 workday, killing several demonstrators. 

3PLUS-U. This UN Cyberschoolbus site provides an interactive experience for students to learn about labor rights. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/so5iaC

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

1     First Day of National Bike Month. National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the many reasons people ride bicycles including to preserve 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, Transportation Alternatives. This website offers a guide for helping youth to start bicycle recycling programs based on the successful NYC Recycle-a-Bicycle program. Includes curricula and resources. (H) http://bit.ly/cC94Dh

1     60th anniversary of the official discovery of Minamata disease. The Chisso chemical factory, which was central to the local economy, began releasing methylmercury into Japan’s Minamata Bay in 1932. Soon thereafter, animals and people became ill and died from what was later found to be mercury poisoning. Though Chisso has paid “sympathy money” to more than 10,000 people, activists continue to struggle with the company and the government for full compensation and recognition of wrongdoing.

Hazardous Chemicals in Your Neighborhood, PBS. This science lesson helps students investigate how chemicals negatively affect neighborhoods. The lesson includes role-playing ideas and links to the EPA. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/1v9qfVX

1     10th anniversary of the Day Without an Immigrant. Part of the 2006 protests against restrictive immigration reform, the purpose of the Great American Boycott was to demonstrate the value of the labor of undocumented immigrants and to demand full rights and legalization programs. On this day, supporters in cities across the US refrained from going to work or school and from making any purchases.

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

1     150th anniversary of the Memphis Riots. After the attempted arrest of a Black ex-soldier by a White police officer, violence erupted. The first victims of White rioters were Black soldiers, but they soon began to attack Black homes, schools and churches. Reports of the riot helped Republicans gain support for Reconstruction policies and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

We Charge Genocide Again! New Curriculum on Every 28 Hours Report, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. This companion curriculum for “Operation Ghetto Storm: Report on the 2012 Extrajudicial Killings of Black People,” provides discussion and writing prompts, photographs, statistics and essential questions designed to engage students in critical thinking and analysis of the extrajudicial killing of Black people. (TR) http://bit.ly/1oKmayW

3     National Teacher Day. Celebrate National Teacher Day by re-asserting what you believe to be the best interests of teachers and students. Link up with like-minded educators to take action inside and outside 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 local communities. Teachers can look for a local group or find a local cause and get involved. (TR) http://bit.ly/ihT9QP

Class Action: An Activist Teacher’s Handbook. Published by Jacobin Magazine, this booklet targets those engaged in struggle, and is intended to be used for tabling and flyering, providing fuel for reading groups and public debate. The book is written by current or former educators throughout the U.S., and aims to show not just the perniciousness of budget cuts, but their connection to a broader corporate offensive on our communities. (TR) http://bit.ly/1jGlv4t

3     World Press Freedom Day. World Press Freedom Day highlights the importance of a free press to society.

Censorship in the Classroom: Understanding Controversial Issues, by Beth O’Connor, International Literacy Association. This high school unit plan, students examine propaganda and media bias and explore banned books. Following the research, students choose a side of the censorship issue and support their position. (TR) http://bit.ly/1FZhuUa

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, 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 profit from the Latino consumer market while perpetuating negative stereotypes about Latinos and Latinas. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/rryYIN

“Rethinking Cinco de Mayo,”  Sudie Hofmann, Zinn Education Project. In this article, Hofmann critiques a stereotypical Mexican American event meant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Readers will find information about the history of Cinco de Mayo and how it is celebrated in the US, art depicting the events of the Battle of Puebla Day and reactions from Chicana/o students. Links to related materials are provided. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/13VTKtX

5     Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sunset on 5/4.

One Survivor Remembers. 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, H, TR) http://bit.ly/17OwOL

A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust: Victims, Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida. This site provides information about the victims of Nazi genocidal policy, including Jews, homosexuals and people with disabilities, among many others. Additional resources include lesson plans, interactive quizzes, discussion questions and more. (TR)http://bit.ly/17UOMEN

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, 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 perspectives on beauty and body image changed over time? (H) http://bit.ly/dVObJ0

8     Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is an annual American holiday that celebrates mothers, motherhood and the influence of mothers in society. Mother’s Day has also been adopted by other countries and cultures.

