2016-2017 Chronological Resources

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



4     10 year anniversary of the Muttur Massacre in Sri Lanka. One of the most serious crimes committed against humanitarian aid workers in recent history, 17 young workers were found dead, shot at close range. Several investigations and reports conclude that Sri Lankan government security forces were responsible for the murders, in the context of an armed struggle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam, a Tamil armed separatist group. 16 of the 17 workers were Tamil.

No More Tears Sister: Anatomy of Hope and Betrayal, a lesson plan by PBS. This lesson plan is designed to be used in conjunction with No More Tears, a 52-minute documentary that recreates the struggles of human rights activist Dr. Rajani Thiranagama, who remained in her war-torn homeland of Sri Lanka to expose human rights violations. Includes video clips related to the ethnic conflict, and asks students to identify and explain factors that contributed to ethnic tensions and conflicts in Sri Lanka. (H) http://to.pbs.org/1WbJtGw

6     Inez Milholland Boissevain, lawyer and suffragist, born (1886-1916). Widely remembered for her role in leading the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade on horseback, Milholland served as a powerful image, representing the “New Woman” for a younger generation of women working for women’s equality.

Women’s Suffrage, by 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 to the Constitution was passed, securing women’s right to vote. (M, H) http://bit.ly/15a89ks

6     Hiroshima Day. This annual observance is held to remember the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

WWII: The Pacific, by Marilyn Fenichel, Discovery Education. Students study WWII in depth and engage in analysis and debate on whether the use of nuclear bombs was the best way to end the war. (H) http://bit.ly/aiLc06

11     10 year anniversary of the Guimaras oil spill. An oil tanker sank off the coast of Guimaras and Negros islands in the Philippines and caused what is considered the worst oil spill in the Philippines.

Oil Spills & Wildlife, by TeacherVision. These resources will help you teach students about oil as a natural resource and why oil spills can be earth-altering accidents that kill animals, destroy habitats, and damage ecosystems. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1WR9IAg

Heroes of the Environment, by Harriet Rohmer. A summary of the children’s book aimed at educating children on how young people have made a difference in improving the environment in their communities. Ideas for activities and teacher resources are also included. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1lSjLIN

12     340th anniversary of the killing and beheading of Metacom (King Philip). Metacom, called King Philip by the British settlers, was the leader of a confederation of Indigenous peoples in New England. In June 1675, after three Wampanoag warriors were executed for murder by Plymouth authorities, Metacom led an uprising against the settlers. The fighting lasted more than a year, during which more than 3,000 Indigenous people and 600 colonists were killed. On August 12, Metacom was killed and then beheaded and quartered by the settlers.

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Acclaimed historian and activist, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples, and reveals how Native Americans actively resisted expansion of the US empire for centuries. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oP3XIZ

12     40th anniversary of the Tel al-Zaatar massacre. During the Lebanese Civil War, Tel al-Zaatar, a Palestinian refugee camp located in Beirut, housing approximately 50,000-60,000 refugees, was attacked by Christian militias, destroying the camp and killing and injuring thousands. The camp was under siege for several months, and finally fell on August 12, 1976.

Lahza, a photography project by Zakira. Initiated by Ramzi Haidar and launched by ZAKIRA in 2007, “Lahza” (“Glimpse” in Arabic) is a project that brings together photographers, journalists, artists and volunteers from various walks of life, along with the children of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Visitors to this site can view photographs taken by the children themselves in the camps. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1LNE7cO

13     50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in China. The Cultural Revolution was initiated by Chinese Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong, during his last decade in power (1966-1976) in an effort to renew the spirit of the Chinese Revolution. Urban youth, known as Red Guards, were mobilized, targeting intellectuals, artists, the elderly and Mao’s political rivals. The Cultural Revolution had serious adverse effects on China, including political instability and economic uncertainty.

Red Land, Yellow River, by Ange Zhang. When Mao’s Cultural Revolution took hold in China in June 1966, Ange Zhang was thirteen years old. His father was a famous writer. Shortly after the revolution began, many of Ange’s classmates joined the Red Guard, Mao’s youth movement, and they drove their teachers out of the classrooms. This dramatic, painful autobiographical story is complemented by photographs, many drawn from Ange’s personal collection, as well as a non-fiction section that explains the historical period. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1pejDWe

China and Revolution: History, Parody and Memory in Contemporary Art. Online gallery of an exhibition titled, “China and Revolution: History, Parody and Memory in Contemporary Art,” examines the relationship between poster art made during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) from 1966 to 1976 and the work of contemporary artists who respond to the events of that period. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1pfYVVO

13     110th anniversary of the Brownsville (TX) Raid. The murder of a bartender and shooting of a police officer, allegedly by Black troops stationed at Fort Brown in Brownsville, Texas, resulted in the dishonorable discharge without court martial of 167 men by President Theodore Roosevelt, despite their White commanders’ insistence that they were not involved. Many of the soldiers had served more than 20 years and were veterans of the Spanish-American War. All lost their pensions.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: The Brownsville Affair, by Richard Wormser, PBS.org. This section of the “Jim Crow Stories” on PBS.org provides readers with a brief background of the Brownsville raid. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1XrUTVi

15     60th anniversary of the establishment of the National Transsexual Counseling Unit. Compton’s Cafeteria, in San Francisco, was one of the few places where transgender people could gather without being harassed. In August 1966, police were called when the crowd became rowdy. A riot broke out, resulting in arrests and property damage. In response, the National Transsexual Counseling Unit was established – the first peer-run support and advocacy organization of its kind in the world.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin. A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens. Author and photographer, Susan Kuklin, met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults, and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1KUmT2y

Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality, by Rethinking Schools. A collection of inspiring stories about how to integrate feminist and LGBTQ content into the curriculum, make it part of a vision for social justice, and create classrooms and schools that nurture all children and their families. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1U8zsdF

15     140th anniversary of the passage of the Cruelty to Animals Act in the UK. The Cruelty to Animals Act regulated the treatment of live animals in scientific research. The Act stated that researchers would be prosecuted for cruelty if their research inflicted pain on the animals, without being essential to prolong or save human lives. It was the world’s first such legislation.

Testing Cosmetics and Household Products on Animals, by PETA. Information from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about the realities of animal testing and alternatives to it, including a “Cruelty Free Shopping Guide.” (M, H) http://bit.ly/axbwyw

The Camel in the Sun, by Griffin Ondaatje. Inspired by a retelling of a traditional Muslim hadith, this is the story of a camel whose cruel owner only realizes what suffering he has caused when the Prophet appears and shows love to the animal. (E) http://bit.ly/1LRpzOP (TR) Educator guide at http://bit.ly/1R7EIOm

22     20th anniversary of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). PRWORA is considered to be one of the largest acts of welfare reform in the United States in modern history. It replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. It ended welfare as an entitlement program, increased work requirements, placed a lifetime limit of five years on benefits paid by federal funds, penalized non-traditional families, enhanced enforcement of child support, and prevented undocumented immigrants from obtaining state professional and occupational licenses.

Living Algebra, Living Wage: 8th Graders Learn Some Real-World Math Lessons, by Jana Dean. Chapter 9 from the book, Rethinking Mathematics. Set of activities to engage students in using math to explore the minimum wage, CEO pay, wealth inequality, and more. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1MqAEH9

23     International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition. This date honors the 1791 slave rebellion in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic), an uprising that would play a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. 

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database and Lesson Plans, by Voyages. In order to present the transatlantic slave trade database to a broader audience, particularly a grade 6-12 audience, a dedicated team of teachers and curriculum developers from around the United States developed lesson plans that explore the database. These lessons allow students to engage the history and legacy of the Atlantic slave trade in diverse and meaningful ways. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1SlotMh

24     50th anniversary of the passage of the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal Welfare Act requires minimum standards of care for animals. While it has undergone multiple revisions, it remains the only federal law that mandates the humane treatment of animals in research, transport, exhibition and sale.

Alien in the Ethical Universe, by Institute for Humane Education. In these lesson plans, participants receive a visit from a traveling alien on a fact-finding mission to learn how Earth beings treat each other. Answering the alien’s questions reveals the inconsistencies in how society encourages us to treat others, and prompts students to think critically about their choices. (E) http://bit.ly/25VS5FV

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

25     100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The first National Park, Yellowstone, was created in 1872. More than 30 parks and monuments existed before President Woodrow Wilson signed the ‘Organic Act,’ which brought together the management of these and future areas under the Department of the Interior. The parks and monuments celebrate and preserve both natural wonders and significant historic sites.

The National Park Services Teaching Resources. Lesson plans and student activities in history, science, and math, related to our national parks. Can be searched by topic, grade level, content area, and more. (E, M, H) http://1.usa.gov/1Wb4fnz

The National Park Services Traveling Trunks. Educational materials from a park that can be sent right to your classroom for loan. (E) http://1.usa.gov/1Rm8qh1

25     Eglantyne Jebb, co-founder of the Save the Children Fund, born (1876-1928). Jebb, a British woman, first gained notoriety when she was arrested for protesting the blockade against Russia following WWI in which she emphasized the adverse impact on the starving children of Russia. She would go on to co-found Save the Children Fund and author the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924.

I Have the Right to be a Child. This picture book introduces the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It takes the key articles of the Convention and translates them into language children can relate to with full-page artwork, offering ways for teachers to open discussions about our rights. Topics include food and water, healthcare, housing, gender, the environment, race, education, poverty, disability, citizenship, family, war and freedom of speech. (E) http://bit.ly/1QO5J9r

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

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

30     60th anniversary of the presentation of “The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual.” Evelyn Hooker, American Psychologist, presented the findings of her study on American homosexual and heterosexual males at the American Psychological Conference in Chicago. Her research found that homosexuality is not a clinical diagnosis. Furthermore, she found that homosexual and heterosexual males are not significantly different. This changed clinical views on homosexuality, which had previously considered homosexuality a mental illness.

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens, by Kelly Huegel and Free Press Publishing. When it was first published in 2003, GLBTQ quickly became the indispensable resource for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens. This fully revised and updated edition retains all of the straightforward information and practical advice of the original edition while providing a contemporary look at society and its growing acceptance of people who are GLBTQ. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1QjLw4Q

This Day in June, by Gayle E. Pitman. An easy-to-read picture book about a Pride parade. Each page features illustrated examples of what one might see at a Pride parade: “banners swaying, children playing, fancy dresses, flowing tresses, all invited, all excited.” The end pages provide detailed descriptions for a parent or teacher on the significance of the traditions featured throughout the book. There are also guidelines for talking with young children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways. (E) http://bit.ly/1LrNNcO


1     20th anniversary of the launch of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Named after the civil rights leader, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights has worked on campaigns for racial and economic justice and opportunity since its founding as a non-profit strategy and action center.

Human Rights and Service-Learning: Lesson Plans and Projects, by Kristine Belisle and Elizabeth Sullivan, Amnesty International-USA and Human Rights Education Associates (HREA). The manual contains lessons and service-learning projects. The lesson plans are divided into five human rights topic areas: environment, poverty, discrimination, children’s rights to education and health, and law and justice. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1qEXrVJ

Ella Baker & the Black Freedom Movement, by Barbara Ransby. Site features a multitude of resources pertaining to the life of Ella Baker and an array of social justice projects. The site also includes a database of social justice events in several different categories. (H) http://bit.ly/SfYDqJ http://unc.live/1qkriCg 

Guide to Humanizing Schooling, by Detroit Future Schools. This guide includes tools, best practices and step-by-step curriculum planning exercises for educators who have a vision for transforming their classrooms.  (E, M, H, TR). http://bit.ly/1SyA0Ur

    Elaine Black Yoneda, Communist labor organizer, born (1906-1988). Known as “the Red Angel,” Yoneda was a radical labor activist who worked for free day care and equal pay for equal work for women. In 1942, Yoneda, a White woman, insisted on being confined with her Japanese American husband and son at Manzanar internment camp so that her family could stay together.

Elaine Black Yoneda Oral History, by the California Historical Society. Sound recording of Lucille Kendall’s 1976-1977 interview with radical activist, Elaine Black Yoneda. The interview documents Yoneda’s activism with the International Labor Defense, International Longshoremen’s Association’s Defense Committee, Communist party, and various other labor and civil rights movements in California. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1U5QWWU

7     30th anniversary of the installment of Desmond Tutu as the first Black Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. Tutu was an outspoken opponent of apartheid, both in South Africa and abroad, beginning prior to his appointment as Archbishop of Cape Town. He was appointed chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the fall of apartheid, and has continued to campaign against many issues including poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia since his retirement as Archbishop in 1996.

Tutu and Franklin: A Journey Towards Peace. This is a VHS documentary, which is accompanied by a Study Guide. The film is about Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Tutu, and the recently passed historian and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Dr. John Hope Franklin. Set in a former slave port off the coast of Senegal in West Africa, the two discover surprising truths about their personal histories and their nations’ struggles for racial peace. They are joined in these conversations by an international, interracial group of 21 teenagers. This PBS site includes a teacher’s guide. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/Keum86

Desmond and the Very Mean Word, by Desmond Tutu and illustrated by AG Ford.  When Desmond takes his new bicycle out for a ride through his neighborhood, his pride and joy turn to hurt and anger when a group of boys shout a very mean word at him. He first responds by shouting an insult, but soon discovers that fighting back with mean words doesn’t make him feel any better. With the help of kindly Father Trevor, Desmond comes to understand his conflicted feelings and see that all people deserve compassion, whether or not they say they are sorry. (E)http://bit.ly/247ZsJi

8     International Literacy Day. International Literacy Day gives children and communities a chance to rediscover the joys of reading while raising awareness about those without access to education.

Why Did This Happen? Content Perspective, Dialogue: A Workshop Model for Developing Young People’s Reflective Writing, by Susan Wilcox, Ed.D. This curriculum from The Brotherhood/Sister Sol helps young people engage in critical inquiry, develop a love of learning and transform their lives.  (TR) http://bit.ly/sJmlpi

10     70th anniversary of Mother Teresa receiving “the call” to leave the convent life and help the poor. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Macedonia, the Roman Catholic missionary, Mother Teresa, began work in the slums of Calcutta in 1948 following the call to “help the poor by living among them.” She later became an Indian citizen.