“Mother’s Day Proclamation-1870,” Julia Ward Howe. Poem by Julia Ward Howe urging women from around the world to organize to resolve conflicts peacefully. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/eT5sy

9     Beginning of National Children’s Book Week. National Children’s Book Week, which began in 1919, is dedicated to celebrating children’s literature. It is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the U.S.

Using Picture Books to Explore Identity, Stereotyping and Discrimination, Loraine Woodard. In this unit, students explore three picture books to better understand, discuss and devise actions regarding identity, stereotyping and discrimination. (E, M) http://bit.ly/b3u2eC

6 Elements of Social Justice Education: Children’s Literature Blog. This site features an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. Summaries, links to purchasing sites, activity ideas and additional resources for each book are provided. Books are organized in accordance with the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum design  (Picower, 2012). (TR)http://bit.ly/1zblzMi

17     International Day Against Homophobia,Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT). IDAHO aims to coordinate international events to promote respect for lesbians, gays and transgendered people worldwide.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) Website. Resources about LGBT injustices all around the world and ways to contribute to campaigns fighting for LGBT justice. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/5Oazc

I Am Jazz, Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. Based on a true story, this children’s book is about a little girl who is trapped inside a boy’s body. It describes the struggles and obstacles she faces and how her life changes after she visits the doctor and is told she is transgender. 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/1vjqZrG

Beyond Tolerance: A Resource Guide for Addressing LGBTQI Issues in Schools, 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

18     120th Anniversary of Plessy v. Ferguson Decision. In a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that state laws based on the principle of “separate but equal” were constitutional. Not only did this give states the power to racially segregate public facilities, it also empowered them to continue and strengthen a wide range of Jim Crow policies and practices. Legal segregation would persist until the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

History Now: Plessy vs. Ferguson. People who commit crimes are often thought to be “bad” people or people who engage in destructive behavior. This lesson looks at two crimes, one of them Plessy’s act of defiance, in order to underscore the complexities that may influence the decision to break a law. Free registration for K-12 teachers and students. (E) http://bit.ly/JW3h7A

20     Vesak (Buddhism). Vesak, also known as Wesak or Vesakha, is a celebration that commemorates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, death, and his passing into nirvana. The exact date of Vesākha varies according to the various lunar calendars used in different traditions.

Wesak, by Open-Sez-Me Books. Information and activities to recognize Wesak or Vesakha and learn more about Buddhism. (E) http://bit.ly/1rCkLCl

Celebrations: Wesak, Anita Ganeri. This children’s book, part of the Celebrations series, explores the history behind Wesak and how it is celebrated today with special foods, clothing, songs and rituals. (E) http://amzn.to/VAg7CL

25     African Liberation Day. African Freedom Day was first established in 1958 after African leaders and political activists gathered at the first Pan-African conference held on African soil. It was renamed Africa Liberation Day after the formation of Organization of African Unity in 1963.

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. (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 reviews of children’s books about Africa, bibliographies for specific research topics related to Africa, and awards for the best children’s books on Africa published in the US. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/K1g9m

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

“How Big is Africa Poster,” 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

Online Resources from the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A very rich list of links to resources for teaching a variety of topics about Africa for all grade levels. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oj0DgL

30     Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day to remember and pay tribute to those who have died while serving in the U.S. 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://www.projectyano.org/


1     First day of Caribbean American Heritage Month. Caribbean American Heritage Month is a month designated to celebrate the history, traditions and culture of Caribbean Americans.

Caribbean Connections Series, Teaching for Change. Teaching for Change has developed this six-book series, which brings the Caribbean experience to the classroom. (H) http://bit.ly/16GLJyb

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. The month is also intended as a platform for advocating equal justice and opportunity for LGBT Americans.