Mother Teresa, by Demi. This informative and eloquent biography highlights the key moments in the life of the diminutive but determined nun. (E) http://amzn.to/1on8WAr

11     110th anniversary of Gandhi’s coining the term satyagraha. The term satyagraha, which translates from Sanskrit and Hindi to “holding onto truth,” was first used by Mahatma Gandhi to describe a determined, but nonviolent. effort to resist oppression or evil. The concept was critical in the Indian fight against British imperialism, as well the movement to end apartheid in South Africa and the US civil rights movement.

Non-Violent Resistance (Satyagraha), by M.K. Gandhi. This volume focuses on Gandhi’s vision of satyagraha, whereby one appeals to reason and conscience and puts an end to evil by converting the evil-doer. The book begins with an explanation of satyagraha and proceeds with detailed discussions of the self-training and courage necessary to achieve it. (H, TR) http://amzn.to/1SQMT1I 

13     Eid al-Adha begins at sunset 9/12 (Islam). Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

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

The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta, by Fatima Sharafeddine. In 1325, when Ibn Battuta was just twenty-one, he bid farewell to his parents in Tangier, Morocco, and embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca. It was thirty years before he returned home, having seen much of the world. In this book he recalls his amazing journey and the fascinating people, cultures and places he encountered. (E)http://bit.ly/1SzOHet

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, by Teaching Tolerance. A compilation of essays, lessons, videos and activities to help students gain a deeper understanding of past and present struggles for Latino civil rights. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1kHi3b3

The Girl from Chimel, by Rigoberta Menchu and Dante Liano. Before the 36-year war in Guatemala, despite the hardships the Maya people had endured since the time of the Conquest, life in their highland villages had a beauty and integrity that were changed forever by the conflict and brutal genocide that were to come. Menchu’s stories of her grandparents and parents, of the natural world that surrounded her as a young girl, and her retelling of the stories that she was told, present a rich, humorous and engaging picture of that lost world. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1QM9abk

Latino American/Chicano Studies, by PBS Teachers. This site offers lesson plans, activity ideas, and media resources on the topics concerning Latino American/Chicano studies such as culture, immigration and civil and human rights. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1NlEnRc

Chicanos Have Math in Their Blood: Pre-Colombian Mathematics, by Luis Ortiz-Franco. Chapter 11 from Rethinking Mathematics. Background and recommendations for teachers for engaging students in exploring the Mesoamerican number system and the mathematical, intellectual contributions of Chicanos. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oSojAb

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

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

15     400th anniversary of the opening of the first public and free school in Europe. The Spanish priest, Joseph Calasanz, started the first public school, free to low-income children, in the town of Frascati, Italy. Calasanz went on to found the Pious Schools, which explicitly sought to abolish the tradition of educating only the wealthy, offering access to education for all.

Grounded in Community: The Fight for the Soul of Public Education. Chapter 2 of When We Fight, We Win! Longtime social activist, Greg Jobin-Leeds, joins forces with AgitArte, a collective of artists and organizers, to capture the stories, philosophy, tactics, and art of today’s leading social change movements. When We Fight, We Win! weaves together interviews with today’s most successful activists and artists from across the country and beyond. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Xljlrk

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

El Grito: A Lesson Plan, by 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

17     Mary Burnett Talbert, American orator, activist, suffragist and reformer, born (1866-1923). Called “the best known Colored woman in the United States,” Talbert spoke out through lecture tours on anti-racism and women’s suffrage. She helped launch the civil rights movement in America as a founder of the Niagara Movement, the predecessor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The Niagara Movement: A Declaration of Principles. Engage students in reading the list of principles, beliefs, and demands of the Niagara Movement, which preceded the establishment of the NAACP. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1TLUlM1

17     Matthew Jones, singer, and field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, born (1936-2011). As a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Freedom Singers, Jones wrote and performed songs of freedom and celebrations of civil rights movement leaders, such as “The Ballad of Medgar Evers.” He was arrested 29 times during his time with the movement.

Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs, by Guy and Candie Carawan. This new combined edition of We Shall Overcome and Freedom Is A Constant Struggleweaves together the lead sheets of 115 songs, 135 moving documentary photos, and stirring firsthand accounts. Grouped together in chapters on each of the key stages of the US civil rights movement, they create a stunning vision of this critical moment in world history. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Koz2fW

#BlackLivesMatter Protest Music – 22-Track Mix Tape for the Movement. Hip-Hop artists who have been directly involved in the movement, as well as some Hip-Hop legends and superstars have come out with a steady stream of movement music. This should just be the beginning, with a public challenge put out recently to musicians by Questlove, of The Roots, to make more protest music, “I urge and challenge musicians and artists alike to push themselves to be a voice of the times that we live.” Check out the mix tape of the songs that have come out so far. (M, H)http://bzfd.it/1RRC9wJ

18     20th anniversary of the establishment of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. 1.7 million acres comprise this vast conservation area set aside by President Bill Clinton under the authority of the Antiquities Act.

21     Defense of Marriage Act. This act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. It also gives states the authority to not recognize same sex-marriages from out of state. In 2013, after years of activism and court challenges, the Supreme Court ruled this law to be unconstitutional.

Freedom To Marry. This campaign website provides historic and current information about nationwide efforts to secure equal marriage rights for all couples. Includes ideas for social action. (TR) http://bit.ly/Bc01l

Constitutional Amendments and Gay Marriage: Background, Activities, and Critical Analysis, by Doug DuBrin. In this lesson, the gay marriage debate is used as a means for introducing students to the history and process of amending the US Constitution. (H,TR) http://to.pbs.org/1q2gLIN

22     World Car-free Day. Each year, people around the world organize events to showcase alternatives to the automobile. The day was created in 2000 by Car Busters.

Fueling Our Future, by Facing the Future. Students compare energy use and CO2 emissions in the US and China (and optionally in another country). They research energy impacts and sustainable energy solutions, write a resolution, and stage a mock a “World Energy Summit.” (M, H) http://bit.ly/1YOJyze

25     90th anniversary of the League of Nations Slavery Convention. The League of Nations — the predecessor to the United Nations — created the first international treaty that included concrete rules to prevent slavery and the slave trade. The document defined slavery as, “the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.”

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, by Margarita Engle. A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet. Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. (M) http://bit.ly/1QOeuQB

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence, by Gretchen Woelfle. Everybody knows about the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But the founders weren’t the only ones who believed that everyone had a right to freedom. Mumbet, a Massachusetts slave, believed it too. She longed to be free, but how? Would anyone help her in her fight for freedom? Could she win against her owner, the richest man in town? Mumbet was determined to try. (E) http://bit.ly/1YtEcty

25     First Day of Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982, according to the American Library Association. 

Librotraficante. The Librotraficante Movement’s homepage offers visitors numerous resources, including a list of banned books that reflect Chicano heritage and history, information about underground libraries and lists of events that are occurring during Chicano Heritage Month. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1buJEBN

IndyKids. The Nov/Dec 2008 issue of IndyKids features a piece about an activity a New York library did with its students to celebrate banned books week. Pages 6 & 7. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1BDHEXk

Celebrating the Freedom to Read, by the Banned Books Week Coalition. Information and resources, including links to videos, related to increasing awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read and the movement against book censorship. (TR) http://bit.ly/1Wkfsoc

26     First Day of Ally Week. Ally Week involves a week of activities designed to encourage students to be Allies against anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language, bullying and harassment in America’s schools.

GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit. The NEW Safe Space Kit features the Guide to Being an Ally, which provides concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students, educating about anti-LGBT bias and advocating for changes in your school. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1swLr3q

30     20th anniversary of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). The purpose of this act was to streamline U.S. immigration laws and make them more effective. To this end, it bolstered border control and imposed criminal penalties for activities related to helping undocumented immigrants cross into or remain in the United States. The Act also increased sanctions for undocumented workers and employers who failed to verify immigration status. Finally, the Act provided the Attorney General with authority under the INA to grant “cancellation of removal” to up to 4,000 undocumented immigrants (per year) who met certain criteria.

Teaching about Immigration, a recommended book list by Teaching for Change. Titles recommended for teaching immigration and the immigration experience, with a focus on the United States. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oGhp14

Dos Conejos Blancos/Two White Rabbits, by Jairo Buitrago. In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the US border. (E) http://bit.ly/1SzKxmR

30     50th anniversary of Botswana’s independence from Great Britain. Previously called Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent from Great Britain. At the time of its independence, Botswana had no armed forces. Botswana maintains a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of democratic elections.


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

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. 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, by the 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 introduce students to where their food comes from. Additional similar lessons at teachkind.org (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1qktD0b

1     First day of LGBT History Month/Coming Out Month. LGBT History Month/Coming Out Month celebrates the lives and achievements of LGBTQ 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 school’s approach 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, by Californians for Justice. This workshop helps participants break down the idea of a gender binary, understand the connection between sexism and heterosexism/transphobia, and gain a deeper understanding of transgender issues. The materials are free, but you must register to use www.buildthewheel.org to access them. (H) http://bit.ly/vQguOx

Acting Out: Combating Homophobia Through Teacher Activism, by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, Lauren M. Kenney, and Jill M. Smith. This book chronicles how teachers from urban, suburban and rural districts joined together in a teacher inquiry group to challenge homophobia and heterosexism in schools and classrooms. (TR) http://amzn.to/1m3JQUE

And Tango Makes Three, by 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

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

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

1     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. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1d6a973

1     70th anniversary of the verdict at the Nuremberg Trials. In Nuremberg, Germany, the International Military Tribunal set out to try 23 political and military leaders of the Third Reich beginning November 20,1945. Information revealed and the trials themselves influenced multiple developments in research and international criminal law, including the Nuremberg Code, the Genocide Convention, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Holocaust and Human Behavior, Facing History and Ourselves. Comprehensive set of teaching resources on the Holocaust. As students read and reflect, they investigate the forces that undermined democracy in Germany, betrayed a generation of young people, and ultimately led to the Holocaust. In doing so, students discover that many of those forces threaten our own society today. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1KVlskh

2     Muharram begins at sunset 10/1 (Islam). Muharram is the beginning of the first lunar month of the Islamic calendar.

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

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

3     International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Bumblebees, by Jenna Kanell. Winner of several “best film” awards, this 4-minute video captures a snapshot of the world of a young man with disabilities. Despite being told as a child he would never walk or speak, Vance accomplished what doctors thought was impossible. But now he has a new challenge: dating. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1SXODAJ

10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children’s Books for Ableism, by Chloë Myers and Hank Bersani Jr. Rethinking Schools article supports teachers to notice the omission of persons with disability in children’s literature. This exclusion lessens the likelihood that the histories, experiences or feelings of people with disabilities will be discussed in our classrooms. (TR) http://bit.ly/tBev3J

3     Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on 10/2 (Judaism). Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.

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

5     Vaclav Havel, writer, philosopher, dissident and statesman, born (1936-2011). A celebrated writer and dramatist, Havel challenged the totalitarian nature of the regime in Czechoslovakia and was imprisoned for his activism. In 1989, he became the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic. A prize in his name for Creative Dissent was established by the Human Rights Foundation following his death.

Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World, by the R.F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. A human rights curriculum that uses the experiences of courageous defenders from around the world to educate students and others about human rights, and urge them to take action. Lesson plans and resources on Vaclav Havel are included. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1QHnFMP

5     30th anniversary of 1st World Habitat Day. UN designated day to reflect on and take action about the basic human right to adequate shelter (First Monday of October).

14 Children’s Picture Books About Homelessness, by the Institute for Humane Education. A booklist that offers opportunities to explore homelessness. (E) http://bit.ly/20Yhm25

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 lead to the temporary toppling of the state government. (TR) http://bit.ly/1VkmKcW

6     40th anniversary of the Thammasat University massacre. The Tha Phra Chan campus at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand was the site of this massacre in which the students protesting against the return of exiled military dictator, Thanom Kittikachorn, were attacked, assaulted, and murdered by right-wing activists and police.

Thailand: The “October Movement” and the Transformation to Democracy, by Kittisak Prokati. This chapter of the book, 1968: Memories and Legacies of a Global Revolt, by Philipp Gassert and Martin Kimke discusses the student protest movement and the subsequent social change in Thailand. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Th1M9h

9     80th anniversary of Hoover Dam transmitting electricity to Los Angeles. The construction of Hoover Dam was a major engineering achievement, providing jobs in the depths of the Depression and providing water and power to growing cities in the West. It also had major negative impacts on the environment and on the people of the region.

Napi Funda Un Pueblo/Napi Makes a Village, by Antonio Ramirez. The government is building a dam, forcing the Mazateca people to make a new village for themselves on inhospitable land. Napi recounts what she remembers of this time. The text, in Spanish and English, is written by noted muralist and artist Antonio Ramirez and illustrated by Domi in her well-known brilliant artwork. (E)http://bit.ly/1R7e6H0

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

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

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

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

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

A Coyote Columbus Story, by Thomas King. Thomas King uses a bag of literary tricks to shatter the stereotypes surrounding Columbus’s voyages. He invites children to laugh with him at the crazy antics of Coyote, who unwittingly allows Columbus to bring about the downfall of his human friends. And he makes the point that history is influenced by the culture of the reporter. (E)http://bit.ly/1RyuKQl

11     National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussions about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues.

The Safe Schools Coalition. An incredible wealth of resources for educators for supporting LGTB 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

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

12      Yom Kippur begins at sunset on 10/11 (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, by 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

15     White Cane Day. White Cane Day celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the importance of the white cane as a symbol of independence.

The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination, by Jimmy Liao. The story follows the narrator, a woman who has lost her sight, through her journey around the city. She navigates the subway and the city she knows, with language and descriptions that tap into her imagination, as well as her innermost thoughts and feelings. (E) http://bit.ly/JycaYp

15     50th anniversary of the first Mexican American class taught by Rodolfo Acuña at Mount St. Mary’s College. Noticing the growth of Mexican American students in Los Angeles, powerful movements of Chicano students, and the lack of attention to Mexican American history, Acuña designed and began teaching one of the first Mexican American history courses. He went on to help build Chicano Studies departments and wrote the first Mexican American history textbook, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos.