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Curriculum. The website features tools and resources for teaching about gay issues, for addressing homophobia and for supporting students to start Gay/Straight Alliances. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/YWvaMw 

Sylvia Rivera Law Project. This website offers several training and reference materials to teach about discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9a4k7r 

The Safe Schools Coalition. A wealth of resources for educators on supporting LGBT youth and creating safer school environments. Explore the entire site, or use the link for specific resources on coming out. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/9FQkmx

Speak Up at School, 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

3     100th Anniversary of the Minnesota Iron Range Strike. In all, approximately 15,000 immigrant workers walked off the job at the northeastern Minnesota iron ranges to protest ethnic discrimination, dangerous working conditions, long workdays and contract, as opposed to hourly, wages. They received support from the International Workers of the World (IWW) as they battled intimidation by management. The strike ended the week of September 17, 1916, with the miners winning some of their demands.

For the Win, Cory Doctorow. For the Win introduces the reader to the global economy and the history of organizing, with a focus on the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The characters in For the Win make a living in virtual gaming all over the world. They connect and organize online (forming the Webblies), and after initial skepticism, persuade the traditional labor unions to join them. (H) http://bit.ly/123xmA6

4      UN Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. 

Children of the Camps: WWII Internment Timeline. This website includes historical documents, pictures, a timeline and detailed information about WWII internment camps. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/tUcc4T

The Palestine Teaching Trunk, Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle. The Palestine Teaching Trunk offers teaching materials for high school teachers to borrow. Each teaching trunk contains lesson plans, posters, artifacts, novels, DVDs and more. The curriculum is also available online to download. (TR) http://bit.ly/1fcJ1Cp

4     John Hockenberry, journalist, author, activist, born (1956 – ?). Hockenberry is an award-winning journalist and author, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since he was 19. He has reported on important U.S. domestic stories and from conflict zones around the world. He is a prominent figure in the disabilities rights movement and has argued for disability rights at the UN and the White House.

ADAPT. ADAPT is a national grassroots community that organizes disability rights activists. Teach and learn about their struggle to ensure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/tFn5PZ 

Civil Rights and Americans with Disabilities: Early Grades Activity, Teaching Tolerance. A resource and lesson plan that can be used to analyze how individuals and groups in American society have struggled for equal rights, which the principles of American democracy promise. (E) http://bit.ly/J389NK

5     100th anniversary of the formation of the National Woman’s Party. The NWP was formed by Alice Paul and Lacy Burns to fight for women’s suffrage. The organization’s strategy was to gain media attention through the use of militant tactics. Following the passage of the 19th Amendment, the NWP’s efforts focused on the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Who Were the Foremothers of Women’s Equality?, EDSITEment. This lesson asks students to identify the “Foremothers”  – the activists who should be remembered as easily as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. It can be taught on its own or as a part of a larger unit with the EDSITEment lessons Women’s Equality: Changing Attitudes and Beliefs; Voting Rights for Women: Pro- and Anti-Suffrage; and Women’s Suffrage: Why the West First? (H) http://1.usa.gov/16t2SJJ

7     80th anniversary of the Matingon Agreements. Following a series of strikes and sit-ins that saw nearly 1.8 million French workers put down their tools and occupy 8,441 factories, the government convened a meeting between labor and corporate representatives. The result was the Matignon Agreements, which included a 40-hour workweek, increased union rights, collective bargaining rights, wage increases and paid leave.

Labor Matters Lesson Plan, Teaching Tolerance. In recent decades, the right to collective bargaining, ensured by the National Labor Relations Act, has been called into question. This lesson, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, uses primary source documents to help students understand the origins of union goals and tactics in the U.S. (M, H) http://bit.ly/185DPuI

12     World Day Against Child Labor. The World Day Against Child Labor is recognized to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labor.

Kids On Strike!, Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This book tells the story of children who stood up for their rights against powerful company owners. Some strikes led by young people were successful; some were not, but all are a testimony to the strength of mind and spirit of the children who helped build American industry. (E, M) http://bit.ly/rQ198r

12     Shavuot begins at sunset on 6/11 (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 were harvested and brought to the Temple.

A Mountain of Blintzes, 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

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. 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 USA and has written several books about her life with autism. (M, H) http://itsh.bo/bmNqNc

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.

Indentured Servitude and Slavery, 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 faced. (H) http://bit.ly/1pCbpBh

Been Here So Long: Selections from the WPA American Slave Narratives, The New Deal Network. 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, EDSITEment. Lesson about the Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (1847). The book is analyzed both as a work of literature and for its contribution to the abolitionist movement. (H) http://1.usa.gov/hjAWP5

“Rethinkin’ Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation,” 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

19     Father’s Day. Father’s Day is an annual American holiday that celebrates fathers, fatherhood and the influence of fathers in society.