Precious Knowledge: Ethnic Studies in Arizona, by Ari Luis Palos and Eren Isabel McGinnis. A documentary film about the struggle to keep the Mexican American Studies program at Tucson High School. (E, M, H) http://to.pbs.org/1o0m2n4

15     50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s formation. Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in response to concerns facing the Black community, including unemployment, police brutality, and inferior educational opportunities. The BPP initially formed citizens’ patrols to monitor police brutality in Oakland, CA, and later developed extensive community social programs, such as community health clinics and free breakfasts for children.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, by Stanley Nelson. The first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for Black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Guide for educators included. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1oI7BE6  and http://bit.ly/1ooi5Zk

Black Panther Party Research Project. This academic site is designed to provide information for individuals who want to locate primary and secondary sources about the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the organization co-founded during October 1966 by Bobby Seale and the late Dr. Huey P. Newton in Oakland, California. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Jqmo0n

What We Want, What We Believe’: Teaching with the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program, Teaching Activity, by Wayne Au. This lesson leads students to study the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program to help assess issues in their own communities and to develop Ten Point Programs of their own. (H) http://bit.ly/KbuoS7

15     50th anniversary of first Endangered Species Act. This act authorized the Secretary of the Interior to name native species of fish and wildlife as endangered and to acquire endangered species habitats for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It was the first federal endangered species legislation in the United States. 

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

16     100th anniversary of the first US birth control clinic. Margaret Sanger, considered the founder of Planned Parenthood, opens the first US family planning and birth control clinic in Brooklyn, NY. Sanger was arrested for distributing information about contraception. Her arrest, trial, and appeal sparked birth control activism across the US and had a hand in a 1918 ruling that allowed doctors to prescribe contraception.

SexEd Library, by SIECUS. Easy access to lesson plans, organized by topic, covering sexual and reproductive health, puberty, abstinence, relationships, sexual orientation, body image, self-esteem, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, unintended pregnancy, and more. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1ODP0xL

Elbow Is Not a Sexy Word: Approaches to Sex Education, by Jody Sokolower. From Chapter 3 of Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality, by Rethinking Schools. (TR). http://bit.ly/1P5IlwH

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

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

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

Fresh Food or Fast Food, by IndyKids, May/June 2009. This issue of the progressive newspaper for kids includes a special feature on food justice. There is also a teacher’s guide. Click on the May/June 2009 link and scroll to P.3. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1qeUHJT

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

17     First day of Sukkot, begins at sunset on 10/16 (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, by 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

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

Beyond the “Culture of Poverty”: Resources on Class, Poverty and Equity in Education, by Paul C. Gorski. Handouts on many topics, but several on class, poverty, and equity in education. (TR) http://bit.ly/1VSXDMB

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

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

19      Minoru Yasui, dissident against Japanese internment, born (1916-1986). In 1942, Yasui deliberately violated curfew and travel restrictions imposed on Japanese Americans in order to challenge these restrictions as unconstitutional based on racial discrimination. The Supreme Court declared the curfews constitutional and Yasui was later held in an internment camp. Following internment, Yasui was active in efforts to gain redress for those interned and was an advocate for the Japanese community throughout his life.

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, by Amy Lee-Tai. This children’s book tells the story of a young girl and her family’s experience in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Lee-Tai invites the reader to explore the injustices hundreds of thousands innocent Japanese Americans faced. Teacher resources and ideas for activities are included. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1mdeKuK

A Lesson on the Japanese American Internment, by Mark Sweeting. High school US history teacher describes a teaching activity he uses to teach the about the Internment. (TR)http://bit.ly/KeuN2m

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/1qnwUvy

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, by P.O.V. This is a film that presents three primary 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, by 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

#FergusonSyllabus: Talking and Teaching about Police Violence, by Prison Culture. A tremendous set of activity ideas, lesson plans, and resources for teachers and young people investigating police violence. Includes much integration of the arts and other media. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oV3uV9

Resources on the Ferguson Movement Moment, by Catalyst Project. Organic, linked resources related to teaching and learning Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter. (E, M, H, TR). http://bit.ly/1p8dY3n

Racism and Stop and Frisk, by Kathryn Himmelstein. A math lesson from the book, Rethinking Mathematics, in which students use qualitative and quantitative data to construct arguments about racism and stop and frisk. (H) http://bit.ly/1W9s53q

22     40th anniversary of the enactment of the National Forest Management Act. In response to rampant logging, the NFMA was passed to ensure proper forest management by requiring each national forest and grassland to develop management plans open to public review and comments.

Forestry and Natural Resources Lesson Plans, by Penn State’s Dept. of Ecosystem Science. Educator-generated lessons for K-5 students. (E). http://bit.ly/1QvPfR3

Aani and the Tree Huggers, Classroom Guide by Jeannine Atkins. Collection of activities to be used with Aani and the Tree Huggers, a children’s book about the Chipko Movement in India, in which women and children protected their forests from loggers. (E) http://bit.ly/25YELka Purchase the book here: http://bit.ly/1Xug5Kk

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

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

26     Neil G. Giuliano, former mayor of Tempe, Arizona, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, born (1956). Giuliano became the first directly elected openly gay mayor in the US when he was re-elected as mayor of Tempe, AZ in 1998 after coming out as gay in 1996. He served as President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) from 2005 to 2009 and as CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation from 2010 to 2015.

Acting Out: Combating Homophobia Through Teacher Activism, by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, Lauren M. Kenney, and Jill M. Smith. This book chronicles how teachers from urban, suburban and rural districts joined together in a teacher inquiry group to challenge homophobia and heterosexism in schools and classrooms. (TR) http://amzn.to/1m3JQUE

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.

InterACT, Advocates for Intersex Youth. A rich bibliography of resources, from academic and news articles to human rights rulings and policy statements related to intersex awareness and advocacy. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1KUOkJN

30      20th anniversary of the victory of the ALDF (Animal Legal Defense Fund) in ADLF v Glickman. After Barney the chimpanzee was killed when he tried to escape from isolation and neglect at a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed roadside zoo, the ALDF began a lawsuit against the USDA for failing to protect primates as the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) required. The USDA was found in violation of the AWA and ordered to develop stricter standards for primate safety.

The Nonhuman Rights Project. This organization is working toward legal rights for nonhuman animals. The website includes a blog, a breakdown of state-by-state legal action on behalf of nonhuman animals, and current news stories featuring animals. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/eEsNCS

Amos’s Sweater, by Janet Lunn. Amos the sheep is old and cold and tired of giving up all his wool. But despite his noisy objections, Aunt Hattie shears Amos once again and knits his wool into a brightly colored sweater for Uncle Henry. Poor Amos decides that this time he has had enough — and he sets out to reclaim what is rightfully his. (E) http://bit.ly/1nuzw9i

30     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, by Rachna Gilmore. Author Rachna Gilmore introduces readers to Divali (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

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? by 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,’ by Jorge Rivas, Colorlines. This article tells the story of Ohio University 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, by Global Exchange. This kit lets children help end the exploitation of adults and children working in the cocoa industry and raise awareness of Fair Trade. Trick-or-treaters hand out Fair Trade chocolate 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     490th anniversary of the first documented rebellion of black slaves in the western world. In July 1526, 500 Spaniards and 100 Black slaves established a town near Pee-Dee River in South Carolina. Altercations with Indians in the area resulted in many deaths and the spread of disease. The slaves rebelled, killing some of their masters, and escaped, probably connecting with the nearby Indians. This was the first known time in the Western Hemisphere that Black slaves formally revolted.

From Slave Ship to Freedom Road, by Julius Lester. A picture book aimed at giving older children the history of slavery with the supplementary use of “imagination exercises,” direct questions to the reader, and Lester’s personal commentary to encourage students to critically think about the history of slavery. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1lSpXQX

Slavery and Defiance, by Gayle Olson-Raymer. Teaching with Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 9 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on Black and White resistance to slavery before the Civil War. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/IYQGHD

1     First day of National American Indian Heritage Month. National American Indian Heritage Month recognizes the significant contributions of American Indians.

We Shall Remain: Episode 5 Wounded Knee, by PBS. We Shall Remain is a miniseries and multimedia project on Native history. Episode 5 focuses specifically on the Wounded Knee incident. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/9O6AqP

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

Sky, by Pamela Porter. This moving book, written in the haunting voice of a young child, is based on true stories told to the author by her friend Georgia Salois, a Metis whose people lived with the Blackfeet Nation in Montana.  (E) http://bit.ly/1UfjL2R

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, by 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

Celebrations: Day of the Dead mini-unit. Students will learn about Día de Los Muertos through the use of writing, art, cooking and incorporating the Spanish language. (H) http://bit.ly/1tTrmWX

2     Rose Elizabeth Bird, California’s first woman chief justice, born (1936-1999). Bird was the first woman in California to hold a cabinet position, serving as Secretary of Agriculture. In 1977, she was appointed the first woman Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, and in 1987 was the first person in that position to be removed by a reconfirmation election, mostly because of her adamant stance against the death penalty.

Rad American Women A-Z, by Kate Schatz. The New York Times-best-selling book for kids – and their parents, teachers, and cool grown-up friends – documenting America’s famous and unsung heroines. Accompanying teacher resources included on this site. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/21qzXnR

2     50th anniversary of the Cuban Refugee Act. This Act permitted more than 400,000 Cuban immigrants to enter the United States through various migration programs. It also adjusted the status of Cuban refugees to that of lawful permanent residents.

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings. A memoir by Margarita Engle. In this poetic memoir, which won the Pura Belpre Author Award, acclaimed author, Margarita Engle, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. (M, H) http://bit.ly/24uyGek

3     30th anniversary of exposure of the Iran-Contra affair. Lebanese publication Ash-Shiraa reported secret US government arms sales to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages in violation of an arms embargo. A follow-up story, on November 25, revealed that the proceeds were being used to fund the Contras against the Nicaraguan elected government, which had been prohibited by Congress.

3     60th anniversary of the Khan Yunis massacre. The Khan Yunis Massacre took place during the Suez Crisis in Palestine by Israeli soldiers in order to reopen the Egyptian-blockaded Straits of Tiran used for trade and travel from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. Sources say Israeli forces shot 275 Palestinians in Khan Yunis and Rafah. It was also reported that soldiers killed a number of Palestinian men in their homes and lined up others, summarily executing them.

Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine, by Refaat Alareer. A compelling anthology of short stories from fifteen young writers in Gaza. Their words take us into the homes and hearts of moms, dads, students, children, and elders striving to live lives of dignity, compassion, and meaning in one of the world’s most embattled communities. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oomY4K

4     70th anniversary of the founding of UNESCO. A specialized agency of the United Nations, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was developed to help support international peace by promoting moral and intellectual solidarity across countries. As part of its work, UNESCO supports the right to education for all youth worldwide.

Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words, by Karen Leggett Abouraya. The inspiring, true story of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl who stands up and speaks out for every child’s right to education. Though she and two of her schoolmates were targeted by a Taliban gunman, a life-threatening injury only strengthened her resolve. (E, M) http://amzn.to/1LMjopK

5     Victoria Jackson Gray Adams, American civil rights activist, born (1926-2006). Gray Adams, from Hattiesburg, was a co-founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In 1964 she ran for the US Senate seat held by segregationist Democratic Senator John Stennis. While she lost in the primary, the MFDP challenged the right of the all-White Mississippi delegation to represent the state at the 1964 Democratic convention. Due to her efforts and that of co-founder Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi seated an integrated delegation at the 1968 Democratic convention.

Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders, by Joan Sadoff, Robert Sadoff and Laura Lipson. This award-winning documentary chronicles the civil rights movement in Mississippi in the 50s and 60s from the perspectives of the women who lived it. The film has historical footage and original interviews with Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Devine, Unita Blackwell, Mae Bertha Carter, Victoria Gray Adams and more. These women fought for the right to vote, equal education and desegregation. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1edggGz

5     100th anniversary of the Everett Massacre (also known as Bloody Sunday). On August 16, Mill owner Neil Jameson hired strikebreakers to attack his picketing workers in Everett, WA, while the police watched and refused to intervene. On October 30, members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) arrived from Seattle to speak against the beating of picketers and were met by law enforcement. After a confrontation, they were led to remote woods and beaten with clubs, guns and rubber hoses and left to find their way back to Seattle. A week later, the IWW arrived on boats from Seattle to continue supporting striking workers; law enforcement and armed vigilantes were waiting for them on the docks. Ten minutes of intense gunfire left casualties on both sides, with two on the docks dead and 20 wounded, and five IWW members reported dead and 27 wounded, though the toll is believed to have been higher.

Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World, by Paul Buhle and Nicole Schulman. The IWW, which has been organizing workers since 1905, is often cited, yet is elusive to scholars because of its eclectic and controversial cultural and social character. Wobblies! presents the IWW whole, scripted and drawn by old-time and younger Wobbly and IWW-inspired artists. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1aL1fs2

6     60th anniversary of California Proposition 13 referendum. In 1913 and 1920, fueled by anti-Asian sentiment, California passed “alien land laws,” which effectively barred land ownership by Asian immigrants. The 1920 law had been found unconstitutional in Sei Fujii v State of California in 1952; Proposition 13 moved to repeal all of the alien land laws and was approved by popular vote.

The Chinese Experience in 19th Century America, developed by 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

6     30th Anniversary of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). The intention of the IRCA was to “control and deter” undocumented workers from entering the United States. The law increased law enforcement at US borders and made it illegal for employers to hire, recruit or refer for a fee any unauthorized workers. The IRCA also provided an opportunity for undocumented workers who had been in the US since 1982 to apply for legal status.

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

6     Daylight Saving Time ends

7     100th anniversary of the election of Jeannette Rankin of Montana as the first woman elected to Congress. Anti-war suffragist, Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, voted against both World Wars while serving in Congress 1917-1919 and 1941-1943. Rankin was active in the suffragist movement for many years, serving as a professional lobbyist for the National American Women Suffrage Association and was instrumental in gaining the vote for women in Montana in 1914. She took her seat in Congress in April 1917.

The Day the Women Got the Vote: A Photo History of the Women’s Rights Movement, by George Sullivan. A photographic record of the women’s movement from Seneca Falls to the present. Photographs and reproductions present a wide range of both well-known individuals and informal shots of unknowns. (E, M) http://bit.ly/KB5XwT

8     Election Day

It Ain’t Just About a Vote: Defining Democracy for Movement Building, by Project South. This toolkit asks students to take a broader look at democracy and citizenship. Each exercise was created specifically to begin conversations on the larger, longer-term view of democracy, struggle and movement building. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1XuheSq

Money in Elections: What is it Doing to America?, by 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

11     Shirley Graham Du Bois, author, playwright, composer, and activist, born (1896-1977). The first African American woman to write and produce an opera with an all-Black cast, DuBois wrote and composed works about the African American experience and prominent Black people, and spoke out for justice throughout her life. She moved to Ghana with her second husband, scholar W.E.B. DuBois, and later traveled throughout the world to promote anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism.

Speech to the All-African Peoples’ Conference in Ghana, Dec 1958, by Pan-African News Wire. Full transcript of Shirley DuBois’ powerful talk. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1KUQARd

11     Veteran’s Day

Voices in Wartime Education, by The YES! Education Program and Voices in Wartime Education Project. This site seeks to enable students to engage deeply with the subject of war by hearing and re-telling the personal stories of witnesses to war, and 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

12     150th anniversary of the birth of Sun Yat-sen, nationalist, politician, and revolutionary founder of the Republic of China, born (1866-1925). The first president of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen was instrumental in the 1911 revolution that overthrew the Manchu Dynasty and ended imperial rule in China. He is seen as the “father of modern China,” and revered as an early revolutionary leader.

14     70th anniversary of Emily Greene Balch’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.  A sociologist who studied the living conditions of workers, immigrants, minorities, and women in the early 1900s, Balch was a vocal advocate for women’s rights. As leader and co-founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in the 1930s, Balch publicly criticized Western democracies for not attempting to stop Hitler’s and Mussolini’s aggressive policies.

The Social Welfare History Project. A nonprofit project designed to inform the public about the history of American social welfare. Includes a wealth of resources, including biographies, events, personal recollections, and other items related to “organized activities that seek to alleviate, prevent, or contribute to the solution of social problems.” (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1XT545W

15     10th anniversary of the Road-to-Freedom tour.  The Road-to-Freedom tour was a 50-state bus tour and photographic exhibition chronicling the history of the grassroots “people’s movement” that led to passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Reap What You Sow: Harvesting Support Systems, by the National Youth Leadership Network. The Reap What You Sow curriculum teaches people how to build a support system that promotes their personal power. The curriculum was created by disabled youth educators and supported by adult allies. It is designed for youth with disabilities, family members and allies. (H) http://bit.ly/1V03mRP

17     International Students’ Day. An international observance and celebration of student community, multiculturalism, and inclusivity. Originally commemorating the Nazi Germany storming of Czech universities, colleges and universities now mark it as a celebration of their international students.

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

Luna, by Julie Anne Peters. This novel is told from the perspective of a young woman who is dealing with her brother’s decision to live as his true female self, Luna. 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, by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper. Transgendered and gender-variant children have a hard time. They are generally discouraged by their families and bullied at school. This handbook is for families and teachers who want to understand and support children’s self-definition. (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

24     Ameen Rihani, Lebanese Arab American intellectual and political activist, born (1876-1940).  Ameen Rihani was a member of al-Mahjar, or The Pen League, the first Arab American literary society. His pioneering novel, The Book of Khalid, published in 1911 with illustrations by Khalil Gibran, has been called the first English novel written by an Arab author in the United States.

Arab American Stories, by Detroit Public Television and hosted by NPR’s Neda Ulaby. Part of a 13-part series exploring the diversity of the Arab-American experience, and their contributions to art, science, business, and all other aspects of society. Video stories are accompanied by viewing guides and lesson plans. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1TvyJTZ

24     National Day of Mourning. In 1970 Wamsutta 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

24     Thanksgiving

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

Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths and Misgivings, by Vera L. Stenhouse, from Rethinking Schools. As a teacher educator, Stenhouse discusses some of the ways classroom educators can demystify the first Thanksgiving. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1evl8Uw

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

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

The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute free downloadable video that explores consumption and exposes the connections between different environmental and social issues, while providing suggestions for action. (E, M, H) Website: http://bit.ly/vXj7EC  Reading Guide: http://bit.ly/1TQdXO0

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

Labor Rights in the Classroom. Workers all over the world suffer from conditions that many would consider unbearable. These conditions are, in part, a result of corporations taking advantage of workers and their rights. The lessons on this website help students to understand how consumerism and corporate greed here in the US affect workers around the world. (M, H)http://bit.ly/1VkYSFm

25     #NotOneDime. #NotOneDime is a nationwide economic boycott focused on racial justice. The campaign was launched in the aftermath of the Ferguson non-indictment decision. #NotOneDime calls for a moratorium on all non-essential shopping from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, and reclaiming Black Friday as a national day of action and service.

#NotOneDime, by a coalition of community organizers, faith leaders, and fed-up American citizens. Full website, including the history, demands, and resources related to the economic boycott organized in the aftermath of the non-indictment in Ferguson. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1T3u7E4

Teaching #Ferguson: Connecting with Resources, by Art Museum Teaching. Compiled, organic, growing list of resources – all hyperlinked and annotated – related to teaching #Ferguson in K-12 classrooms and beyond. (TR) http://bit.ly/1VLFEWu

25     Fur Free Friday. This annual national protest against fur is held on the day after Thanksgiving with the aim of educating shoppers and spreading awareness about the horrors of the fur industry.

Council of All Beings, by the Institute for Humane Education. What does a mountain wish for? A wolf? A cow? A river? Participants “become” a being or part of nature, and share the lives, concerns, hopes and wisdom of their assumed being with the Council. (E) http://bit.ly/1nK7xwg

26     50th anniversary of La Rance Barrage, the world’s first tidal power station. Located on the estuary of the Rance River in Brittany, France, La Rance Barrage is the second largest tidal power station in the world. Its annual output of approximately 540 GWh to the grid could power approximately 130,000 houses a year.

Climate Kids: NASA’s Eyes on the Earth, by NASA. Article titled, “Huge machine harnesses the tides,” educates young children about tides and tidal energy. (E) http://bit.ly/21bJY2O

28     Claude William Black, Jr., American Baptist minister, civil rights activist and political figure, born (1916-2009). Black served four terms on the San Antonio, Texas, City Council and became the city’s first Black mayor. Throughout his life, he supported activist organizations, including SNCC, and allowed members of the SNCC-Panthers to raise funds in his church on Sundays.

Unsung Heroes: Encouraging Students to Appreciate Those Who Fought for Social Justice, essay by Howard Zinn and lesson by Bill Bigelow. This teaching activity includes an essay written by Howard Zinn about the “unsung heroes” in the fight for social equality and justice. The essay is followed by an outline of a lesson written by Bill Bigelow that encourages students to become students-as-historical-activists and portray an “unsung hero” at the end of his/her life. Bigelow’s lesson includes questions he used to guide students’ research and an explanation of the hunt activity he used to help students become familiar with the historical activists before committing to one. (M, H) http://bit.ly/16ttlqo

29     Nellie Tayloe Ross, politician and activist, born (1876-1977). A champion of prohibition and workers’ rights, Ross became the first woman governor through a special election in 1924 after her husband died in office. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed her the first woman director of the US Mint in 1937, a position she held for 20 years.

30     230th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in Tuscany. On this date, Tuscany became the first European state to abolish state-sanctioned execution. This anniversary is celebrated as Cities for Life Day around the world.

Death Penalty: What is it? What Do We Think About it?, by Marieke van Woerkom. Through this lesson, students will study Troy Davis’s case and explore different perspectives and facts about the death penalty. Resources include facts, readings, video links, and more. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/pSZhOi

The Death Penalty: Suggested Lesson Plans for Teachers, by Death Penalty Focus. Created by Death Penalty Focus, a non-profit organization dedicated to the abolition of capital punishment, this series of lesson plans includes an extensive bibliography and a request form to invite wrongly-convicted individuals and other guest speakers into the classroom. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1dkQCAb

30     50th anniversary of the independence of Barbados from Great Britain. The British first established a settlement in Barbados at Holetown in 1627, colonizing the island until it became an independent state and Commonwealth country in 1966.

National and Patriotic Songs of Barbados. A collection of national and patriotic songs from Barbados. (E) http://bit.ly/1TLaP6D


7     70th Anniversary of the end of the United Mine Workers strike, also called the Bituminous Coal Strike. In April 1946, more than 400,000 miners in 26 states walked off the job, demanding better pay, health and retirement benefits, and safer working conditions. When President Truman’s attempts to reach a settlement failed, he fined the union $3.5 million and forced them to accept a deal, ending the strike. The government eventually lowered the fine and acceded to the union’s demands.

The Five Basic Steps to Organizing 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

8     Diego Rivera, Mexican muralist, born (1886-1957). Diego Rivera was a Mexican artist known for his large wall murals. His work helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement. Rivera’s murals were often controversial because they reflected his atheism, communism, and support for workers. Some of his best-known murals can be found in Detroit, San Francisco, New York, Mexico City and Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Diego Rivera: Paintings, Murals, Biography, Quotes. Website dedicated to the memory of Diego Rivera, including hundreds of images of his works. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1Usk8rr

8     40th Anniversary of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Established by five Latinos in the US Congress, including the non-voting Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, the CHC was organized to ensure that the needs of the Hispanic or Latino community were addressed. It now exists as a Congressional Member organization with 26 Democratic members of Congress of Hispanic descent.

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

8     130th anniversary of the founding of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). After the Knights of Labor disbanded in the wake of the Haymarket riot, Samuel Gompers helped form the AFL as an alliance of smaller craft unions of skilled laborers focused on working conditions, wages, and a shorter workweek. Since merging with the Congress of Industrial Organizations to form the AFL-CIO in 1955, the federation has remained the longest-lasting and most influential labor union in the US.

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, by 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

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

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

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

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

9     Esther Peterson, consumer activist, born (1906-1997). Initially a teacher and paid organizer for the American Federation of Teachers, Peterson established the Commission on the Status of Women, and was the highest ranking woman in the Kennedy administration, where she advocated for women’s and workers’ rights. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Carter in 1981.

The Early Women’s Movement, Teaching Activity PDF, by Gayle Olson-Raymer. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 6 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the early women’s movement, including their efforts for social, racial and political equality. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/b56nur

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/1SexHM4

Human Rights and Service-Learning: Lesson Plans and Projects, by Kristine Belisle and Elizabeth Sullivan, Amnesty International-USA and Human Rights Education Associates (HREA). The manual contains lessons and service-learning projects. The lesson plans are divided into five human rights topic areas: environment, poverty, discrimination, children’s rights to education and health, and law and justice. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Vl0vTy

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 1997 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

11     70th anniversary of UNICEF. In the aftermath of World War II, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted to establish the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to help provide relief and support to children living in countries devastated by the war.

Mud City, by Deborah Ellis. Shauzia has escaped the misery of her life in Kabul, only to end up in a refugee camp in Pakistan. She is determined to earn money to buy her passage out of the country. This is a powerful and very human story of a feisty, driven girl who tries to take control of her own life. Includes a map and an updated author’s note and glossary. Royalties go to Street Kids International. (M) http://bit.ly/1QE7S4k

13     10th anniversary of the adoption of the Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the United Nations. Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and equality under the law. The US signed the Convention, but Congress failed to ratify it. 

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

16     William Cooper Nell, African-American historian, abolitionist and civic activist, born (1816-1874). Nell worked to desegregate the Boston public education system as well as the Boston railroad and performance halls. As a historian, he wrote two of the earliest histories of African Americans as participants in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and was instrumental in gaining recognition for Crispus Attucks as a Revolutionary War hero.

“With All Deliberate Speed” – Separate Is Not Equal, by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center. This section of the Smithsonian’s “Separate Is Not Equal” site focuses on how the vagueness of “with all deliberate speed” worked to segregationists’ advantage. Photographs and political cartoons are included, as are links to other relevant sections. (M, H) http://bit.ly/KdFFmx

16     50th Anniversary of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This critical international human rights treaty provides: the right to life and human dignity; equality before the law; freedom of expression, assembly, and association; religious freedom and privacy; freedom from torture, ill-treatment, and arbitrary detention; gender equality; the right to a fair trial; and minority rights.

Youth Bill of Rights Websites. Local groups of young people are organizing across the country to draft a National Student Bill of Rights for All Youth (NSBR) that will become a unifying document for youth nationwide and a driving force for youth movement building. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/aBgw26

16     10th anniversary of the first elections held in the United Arab Emirates. A small number of hand-picked voters chose half of the members of the Federal National Council (an advisory body). Over 100 activists were jailed and tortured because they sought reform, while others had their nationality revoked.

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

Calling the Doves/El canto de las palomas, by Juan Felipe Herrera. This picture book is Herrera’s memoir of his childhood as a son of migrant farmworkers. Written in English and Spanish, it celebrates the work, skills and love of Herrera’s parents. (E) http://bit.ly/1g6m0Qh

20     60th anniversary of the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The US Supreme Court ruled against state and city laws requiring segregation of public buses on November 13 in Browder v Gayle. A month later, Montgomery’s mayor was given written notice by federal marshals to desegregate the buses. This marked the successful end of the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Montgomery Bus Boycott, a list of books and other teaching materials from Zinn Education Project. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1TI508w

The Other Rosa Parks: Now 73, Claudette Colvin Was First to Refuse Giving Up Seat on Montgomery Bus, by Democracy Now!. In this interview with Democracy Now!, Ms. Colvin discusses the important events she was involved in in Alabama during the mid-1950s. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/14iaOIv

Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni. This tribute to Mrs. Rosa Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed. Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni’s evocative text combines with Bryan Collier’s striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective. (E) http://bit.ly/1nhgzqs

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged, by Jody Nyasha Warner. In Nova Scotia, in 1946, an usher in a movie theatre told Viola Desmond to move from her main floor seat up to the balcony. She refused to budge. Like Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks, who many years later, in 1955, refused to give up their bus seats in Alabama, Desmond’s act of refusal awakened people to the unacceptable nature of racism and began the process of bringing an end to racial segregation in Canada. An afterword provides a glimpse of African Canadian history. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1TM3HaL

Teaching the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by Civil Rights Teaching. Lesson plans, books, primary documents, and films that teach “the strategic brilliance and courage of the African American community in Montgomery.” (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/21bKE8c

21     Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice, only in the Northern Hemisphere, marks the beginning of winter. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year.