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

20     80th anniversary of the Randolph-Sheppard Act. In the first few decades of the 20th Century, disability rights advocates achieved gains, such as vocational rehabilitation programs and work in the WPA. This law, which established a program for blind people to operate vending stands in federal buildings, was another victory. Today, approximately 2,500 participants nationwide earn an average of almost $50,000 a year.

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

20     World Refugee Day. For many years, several African countries celebrated June 20 as Refugee Day. In 2000, as an expression of solidarity with Africa, which hosts the most refugees, the UN declared June 20 World Refugee Day.

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

24     140th Anniversary of the Published Platform of the Workingmen’s Party. The Workingmen’s Party, the predecessor of the Socialist Labor Party, was formed in Philadelphia by activists from around the US who wanted to “establish a free state founded upon labor.” The party supported strikes and ran candidates for elected office, at one point winning a majority in the Kentucky state legislature.

Birth of a Rank-and-File Organizer, Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Writing activity for students to complete the narrative of women workers striking at a glove-making factory, exploring possible outcomes. (H) http://bit.ly/1BTmt2P

26     International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The International Day in Support of Torture Victims was created by the UN General Assembly in honor of those who have been impacted by torture.

Homeland Guantánamos: The Untold Story of Immigrant Detention in the U.S., Breakthrough. Viewers of the site take on the role of a journalist visiting an immigrant detainee at Guantánamo and can virtually visit the facilities. Other resources available on the site include detainee stories and ways to take action. (M, H) http://bit.ly/WAOiqh

28     50th anniversary of the founding of the National Organization for Women. The National Organization for Women (NOW), founded in 1966, exists to “take action to bring about equality for all women.” Their work focuses on ending gender discrimination, ending violence against women and promoting equality and justice in society.

Women Deserve Equal Pay, National Organization for Women. For full-time, year-round workers, women are paid, on average, only 78 percent of what men are paid; for women of color, the gap is significantly wider. This website includes information and activities to address the pay gap. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1or3Lr4


1     50th anniversary of Medicare going into effect. The first law designed to guarantee adequate medical care to all Americans over the age of 65 was signed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. Compromises in the law resulted in the establishment of fees-for-services principles, which undermined the future of universal health care.

Medicare Reform: For Educators, by NOW with Bill Moyers and Donna DeTommaso-Kleinert, PBS.org. In this high school lesson plan, students will use handouts, fact sheets, and a broadcast of NOW with Bill Moyers on the new Medicare bill to analyze debate ideas for improvement. (H) http://to.pbs.org/1gg7t8o


4     Independence Day.

Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom, 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


4     70th anniversary of Philippine Independence. In the years following World War II, the US and European powers slowly relinquished formal colonial control in many regions. Philippine independence was granted in 1946, but it came with continued US economic and political domination. The Hukbalahap (Huk) insurrection for full independence lasted into the mid-1950s; offshoots of the movement continue the struggle to this day.

Debate: Should the U.S. Annex the Philippines?. Mock debate with multiple perspectives on the role of the United States and its control of the Philippine Islands. (H) http://bit.ly/9NIVqP


5     Eid al-fitr begins at sunset on 7/4 (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, Teachers’ Domain. In this video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, members of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC discuss the religious and spiritual significance of  Eid Al-Fitr. (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. (E, M, H) http://bbc.in/bFTw84

The Arab World in the Classroom: An Introduction to lslam, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. An Introduction to Islam in a 16-page reader-friendly guide, which can be downloaded for free to share with teachers and students. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1teOnG2

Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr: With Prayer, Fasting, and Charity (Holidays Around the World), 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


10     40th anniversary of Seveso Disaster in Italy. An explosion at a northern Italian chemical plant released a thick, toxic white cloud that quickly settled on the town of Seveso, north of Milan. It was the highest exposure to dioxin in a residential population, resulting in ongoing health issues.

Chemicals in the Environment, Sox Sperry at Project Look Sharp. Classroom-ready teacher’s 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