A Coyote Solstice Tale, by Thomas King. Trickster Coyote is having his friends over for a festive solstice get-together in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the party-goers through the snowy woods to a shopping mall – a place they have never seen before. Winner of the American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Awards, Best Picture Book. (E)http://bit.ly/1TIeAtW

21     Emma Tenayuca, Latina labor organizer, born (1916-1999). Tenayuca led a 2-month strike of 12,000 (mostly) Latina pecan shellers in San Antonio, Texas in 1938 in their fight for better pay. The strike is considered the first significant victory in the Mexican American struggle for political and economic equality.

That’s Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/No Es Justo! La Lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la Justica, by Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Teneyuca. A description of the children’s book, which tells the story of Emma Tenayuca’s fight for labor rights. Ideas for activities and teacher resources are also included. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1Z1IAR1

21     Soyal, the New Year’s celebration of the Hopi and Zuni. Among the Hopi and Zuni people, a ritual is performed to celebrate the return of the sun after winter and a time of renewal and purification.

24     Brenda Howard, an American bisexual rights activist and sex-positive feminist, born (1946-2005). Known as the “Mother of Pride” for her work coordinating the Christopher Street Liberation Day March on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and week-long event series around Pride Day, Howard led and participated in LGBT rights actions throughout her life.

Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality, by Rethinking Schools. A collection of inspiring stories about how to integrate feminist and LGBTQ content into curriculum, make it part of a vision for social justice, and create classrooms and schools that nurture all children and their families. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1U8zsdF

25     Christmas. Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates Jesus’s birth.

The Women Who Gave Us Christmas, by William Loren Katz. Article about how women, in particular, organized Christmas bazaars to finance the abolition cause, and used the fundraisers as a chance to trumpet anti-slavery messages. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1QvQJe8

Alfredito Flies Home, by Jorge Argueta. Alfredito and his family are getting ready to return to their old home in El Salvador for Christmas, their first time back since they left as refugees. (E)http://bit.ly/24R4JW1

25     Martha Coffin Wright, abolitionist and feminist, born (1806-1875). Wright, her sister, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the first convention for women’s rights held at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. One of the original signers of the Declaration of Sentiments, Wright went on to organize and lead other women’s rights conventions. She attended the first meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society, though women could not be official members.

The Declaration of Sentiments, a list of demands from the women’s movement, in full text PDF. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Rk6LnY

25     First day of Hanukkah, begins at sunset on 12/24 (Judaism). Hanukkah is an 8-day Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights.

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

26     50th Anniversary of the first Kwanzaa celebration. Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday, which celebrates and embraces African culture and it’s meaning for people of African heritage, encourages respect and kinship with nature, and promotes the well-being of family and community.

Kwanzaa Books, at Teaching for Change Books. A collection of children’s books on Kwanzaa. (E) http://bit.ly/t7iv0g

26     First day of Kwanzaa (Umoja = Unity). Kwanzaa is a 7-day celebration honoring African American culture and heritage in which each of the seven days is dedicated to a specific principle.

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

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

Black Owned Business Directory, by #NotOneDime. A growing list of Black-owned businesses to support. (TR) http://bit.ly/1Rsgclj

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

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

29     Fourth day of Kwanzaa (Ujamaa = cooperative economics)

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

30     80th anniversary of the Flint Sit-Down Strike (General Motors Sit-Down Strike). In an attempt to gain fair wages and stop outsourcing of work to non-union plants, make the workplace safer and set up a grievance procedure, autoworkers occupied the General Motors Fisher Plant #1 in Flint, Michigan. The planned strike lasted 44 days. Michigan Governor Frank Murphy refused to use the National Guard to break the strike. At the urging of President Roosevelt, GM signed an agreement with the UAW.

Flint Sit-Down Strike, by the United Auto Workers. A short documentary, with some historical footage and oral histories, capturing this particular moment in auto labor history. (M, H, TR)http://bit.ly/1REmaSw

30     Fifth day of Kwanzaa (Nia = purpose)

31     New Year’s Eve

31     Sixth day of Kwanzaa (Kuumba = creativity)



1     Seventh day of Kwanzaa (Imani = Faith).

1     30th anniversary of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. The United Nations declared 1987 the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, with the goal of improving living conditions to meet the fundamental human right to adequate shelter, especially in the global south.

A Kids’ Guide to Hunger & Homelessness, by 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 community 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

A Shelter in Our Car, by Monica Gunning. This children’s book, narrated by a young girl named Zettie, depicts a Jamaican family’s struggle with homelessness in America. Issues of social justice such as homelessness and classism are explored through this story. In addition, information is provided for readers to work for change in homelessness in America. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1Y636hg

3     30th anniversary of Aretha Franklin’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Aretha Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Coming from the Gospel tradition, Aretha Franklin sings powerful ballads that have inspired the civil rights and feminist movements.

School Days: Hail, Hail, Rock ‘n’ Roll!, by Rick Mitchell. Lesson plan published in Rethinking Schools about the intersections of race, history and music. (H) http://bit.ly/24zD7Vm

“The Untold Story of Aretha Franklin’s Irrevocable ‘Respect.'” Informative essay about Franklin’s power; originally published in Elle Magazine. (H) http://bit.ly/1SDWGCE

3     110th Anniversary of the first publication of W.E.B. Du Bois’ journal “The Horizon: A Journal of the Color Line.” The Horizon was a journal published by African American intellectual and activist W.E.B. Du Bois, which advocated for the principles of “The Niagara Movement,” a civil rights organization. The journal reviewed and exposed racist national policies and racist works in other periodicals. From these efforts, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its magazine, The Crisis were born.

6     40th anniversary of the Prague Human Rights Charter 77. In 1977, a group of Czechoslovakian dissidents published a manifesto calling on the government to respect civil and human rights. The signatories, including Václav Havel, were viewed by the government as traitors, and leaders of the movement were imprisoned. Charter 77 signatories went on to lead the Velvet Revolution in the late 1980s and Havel was elected president.

Full text of the Charter 77 Manifesto. Primary source document of the entire manifesto. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1ON5UtR

8     Emily Greene Balch, central leader of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and Nobel Peace Prize winner, born (1867-1961). Emily Greene Balch taught at Wellesley College and co-founded the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1915, along with Jane Addams and Alice Hamilton. She was a pacifist and socialist activist who encouraged governments to accept refugees during World War II and opposed the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.

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

8     150th anniversary of the first legislation granting African American men the right to vote. During Reconstruction, Congress sought to enfranchise African American men, shifting power to former slaves. This victory was a precursor to the Fifteenth Amendment three years later, which prohibited states from discriminating against male voters because of race or previous condition of servitude.

The First Vote, an editorial cartoon from Harper’s Weekly, 1867. In this lesson plan from Critical Explorers, students are invited to make sense of three political images about reconstruction. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1REJqQx

8     140th anniversary of Battle of Belly Butte. After the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes defeated Custer’s forces in 1876, the United States sent army reinforcements to force Native Americans, led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, to reservations. Army forces attacked villages in frigid weather and deep snow. At Belly Butte, in Montana Territory, the weaponry of the US army proved insurmountable and Crazy Horse later led approximately 1,100 of his people to the Red Cloud reservation.

9     50th anniversary of Julian Bond being seated in the Georgia legislature. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) leader, Julian Bond, was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, but White members of the House refused to let him take his seat because of his criticism of the Vietnam War. The US Supreme Court ruled this action unconstitutional and Bond was finally sworn in on January 9, 1967. He was elected to four more terms in the Georgia House and six terms in the Georgia Senate. He also served as chairman of the NAACP.

SNCC Project Group. This site provides a history of Julian Bond and SNCC including a short audio clip of Bond talking about SNCC as well as links to other resources. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/JzQtH3

Julian Bond, Presente!, by Teaching for Change. An article, with a number of hyperlinked resources, about the work of longtime activist, professor, politician, and writer Julian Bond. Includes links to interviews with Bond, as well as many of his speeches. (TR) http://bit.ly/1TPnANk

10     60th anniversary of the foundation of Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is an African American civil rights organization that grew out of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. The organization coordinated and mobilized actions through the 50s and 60s for public access, voting, and housing rights and continues as an umbrella group for many local struggles.

I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr., by Arthur Flowers and Manu Chitrakar. African American writer, griot and blues singer, Arthur Flowers, and Indian scroll painter, Manu Chitrakar, combine their very distinctive storytelling traditions in an extraordinary jam session, creating this stunning graphic narrative-style biography of Martin Luther King Jr. (E)http://bit.ly/1LbGvPY

10     60th anniversary of Birmingham, Alabama church bombings. White racists unleashed a wave of bombings to terrorize civil rights activists in Birmingham, Alabama. Four churches and the homes of two ministers (Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Rev. Robert Graetz) were bombed on this date. These and other attacks earned the city the nickname of “Bombingham.”

Civil Rights Martyrs, by the Civil Rights Memorial. Chronology briefly describing the lives of martyrs of the civil rights movement – activists who were targeted for death because of their civil right work, random victims of vigilantes determined to halt the movement, and individuals who, in the sacrifice of their own lives, brought new awareness to the struggle. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oWUxuX

11     120th anniversary of Martha Hughes Cannon becoming the first woman state senator in the U.S. (Utah). Martha Hughes Cannon became the first woman ever elected as a state senator in the United States. She served two terms in the legislature and was noted for her efforts on public health issues. She was an advocate and fund raiser for speech-and hearing-impaired students, helped create a state board of health, and ushered in a law regulating working conditions for women and girls.

13     40th anniversary of International Hotel protests in San Francisco. The International Hotel was one of the last bastions of the Filipino neighborhood in San Francisco, where elderly residents, who had lived most of their lives in the neighborhood, had affordable housing. With the city’s expansion of its Financial District, a large sheriff’s force arrived to carry out the eviction of tenants, but were met by over 5,000 community activists and their allies, who linked arms around the block, creating a human shield to protect the tenants.

Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel/Si Lakas at ang Makibaka Hotel, by Anthony Robles. This English/Tagalog bilingual picture book begins with a note from the author about his Filipino grandparents, who came to the US as farm workers and brought Makibaka, the spirit “of struggle, of love, and of laughter,” with them. The book tells the story of a contemporary boy who organizes his community to resist gentrification. (E) http://bit.ly/KYQR68

13     170th anniversary of capitulation articles, signed by Mexican militia forces to surrender Los Angeles to U.S. forces. During the Mexican-American War, the forces of Col. John C. Fremont surrounded the Mexican forces, led by José Maria Flores, in what is now Pasadena. They forced the signing of the Capitulation at Cahuenga, which led to US victory and the formation of the US territories of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and parts of Wyoming and Colorado.

U.S. Mexico War: “We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God,” by Bill Bigelow. This teaching activity is based off of Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States, and provides students with a number of themes regarding US-Mexican border during the early 19th Century. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1U9d1Ci

13     240th anniversary of the Petition for Freedom by Black slaves in Massachusetts. Eight men, led by Prince Hall, signed this petition addressed to the Massachusetts Council and House of Representatives. They challenged the founders of the US to be consistent in their evocation of natural rights to liberty, conscience and self-government.

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

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

Uttarayan, by BAPS Swaminarayn Sanstha. This kid-friendly page provides information about “Uttarayan” or Makar Sankranti. Visitors can read about the different rituals that take place and view photographs. 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 one’s natural rights. In doing so, Virginia became the first state to separate church and state. 

Maintain Neutrality, by Teaching Tolerance. This link provides a collection of lessons designed to help teachers maintain the distinction between “teaching religion” and “teaching about religion.” The site has 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, by Teaching Tolerance. Students often learn the importance of respecting people of different religions, but what about people who do not hold religious beliefs at all? This lesson introduces students to people who choose not to follow a religion. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/nonrelig

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

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

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

22     Afeni Shakur Davis, philanthropist, former political activist and ex-Black Panther, born (1947-1916). Afeni Shakur was a member of the Black Panther Party and part of the New York Panther 21 arrested under the FBI Cointelpro program. After the Panthers won an acquittal, she continued as an organizer, poet and activist. She is the mother of revolutionary hip-hop artist, Tupac Shakur.

One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia. A discussion guide that depicts the book, One Crazy Summer; a story about sisters’ experience at a Black Panther’s sponsored summer camp in the summer of 1968 in Oakland. The guide includes questions for discussion, extension activities, and information about the author. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1waLFOd; link to purchase book is http://bit.ly/1QhC878

26     140th Anniversary of The Compromise of 1877. The Compromise of 1877 settled the dispute over the presidential election, naming Rutherford B. Hayes to the presidency. While the Republican Hayes was allowed to take office, he agreed to pull troops out of the Confederate states South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana. The military presence and Freedmen’s Bureau officials had introduced broad democracy to the South in the Reconstruction Period. Without armed support, Black leaders were murdered and reform legislatures were overthrown. This inaugurated the Jim Crow era.

27     70th anniversary of Eleanor Roosevelt’s unanimous election by the members of the United Nations Human Rights Commission as their chairperson. Eleanor Roosevelt was unanimously elected chairperson by the members of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The commission created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the most widely recognized statement of the rights to which every person on the planet is entitled.

First Lady of the World: Eleanor Roosevelt at Val-Kill, by National Park Service. A collection of lesson plans and linked resources that guide students in understanding the life and works of Eleanor Roosevelt. (M) http://1.usa.gov/1OUhsvD

28     100th anniversary of the Bath Riots at the Juarez/El Paso border. Carmelita Torres, a 17-year-old maid, refused the toxic gasoline “bath” required of all workers crossing the border, supposedly to prevent lice. By noon, she was joined by “several thousand” demonstrators at the border bridge. In what became known as the El Paso-Juárez Bath Riots, Mexican workers stood up against the racist treatment of laborers at the border.

The Bath Riots: Indignity Along the Mexican Border, by NPR. Listen to a piece by NPR about Carmelita Torres, the 17 year-old maid who refused the toxic bath at the Mexican border, and read excerpts of David Dorado Romo’s book, Ringside Seat to a Revolution, about the bath riots. (M, H) http://n.pr/1TUP3gz

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

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

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

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

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

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

30     220th anniversary of Congress’s refusal to help freed African Americans from being sold into slavery. Four African American men, who had been freed from slavery in North Carolina, petitioned the US Congress, asking for protection for freed slaves from a North Carolina law that allowed and encouraged the capture and sale of former slaves. Congress declined to accept the petition.

Learning Guide: 12 Years A Slave, by James Frieden. This learning guide provides teachers with information, discussion questions, and assignments regarding the film, 12 Years A Slave. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1XnYPui

Text to Text: ‘Twelve Years A Slave,’ and ‘An Escape That Has Long Intrigued Historians’, by Michael Gonchar and Tom Marshall. A learning guide that provides teachers with key comparisons and discussion points between the film, Twelve Years a Slave, and the 1853 slave narrative of the same name. (H, TR) http://nyti.ms/1T2Oyyq


1     First day of African American History Month

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

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

Blacked Out History: REBELLION, by Dream Defenders. An incredible collection of digital art pieces for every day of February, highlighting and educating on a piece of lesser known history related to struggles for freedom. (M, H, TR) http://ddblackedouthistory.tumblr.com/

This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration, by Jacqueline Woodson. The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration, told by tracking the history of a rope that is passed down three generations. (E) http://amzn.to/1oWJ7Yj

2     20th Anniversary of 1st World Wetlands Day. World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. It commemorates the signing of the Convention on Wetlands (the Ramsar Convention), an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and responsible use of wetlands. Adopted in 1971 and in force since 1975, the convention now has 169 signatories.

3     160th anniversary of the founding of Gallaudet University. In 1857, the United States Congress incorporated the first institute of higher education for deaf students, which is now called Gallaudet University. The school’s first superintendent was Edward Miner Gallaudet, the son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, who founded the American School for the Deaf in 1817.

Heathens Among Us: The Origins of American Sign Language, by the Disability History Museum. Today’s deaf culture is rooted in American Sign Language. ASL was created at specialized educational institutions. This lesson outlines the collaboration between Thomas Gallaudet, Mason Cogswell, and Laurent Clerc, a joint effort that fostered the creation of American Sign Language. (H) http://bit.ly/VJ2OU8

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

4     30th anniversary of Reauthorization of the Clean Water Act. In a bipartisan move, the House and Senate overwhelming voted to override President Reagan’s veto of the reauthorization of the Clean Water Act, which provided $20 billion to construct sewage and treatment plants and other pollution control programs.

Intimate Portraits of Flint, by Wayne Lawrence and National Geographic. Collection of images, with accompanying quotes from residents of Flint poisoned by contaminated water. Article on this governmental crime, from DOGOnews, included in the second link. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1pphbMm and http://bit.ly/1L6DLDu

Flow: For the Love of Water, directed by Irena Salina. This film builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply, with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2w3gIl

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth, by Rosalie Strauss and Kids Can Press. Children’s book about how water has the power to change everything, and how the way we treat the water in the well will affect every species on the planet, now and for years to come. Link to accompanying teacher’s guide. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1S97MSN

Water: How Can We Increase the World’s Access to Clean Water?, by Concern Worldwide. Concern Worldwide has developed a resource guide, educator toolkit and interactive mock summit where students get involved in the current debate over what economic policies should be used for the distribution of water. (M, H) http://bit.ly/22tf0DU

4     Evan Wolfson, American attorney and gay rights advocate, born (1957). Evan Wolfson is the founder of Freedom to Marry, the leading organization in the struggle for gay marriage rights. In 2000, Wolfson was named one of the “100 most influential lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal, and in 2004, Time magazine named him one of the “100 most influential people in the world.”

5     100th anniversary of the 1917 Immigration Act, also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act. This widely restrictive immigration law prohibited entry into the US by anyone in the geographically defined “Asiatic Barred Zone.” The act also expanded the categories of “undesirable aliens” – including, but not limited to, “homosexuals, idiots, feeble-minded persons, criminals, epileptics, insane persons, alcoholics, professional beggars, all persons physically or mentally defective, polygamists and anarchists.”

The New Americans, by 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 21st century. 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     Florence Luscomb, architect, suffragist and reformer, born (1887 to 1985). One of the first women to graduate from MIT, Florence Luscomb worked for social issues throughout her life. An active suffrage campaigner, she joined the ACLU in 1919, defied the anti-communist crusade in Massachusetts, and was an ardent opponent of the Vietnam War. She was also very active in the civil rights movement. Luscomb served as a mentor to feminist activists of the 1960s and 1970s.

ACLU Teaching Resources, from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State. Request classroom speakers, subscribe to the teacher network, and/or download Know Your Rightspublications, which can be requested in languages other than English. (TR) http://bit.ly/1LXaYMB

8      130th anniversary of the Dawes Act. The Dawes Act authorized the division of Native American tribal land into 160-acre parcels to be distributed to Native American heads of households. This was an effort to force Indian peoples into the agrarian economy. The Act dealt a huge blow to tribal sovereignty and reduced tribal land holdings by about half. The Act was repealed in 1934.

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

12     First Day of Freedom to Marry Week. Week of awareness and movement-building around the right of all people to marry, if they choose.

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen. This picture book is about a little girl who is not worried about her gay uncle’s wedding; rather, she is worried that she might not be as special to him once it’s over. (E) http://bit.ly/1onBgKI

Winning the Freedom to Marry Nationwide: The Inside Story of a Transformative Campaign, by Freedom to Marry. Resources, information, and background on the movement to win marriage rights, and how the campaign’s lessons learned might inform other movements. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1NpoBde

13     80th anniversary of the Southern Negro Youth Congress. The Southern Negro Youth Congress (SNYC) was established in Richmond, Virginia by young people to organize Black youth activists. Its first campaign was to help Black tobacco workers form a union. They also held anti-lynching campaigns throughout the South. At its peak, SNYC had 11,000 members across 10 southern states and helped lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement of the 1950s.

A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing for School Reform, by the Community Organizing and School Reform Project. Based on a comprehensive national study, the book presents rich and compelling case studies of prominent organizing efforts for school reform in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose, and the Mississippi Delta. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1OUleVM

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, by 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

Love in 7 Portraits, by National Geographic. Photographers share one of their favorite photographs that they feel captures the essence of love. Consider asking students to share a photograph of their own depicting love in their lives. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1Rkfczq

15     110th anniversary of Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907. Following protests by Japanese Americans, the so-called Gentlemen’s Agreement was an agreement between Japan and the US that restricted the immigration of Japanese laborers to the US in exchange for desegregating San Francisco public schools. 

Baseball Saved Us, by 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

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.

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

18     60th anniversary of the execution of Dedan Kimathi, a leader in the Kenyan struggle for independence. Dedan Kimathi was a member of the Kenya African Union and a leader of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army, later known as the Mau Mau, which waged a guerilla war against British colonial rule. He was captured and hanged by the British.

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

20     Presidents’ Day. Presidents’ Day began as an official holiday to honor Washington’s birthday, and is still officially called Washington’s Birthday by the federal government. Today, the holiday honors all those who have served as President.

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

20     80th anniversary of second attempt at passing anti-miscegenation law introduced in Washington state legislature. White anti-Filipino sentiment in Seattle, fueled by the growing Filipino community and the financial pressures of the Great Depression, led to two failed attempts to pass laws barring non-Whites from marrying Whites. The bills were opposed by the city’s labor unions, communities of color, and the city’s Filipino newspapers.

Our Land, Our Life, by Oxfam America. This video explores Carrie and Mary Dann’s story of their struggle to protect the sacred and environmentally sensitive land that belongs to the Western Shoshones. (M, H) http://bit.ly/GTJmK

Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults, by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard (editor). 29 Filipino American writers explore the universal challenges of adolescence from the unique perspectives of teens in the Philippines and in the US, organized into five sections—Family, Angst, Friendship, Love, and Home. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1QW58lX

21     International Mother Language Day. International Mother Language Day is observed yearly by UNESCO member states and at its headquarters to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

Abuela, by Arthur Dorros. Rosalba, a young Hispanic girl, spends a day with her grandmother, who speaks only Spanish. Together, they embark on an adventure; they fly across New York City and end up where Abuela grew up. As they explore different areas, they exchange Spanish and English words. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1ahF9eu

24     Mahashivaratri (Hinduism). Mahashivaratri (Night of the Shiva) is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates Lord Shiva. Devotees observe day and night fasting and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.

25     180th anniversary of Cheyney University, the first institution of higher learning for African Americans. Originally called the Institute for Colored Youth, Cheyney University, in Philadelphia, provided a free classical education for African American youth, with the aim of preparing them to become teachers. The school was run by an entirely African American faculty. Today, the school serves a diverse student body and offers a range of courses in over 30 disciplines.

A Digital Collection Celebrating the Founding of the Historically Black College and University, by HBCU Library Alliance. This site hosts a large collection of digitized primary sources from member libraries to celebrate the founding of the Historically Black College and University. The collection, which features photographs, manuscripts, images of campus buildings, alumni letters and more, serves to present HBCUs as cultural, political and social institutions. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/wWhYPU 

25     30th anniversary of United States v. Paradise affirmative action ruling. In United States v. Paradise, the US Supreme Court upheld affirmative action, maintaining the requirement in the Alabama Department of Public Safety that for every White candidate promoted, a qualified African American would also be promoted. This measure was deemed necessary to offset the effects of Alabama’s history of discrimination.

Affirmative Action: How Far Have We Come?, by Tim Wise, NPR. Tim Wise, a leading White, anti-racist writer, discusses affirmative action, with specific mention of the University of Michigan case. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ctqbSv

27     80th anniversary of the Woolworth’s Sit-down Strike. Woolworth’s sit-down strike was an eight-day occupation of the Detroit Woolworth’s store by female workers to protest low wages, racist and sexist hiring, and lack of union recognition. With the support of unions and the public, the strikers won several concessions for themselves and retail workers in other companies.

The 1937 Woolworth’s Sit-Down: Women Strikers Occupy Chain Stores, Win Big, by Dana Frank. Woolworth’s department store was the Walmart of the early 20th century. The women who worked the counters, cash registers, and storerooms were overworked, underpaid, and sexually harassed. This is the inspiring story, in the form of a $4.95 pamphlet, of how these courageous women fought back against corporate exploitation and oppression, by accomplishing the first successful all-female sit-down strike in American history. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1L6FOYi


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

1     30th anniversary of congressional resolution designating March as Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month is celebrated in the United States, Great Britain and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8.

Keep Climbing, Girls, by Beach E. Richards. A dynamic ode to girl power written by noted Afro-American actor, poet, and playwright. (E) http://bit.ly/1pmSvEc

Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World, by Cynthia Chin-Lee and Megan Halsey. Detailed collages and illustrations draw from various events of both hardship and triumph in the lives of 26 amazing women. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1Ql0I4T

1     First Day of National Reading Month

Reading is Not Optional: An Interview with Walter Dean Myers, by PEN America. Interview of Myers by YA author, Amy Nathan. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/24zrJsI

My Pen, by Christopher Myers. Children’s book about the incredible power of a young person with a pen. (E) http://amzn.to/21Av7V8

1     Michigan is the 1st state to abolish capital punishment. Michigan became the first English-speaking government in the world to abolish the death penalty and is one of the few US states never to have executed anyone since becoming a state.

The Knotted Line, by Evan Bissell. This is an interactive, tactile laboratory for exploring the historical relationship between freedom and confinement in the geographic area of the United States. With miniature paintings of over 50 historical moments from 1495-2025, The Knotted Line asks: how is freedom measured? Just as important, it imagines a new world through the work of grassroots movements for self-determination. Curriculum guide for teachers included. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1QO2Zc3

1     Ash Wednesday/First day of Lent. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a time of penitence and reflection in preparation for Easter for most Western Christians.

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

2     210th anniversary of the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves. Congress passed a law that abolished all international slave trade, but domestic trade was extensive and slavery continued in the United States until the end of the Civil War and adoption of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Breaking the Silence, by UNESCO. This site is designed to provide teachers with a variety of resources and ideas about how to teach about the transatlantic slave trade. It includes lesson plans, maps and insights from other teachers. (M, H) http://bit.ly/14KLWLR

2     100th Anniversary of the Jones-Shafroth Act. The Jones-Shafroth Act, also known as the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1917, granted US citizenship to the people of Puerto Rico. It also structured the Puerto Rican government as a colonial possession of the United States.

 My Name is Maria Isabel, by Alma Flor Ada. María Isabel, a Puerto Rican child growing up in the US, begins having problems in her new classroom when her teacher changes her name to Mary. This compelling portrait of an experience common to many language-minority children inspires discussions on self-identity and biculturalism. (E, M). http://bit.ly/1RLamOy

2     150th anniversary of the abolition of peonage. Dred Scott, a slave, sued for his freedom. In Dred Scott v Sandford, the US Supreme Court held that African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens because of their “innate inferiority,” and therefore had no right to sue in federal court. The Dred Scott decision is considered a precipitating factor in the US Civil War.

6     160th anniversary of Dred Scott v Sandford. 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.

The Election of 1860 Role Play, by Bill Bigelow. Allows students to explore the political debates of the time and the real reasons for the Civil War. (H) http://bit.ly/1LXgK0y

America Responds to Dred Scott, a lesson from Teach US History. Lesson plan includes four audio files of critical figures responding to the Dred Scott decision. (H) http://bit.ly/1TTeJKD

6     60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence from Great Britain. After years under British colonial rule, Ghana, then known as the Gold Coast, became the first African country to achieve independence in 1957, under the leadership of Pan-Africanist revolutionary Kwame Nkrumah.

Colonization and Independence in Africa, from 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 consider the perspectives of Africans and the ways in which they responded to European colonialism. (H) http://bit.ly/1jiHVZr

8     International Women’s Day. The origins of International Women’s Day trace back to protests in the US and Europe to recognize the rights of women. The first observance in the US was held in New York in 1909. The present-day worldwide observance was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977.

The National Women’s History Project website. The National Women’s History Project is an educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs. (TR) http://bit.ly/1bLzBiR

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai: Shaking the Tree, by Marieke van Woerkom. To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, students think about women they admire, learn about African leader Maathai, and discuss the Peter Gabriel song Shaking the Tree. (H) http://bit.ly/t11Crk

10     Randolph T. Blackwell, African-American civil rights activist, born (1927-1981). Randolph T. Blackwell was founder of the youth chapter of the NAACP, leading student sit-ins in 1962 in Alabama. He later became program director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and was described by Coretta Scott King as an “unsung giant” of nonviolent social change.

Glossary of Nonviolence, by The King Center. Alphabetized listing of keywords related to the core principles of nonviolence. A fantastic vocabulary primer for young people engaged in the study of nonviolence. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1WwogaQ

11     50th Anniversary of first animals placed on Endangered List. Under the authority of the Endangered Species Protection Act of 1966, 78 species of wildlife were placed on the endangered list. The bald eagle, California condor, whooping crane, gray wolf and grizzly bear were among those on the list.

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

12     Purim begins at sunset on 3/11 (Judaism). Purim celebrates the defeat of a plot to exterminate Jews living in Persia. It is one of the most joyous holiday of the Jewish faith.

Purim (Celebrations in My World), by 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

13     First Day of Deaf History Month. Deaf History Month celebrates the contributions of deaf Americans to US society and culture, and promotes awareness of deaf culture in America.

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

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

Sound and Fury, by PBS. Two lesson plans about deaf culture. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/1Tah8hB

13     First Day of Holi (Hinduism). Holi is a 2-day Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, as well as the arrival of spring. It is also known as the “Festival of Colors” for the ritual throwing of colored water and powder on friends and family.

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

14     140th anniversary of the Lemm Ranch murders. Ongoing discrimination and violence against Chinese laborers culminated in an attack on six Chinese men as they slept. White vigilantes shot the men and burned down their cabin, leaving five dead.

The Chinese Experience in the 19th Century, by 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. (H) http://bit.ly/U2okRi

15     110th anniversary of the first European election with universal suffrage. In 1907, nineteen women were elected to the Finnish Parliament. This was the first time that women anywhere in the world were allowed to vote and run in a parliamentary election.

16     190th anniversary of the founding of Freedom’s Journal. Freedom’s Journal was the first newspaper owned and published by African Americans. The paper served to counter racist commentary published in the mainstream press, provided news of current events and contemporary issues, and advocated for the rights of African Americans.

Independent Black-Owned Newspapers in the United States. Includes a hyperlinked list of historic and current independent, Black-owned newspapers. Also includes a video about the development of the Black press, called The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1TvHY6A

17        100th anniversary of Wilson v. New. The US Supreme Court upheld the Adamson Act, which established an eight-hour workday with additional pay for overtime work for interstate railroad workers. It was the first US law regulating working hours in private companies. 

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

17     140th anniversary of the appointment of Frederick Douglass as US Marshal of Washington D.C. Frederick Douglass, a great orator and writer who fought for the freedom and rights of African Americans, was the first African American confirmed for a presidential appointment by the US Senate.

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

21     80th anniversary of the Ponce Massacre. The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party organized a peaceful march to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico and to protest the imprisonment of its leaders. On the orders of US-appointed governor of Puerto Rico, General Blanton Winship, police confronted peaceful marchers with violence, leaving 19 marchers and two policemen dead.

Pedro Albizu Campos Leads the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. This resource, housed at NCTE’s website, provides a few suggested lessons on Albizu Campos, as well as other figures in nationalist movements. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9YHK87

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. It has been officially recognized by the UN since 2012.

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

21     International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the lives of the anti-apartheid demonstrators killed on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa.

Know Your Rights on Campus: A Guide on Racial Profiling, and Hate Crime for International Students in the United States, by Harvard’s Civil Rights Project. This guide provides students with the facts they need to protect themselves in school. Written with college students in mind, this is also a helpful resource for high schoolers. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/KfwgKL

10 Ways to Fight Hate, by Teaching Tolerance. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities. (M, H) http://bit.ly/bCyQvl

South African History Online. This website gives the historical context of the demonstrations across South Africa in 1960, one of which resulted in the Sharpeville massacre. Eyewitness accounts and other useful primary sources are provided. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/XiIHeL

22     World Water Day. This observance is held annually to highlight water issues and to advocate for universal access to sustainable, fresh water resources.

Measuring Water with Justice, by Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools. This article discusses several strategies to teach about the costs of producing water, who should have rights to drinking water and how oil spills affect ecosystems and communities. (E, M, TR) http://bit.ly/rxObc5

Flow: For the Love of Water, directed by Irena Salina. This film builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2w3gIl

25     210th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. The Slave Trade Abolition Bill of 1807 made it illegal to transport slaves internationally into any territory in the British empire. However, slavery itself was not abolished in the British Empire until 1833.

William Wilberforce, by BBC. A biography of William Wilberforce, a social reformer who used the infamous diagram of a transatlantic slave ship to bring an end to British slave trade. (M, H, TR)http://bbc.in/1zcZ8H8

25     50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march against the Vietnam War. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. led a march of 5,000 antiwar demonstrators in Chicago. King declared that the war was against all that America stands for and argued that the war diverted money and attention from domestic programs that could aid the poor.

A Revolution of Values, by Zinn Education Project. This teaching activity contains excerpts from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech titled “Beyond Vietnam,” and a PDF for classroom use and teaching ideas. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1HXdpSN

Hidden in Plain Sight: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Radical Vision, by Craig Gordon. A teaching activity guide includes objectives and essential questions for teachers and students based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 book, Where Do We Go Here: Chaos or Community? (H, TR) http://bit.ly/21SrOpS

27     150th anniversary of the Charleston Streetcar Sit-Ins. After a Freedmen’s meeting, a group of African American men boarded Charleston streetcars, contrary to company rules. The men were forcibly removed and arrested. Several weeks of protests and litigation led to a June 1867 law requiring integration of all public transportation in South Carolina.

After Slavery: Educator Resources, by Lowcountry Digital History Initiative. Reprint of article from The New York Times in 1867, along with guiding questions about the Charleston protests against streetcar segregation. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Qw05Xe

31     César Chávez, farm labor organizer and El Movimiento leader, born (1927-1993). César Chávez, an advocate of nonviolence, is an inspirational hero for millions. After his family was evicted from land they had farmed for 50 years, young Chávez worked alongside his family as a migrant worker. In 1962, he and his wife and Dolores Huerta established the National Farm Workers Association, which eventually became the United Farm Workers (UFW). The UFW not only improved wages and conditions for Chicano and Filipino farm workers, it was also a spark in the awakening of the freedom struggles of La Raza in the Southwest.

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

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

Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez, by Kathleen Krull. This picture book chronicles Chávez’s youth and the struggles he endured on his journey to becoming a leader. The second link is to a teacher’s guide. (E) http://amzn.to/1V7FcF3, http://bit.ly/1Qd1FZx

Model Curriculum and Resources for Teachers. This curriculum on the life and work of César E. Chávez from the California Department of Education includes biographies, pictures and other resources provided to help teachers prepare lessons for this holiday. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/cb8Nf


1     First day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Inaugurated in 2001, Sexual Assault Awareness Month seeks to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it.

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. The second 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. The largest literary celebration in the world, National Poetry Month is an annual celebration of poetry and its place in American culture.

Growing Up Hip-Hop, by Kahlil Almustafa. In this collection, written throughout his youth and young adulthood, award winning poet, Kahlil Almustafa, captures the experiences, contradictions and healing that have defined the hip-hop generation. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/10R2UF4

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 Poetry and the Classics for the Classroom, by Alan Sitomer 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

The Dreamer, by Pam Munoz Ryan. Award-winning middle school novel offers a wonderful introduction to the life of Pablo Neruda as a child. Neruda’s commitment to following his dream to write, as told in The Dreamer, will provide inspiration to many readers not only to read Neruda’s poems, but also to write their own. (M) http://bit.ly/1qMWdb3


1     Juliette Derricotte, African-American educator and political activist, born (1897-1931). Juliette Derricotte was the Dean of Women at Fisk University, as well as the first female trustee at Talladega College and a member of the YWCA board. After a traffic accident in Georgia, she was refused entry to a White hospital and died, sparking outrage throughout the country.

Born On This Day: Talladega’s Juliette Derricotte, by Lauren Kientz Anderson for #MyHBCUstory. Short biography and photo of Derricotte. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/24GbFFu

4     50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech “Beyond Vietnam” at Riverside Church in New York City. In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s first major speech on Vietnam, he articulated the link between racism in the US and imperialism overseas. King was heavily criticized by conservative civil rights leaders and establishment liberals for detracting from civil rights demands.

Digital Archive of Dr. King’s Position on Vietnam, by The King Center. Digital archive of clickable primary documents related to Dr. King’s work to protest the Vietnam War. (M, H, TR)http://bit.ly/1TYEo3a

5     40th anniversary of the takeover of the Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) office. Demonstrators occupied the HEW office in San Francisco to demand the enforcement of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which makes it illegal for federal agencies, public universities and other public institutions to discriminate on the basis of disability. After 25 days, the longest occupation of a federal office by protesters in US history, the protestors’ demands were met.

5     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 included. (M, H, TR) http://bbc.in/10sh2K9

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

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

Health: The Big Picture, by The Change Agent. Issue 28, March 2009 of The Change Agent explores students’ experiences dealing with health challenges and their individual and community-based responses to those challenges. It also contains information about the US health insurance industry, student-recommended home remedies and more. The resource is available after free registration at: http://www.nelrc.org/changeagent/backissues.htm (TR) http://bit.ly/1pD0Qkd

7     30th anniversary of the opening of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. This is the first museum devoted to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing and literary arts.

National Museum of Women in the Arts: Resources for Educators. Wide variety of teacher resources and programs provide a fresh perspective on arts in the classroom — explore tours, partnerships, self-guides, and the arts-integration Art, Books, and Creativity curriculum. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Qqt3GM

Art Room, by Susan Vande Griek. Emily Carr (1871-1945) was a great artist of the Northwest Coast. Art Room is set in the early 1900s, when Carr was teaching art to children to support herself. Susan Vande Griek has created a delightful story-poem filled with Carr’s love of animals, her insistence on painting from life and nature, and the sense of fun and freedom that she inspired in her students. (E) http://bit.ly/220mobw

9     Irene Morgan, African American educator and anti-segregationist, born (1917-2007). Irene Morgan was arrested in Middlesex County, Virginia, in 1944 for refusing to give up her seat on an interstate bus, defying a state law on segregation, eleven years before Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery for a similar violation. The US Supreme Court ruled in her favor.

Women Make History: An Untold Story of the Civil Rights Movement, by Civil Rights Teaching. Interactive lesson, including all accompanying materials, about the critical role of women in the Movement. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1TvMKB8

9     Palm Sunday (Christianity) Western and Eastern Orthodox. Palm Sunday falls on the Sunday before Easter and marks the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week.

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

11     First day of Passover, begins at sunset on 4/10 (Judaism). Passover is an 8-day festival that commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

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

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

The Story of India: Tracking Early Hinduism, by 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 text that represents their journey of learning. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1cqVvVc

11     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. Illustrations are provided; links to other festival and related topics are also available. (M, H) http://bit.ly/KntMvy

12     230th anniversary of the founding of the Free African Society. Organized by Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, free Black men in Philadelphia, the goal was to create a non-denominational religious organization and mutual-aid society that served the spiritual, economic and social needs of the city’s African American community.

Preamble of the Free African Society, by Detroit Public Television’s series, Africans in America. Full text of the preamble and articles of the Free African Society, which provide a succinct portrait of the organization. (H) http://to.pbs.org/1QXMSZD

14     Good Friday (Christianity). Good Friday occurs two days before Easter and commemorates Jesus’s death.

14     10th anniversary of nationwide rallies against climate change. Bill McKibben founded “Step It Up 2007,” which organized rallies in hundreds of American cities and towns to demand that Congress enact curbs on carbon emissions. The campaign quickly won widespread support from a variety of environmental, student and religious groups.

Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?, by Anne Rockwell. This book offers young students information about the greenhouse effect, how global warming is affecting the planet, and ways in which readers can fight global warming. 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/vuuSCG 

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

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

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, by Navjot Kaur. This 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 for a teacher’s guide for the book. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1fbUwfZ Teacher’s Guide: http://bit.ly/V1oNlK

Guru Nanak, by Rina Sing. The Sikh faith, the world’s fifth largest religion, began with the teachings of Guru Nanak in the fifteenth century and evolved with the nine gurus who followed him. He grew up to be a great spiritual teacher, revolutionary for his times, declaring that there was no difference between Hindus and Muslims, that men and women were equal and that caste was irrelevant. His attempt to define a universal humanity resulted in Sikhism—a religion that embraces everyone. This biography, exquisitely illustrated in the Indian miniature-painting tradition, tells the story of his life, including his spiritual journeys, the miracles he performed to illustrate his teachings, and his poetry. (E) http://amzn.to/1qMWw5Q

Resources for Educators, by 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, contact education@sikhcoalition.org. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1edL3DS

15     200th anniversary of the American School for the Deaf. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet founded the first US school for deaf students in Hartford, CT. The school has developed model education programs for deaf students (ages 3 to 21), teacher training, and other services for deaf children, adults and their families.

15     70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in major league baseball. Jackie Robinson was the first African American to integrate major league baseball. He endured racism and threats with grace, but also spoke out against racial discrimination. Upon retiring from the game, Robinson became an outspoken civil rights advocate.

We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, by Kadir Nelson. This picture book shares the story of the Negro Leagues. For too long, students have learned only about Jackie Robinson integrating the white leagues, but not about the leagues organized by African Americans, where Jackie Robinson was one of many outstanding players. (E) http://bit.ly/aUvEyV

Teammates, by Paul Bacon. A children’s book that tells the story of the integration of baseball, and the experiences of Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player to be admitted to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, an all-White team. Teacher resources and ideas for activities are also included. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1Qhz3Up

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, by Bette Bao Lord. This children’s book depicts a young girl’s learning about Jackie Robinson, drawing parallels between their experiences as minorities in the US. Ideas for activities and teacher resources are also available. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1NISHXi

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, by Michelle Green. Motivated by her love for the game and inspired by the legendary Jackie Robinson, Mamie Johnson is determined to be a professional baseball pitcher. But in a sport that’s controlled by White men, there is no place for a Black woman. (E) http://bit.ly/1R4t4NY

16     Essex Hemphill, American poet and activist, born (1957-1995). Hemphill’s first books were self-published chapbooks. He became widely published in anthologies by gay Black men; his poems were also featured in the award-winning documentaries, Tongues Untied and Looking for Langston. Hemphill died from AIDS-related complications.

16     Easter (Christianity) Western and Eastern Orthodox. Easter is a holiday in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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

17     National Day of Silence. During Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), students lead protest against LGBTQ harassment in school.

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

18     Clarence Darrow, defense attorney and public speaker, born (1857-1938). Darrow took on many high-profile trials, including the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial,” which was a test case of the Tennessee law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools.

19     40th anniversary of the formation of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. The Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues began with 15 members from both parties, and was chaired by Elizabeth Holtzman and Margaret Heckler.

19     70th anniversary of Mendez v Westminster. Mexican American Gonzalo Mendez sued the all-White Westminster school in Orange County, California, when his daughter was denied entrance. The court sided with Mendez. This case was a precursor to Brown v Board of Education, in which the US Supreme Court outlawed “separate but equal” accommodations.

For All the Children (Para Todos los Niños). This film documents the life of Sylvia Mendez, who was a third-grader in 1943. When she and her siblings were banned from attending the segregated all-White school near their Orange County home, the Mendez family fought back. (E, M, H, TR) The following is a link to a radio interview with Mendez: http://bit.ly/KfnMn1 and a resource from Teaching Tolerance http://bit.ly/LN3Ohv

Sylvia & Aki, by Winifred Conkling. This historical novel is based on the true stories of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu Nakauchi, who were third-graders during World War II. When Aki’s family is forced to leave their home for a Japanese American internment camp, the Mendez family moves in. Sylvia Mendez looks forward to her first day of school, only to be told she cannot enroll. This leads to the groundbreaking Mendez v Westminster desegregation lawsuit that preceded Brown v Board of Education. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1az5oy5

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

20     George Takei, actor and LGBT advocate, born (1937). Hosato “George” Takei is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” television series and subsequent movies. When he was a child, he and his family were forced to live in internment camps in Arkansas and California. Takei has been an activist and advocate for the LGBT community, the Japanese community, relations between Japan and America, and Japanese history.

George Takei Guides “Allegiance,” a Musical, Not a Starship, by Laura Collins-Hughes. An article on the subject of the Broadway musical, Allegiance, which brings forth the experiences of Japanese American families in internment camps during World War II; inspired by actor George Takei’s memories from childhood. (H, TR) http://nyti.ms/1MoOWaO

Children of the Camps, documentary film by Dr. Satsuki Ina. This film documents the experiences of six Japanese American children who were held in internment campus during WWII. The film’s website includes teaching resources that explore the historical context of internment, as well as its effects on the children and communities involved. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1gevpqr, http://bit.ly/tUcc4T

22     Earth Day. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated in 175 countries. Events are held worldwide to raise awareness of environmental issues. According to the Earth Day Network, it is the largest secular civic event in the world.

Environmental Protection Activities and Online Games, by the Institute for Humane Education. Among other great resources and lesson plans, this website hosts several online games that help students explore issues of environmental sustainability. (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 are available for free download; older resources require a purchase. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1r0QFKy

A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis, edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart from Rethinking Schools. The book features some of the best articles from Rethinking Schools magazine alongside classroom-friendly readings on climate change, energy, water, food, and pollution, as well as on people who are working to make things better. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1VKElav

Lessons from Mother Earth, by Elaine McLeod. Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really being aware of the garden. But today they step outside the door and Tess learns that all of nature can be a garden. And if you take care of the plants that are growing, if you learn about them—when they flower, when they give fruit, and when to leave them alone—you will always find something to nourish you. This gentle story demonstrates the First Nations’ tradition of taking care of Mother Earth. (E) http://bit.ly/1QBznLT

23     Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sunset on 4/22.

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: Online Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This online exhibit provides resources, photographs, and more, to learn about the Nazis’ persecution of homosexuals. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1V7IvMz

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

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

Teacher’s Guide for Cobblestone Armenian Americans, by Lucine Kasbarian. This teacher and classroom guide provides lessons to teach 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) Book: http://amzn.to/1YyIWO3; Teacher’s guide: http://bit.ly/22AZDJQ

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

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

26     Kojo Tovalou Houénou, critic of the French colonial empire, born (1887-1936). Houénou, from Dahomey, served as a doctor in the French army during World War I. In Paris in 1924, he founded the newspaper Les Continents, which was critical of racism and the French colonial empire. He faced constant harassment by the French government in Europe and Africa.

26     240th anniversary of Sybil Ludington’s midnight ride. Sybil Ludington, at 16 years old, rode 40 miles on horseback in the middle of the night to warn the American militia at Danbury, CT of the approach of the British forces. This was twice as far as Paul Revere’s famous ride, accomplished by a teenage girl.

27     Coretta Scott King, American author, activist and civil rights leader, born (1927-2006)
. Coretta Scott King was an African American activist, civil rights leader and author. She married Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1955 and joined him in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She continued her husband’s work after he was assassinated in 1968, writing and speaking on civil and human rights.

Coretta Scott, by Ntozake Shange, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Poetic prose, coupled with stunning illustrations, make this biography a great read-aloud and civil rights resource for elementary classrooms. (E) http://amzn.to/1TvUfYP

28     50th anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s refusing induction into the army. Boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to serve in the Army during the Vietnam War, citing religious reasons, and asserting that “no Viet Cong ever called me nigger.” He was convicted of draft evasion, stripped of his boxing title, sentenced to prison, fined and banned from boxing. People all over the world demonstrated on his behalf; in 1971 the Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

What’s My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the United States, by Dave Zirin. Zirin’s book examines US history with a focus on racism, sexism and homophobia in sports, along with the profound connection between sports and patriotic nationalism. Chapter 3 focuses on Muhammad Ali, his critical consciousness and activist spirit. (H, TR) http://amzn.to/1p5CwtA

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

Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champion, by Walter Dean Myers. Myers examines the depth and complexity of the larger-than-life legend and Heavyweight Champion of the World. (E)http://amzn.to/1TsL77d

29     20th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control treaty that outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. Since 2005, this date has been set aside as a Day of Remembrance for all victims of chemical warfare.

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

30     40th anniversary of Clamshell Alliance’s demonstration at Seabrook, NH. 2,000 nonviolent protesters occupied the construction site of a nuclear power plant, citing safety and environmental concerns. The protest helped spur an anti-nuclear movement across the US.

Peace Education, by 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; and Pressure Groups, among others. The issues explored allow students to investigate a range of arguments, and consider a controversial issue in a fun and interactive way. Designed for British students but could be adapted to an American classroom. (M, H) http://bit.ly/WyMKUE


1     First day of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. May is designated as a month to celebrate the history, traditions and culture of Asian-Pacific Americans. It was officially signed into law in 1992.

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

My Name is Yoon, by Helen Recorvits. This picture book is about a Korean girl who has difficulty adjusting to her new life in America. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://amzn.to/22B02f5

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

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 Screen-Free Week. This annual, international event encourages people to take a break from digital entertainment (TV, computers, tablets, game systems) and instead asks people to read books, get outside, be creative, and just spend more time with family and friends.

Media Literacy / TV Turn-Off Week. This 5-day unit deals with topics such as time spent watching TV by students, the discrepancy of people they can identify (social activists vs celebrities), and ways to spend TV Turn-off Week. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1cr0pl0

Screen Free Week Organizer’s Kit, by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. This resource includes kits that you can download for free. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1NHnYH3

2     National Teacher Day. A day set aside to honor teachers for their contributions to learning, child development and to the community.

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 is aimed at those engaged in struggle- for tabling and flyering, as fuel for reading groups and public debate. Most of the material is written by current or former educators from Chicago, New York and elsewhere. The booklet 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     60th anniversary of the Anne Frank Foundation. The Anne Frank Foundation was formed to maintain the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It develops and distributes education programs that fight antisemitism and racism and promote civil rights.

Giving Beyond Measure—Diary of Anne Frank, by Learning to Give. Lessons that compare and contrast the life of Anne Frank in the annex with our lives today. Much of the focus is on philanthropy, moral reasoning, human rights and social justice. (M) http://bit.ly/NjtS38

4     60th anniversary of Senator Henry B. Gonzalez’s filibuster of segregation bills. Elected to the Texas state Senate in 1956, Henry B. Gonzalez, along with Senator Abraham Kazen, spoke for a total of 36 hours, successfully preventing the passage of ten bills aimed at maintaining segregation and undermining Brown v Board of Education.

Brown v Board: An American Legacy, by Teaching Tolerance. This article provides readers with the chance to reflect on the landmark Supreme Court case by highlighting events leading up to the case, analyzing the effects of the decision and connecting it to events since the decision. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/17z9Ufs

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

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

Cinco de Mayo Inc. This blog is dedicated to documenting and critically examining the commercialization of Cinco de Mayo. This Mexican holiday has become more popular in the US than in Mexico, in part because of corporate America’s desire to make millions off the Latino consumer market. It also perpetuates damaging stereotypes about Latin@s, while obfuscating the historical significance of this day. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/rryYIN

Rethinking Cinco de Mayo, by 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

Cinco de Mayo, Yesterday and Today, by Maria Cristina Urrutia & Rebeca Orozco. Cinco de Mayo is one of the most celebrated days in the Mexican calendar, but few people know that it commemorates a decisive victory of the Mexicans against the invading French in 1862. Drawing on historical sources and the photographic record of a contemporary reenactment, this book introduces children to this important, but little understood, event. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1QF2KOp

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

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

Deconstructing Barbie: Math and Popular Culture, by Swapna Mukhopadhyay. Math activity from the book, Rethinking Mathematics, that engages students in considering the question, “What would Barbie look like if she were as big as you?” (M, H) http://bit.ly/1W9s53q

7     140th anniversary of the end of the Black Hills Wars. The day after Crazy Horse and more than 800 warriors surrendered, a small group of Minneconjou Sioux were defeated, ending the Black Hills Wars (also known as the Great Sioux Wars). Almost a year and a half had passed since the US government declared war on Sioux “hostiles” after it broke treaties it had signed to keep Sioux land sovereign.

American Indians in Children’s Literature Blog, by 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

9     Beginning of National Children’s Book Week. Initiated in 1919, National Children’s Book Week is dedicated to celebrating children’s literature and encouraging children to read. It is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the US.

Using Picture Books to Explore Identity, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, by Loraine Woodard. In this unit, students explore three picture books to better understand and to promote discussion and action on ideas of identity, stereotyping and discrimination. (E, M) http://bit.ly/b3u2eC

10     Vesak (Buddhism). Vesak (Wesak/Vesakha) is the most important holiday in the Buddhist calendar, celebrating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, death and his passing into nirvana. The exact date of Vesak varies according to the various lunar calendars used in different traditions.

Celebrations: Wesak, by 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

11     160th anniversary of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. A series of rebellions against the East India Company eventually led to its dissolution and the beginning of direct rule by the British government. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 is considered part of a larger movement for Indian Independence, which lasted until 1947.

Sita’s Ramayana, by Samhita Arni. The Ramayana—one of the great legends of ancient India—is presented in the form of a visually stunning and gripping graphic novel. Told from the perspective of the queen, Sita, it explores ideas of right vs. wrong, compassion, loyalty, trust, honor and the terrible price that war exacts from women, children, animals and the natural world. (E) http://bit.ly/1QDOQed

13     World Fair Trade Day. The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) draws on support from a membership of 350 fair trade organizations from 80 countries. Goals include creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, payment of a fair price, gender equity and improved working conditions. 

For a Better World, website by Fair World Project. Campaign information, resources, and publications related to understanding and teaching fair trade. (TR) http://bit.ly/1Slrigj

14     120th anniversary of the founding of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee was founded in Berlin to promote efforts to decriminalize homosexuality. The committee campaigned for political and legal reforms that would extend civil rights to LGBT individuals.

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) 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/1SI4Qd3

14     Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that celebrates mothers, motherhood, and the influence of mothers in society. Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world.

Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio, by Rigoberto Gonzalez. Antonio loves words because words have the power to express feelings like love, pride, or hurt. Mother’s Day is coming soon, and Antonio searches for the words to express his love for his mother and her partner, Leslie. But he’s not sure what to do when his classmates make fun of Leslie, an artist, who towers over everyone and wears paint-splattered overalls. As Mother’s Day approaches, Antonio must choose whether or how to express his connection to both of the special women in his life. (E) http://bit.ly/1pvHIrn

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

15     International Conscientious Objectors Day. A day to celebrate those who resist war, especially by refusing to participate in military service.

Conscientious Objection: Youth and Militarism, by the American Friends Service Committee. The American Friends website has a host of materials about militarism, alternatives to the military, counter-recruitment and conscientious objection. (H) http://bit.ly/24bfIs7

DMZ: A Guide to Taking Your School Back from the Military, by The War Resisters League. DMZ is a comprehensive counter-military-recruitment organizing manual for youth activists and their allies. (H) http://bit.ly/1SBpYVo

Why War is Never a Good Idea, by Alice Walker. Poet and activist Alice Walker personifies the power and wanton devastation of war in this evocative poem illustrated by an unflinching look at war’s destructive nature and unforeseen consequences. (E) http://bit.ly/1krnZ84

17     60th anniversary of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. The Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom took place in Washington D.C. 25,000 demonstrators gathered to commemorate the third anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision and to urge the government to abide by that decision and end segregation

Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise. A PBS documentary and companion website exploring both the history of Brown v Board of Education and its unfulfilled or broken promises. The website includes educator resources and interactive lesson plans. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/hyvhby

17     International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHO). IDAHO aims to draw attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people.

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) 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/1i0e5IG

Acting Out: Combating Homophobia Through Teacher Activism, by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, Lauren M. Kenney, and Jill M. Smith. This book chronicles how teachers from urban, suburban and rural districts joined together in a teacher inquiry group to challenge homophobia and heterosexism in schools and classrooms. (TR) http://amzn.to/1m3JQUE

And Tango Makes Three, by 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

Molly’s Family, by Nancy Garden. Molly’s Family is about a five year-old girl with two moms and her struggle to understand the true meaning of family. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/XPWQ5s

Homophobia: Deal with It and Turn Prejudice into Pride, by Steven Solomon. A children’s book that shows students what constitutes homophobic language and why, through a variety of quizzes, scenarios, comics, and Q+A examples. The author also provides students with information on what they can do to create more inclusive environments and combat homophobia. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1Okolqh

18     100th anniversary of the Selective Service Act
. In response to a call for help from US allies during World War I, the Selective Service Act was passed, authorizing the federal government to raise an army through compulsory enlistment of men between the ages of 21 and 31. The Act was cancelled at the conclusion of the war, but later reinstated.

Camouflaged: Investigating How the U.S. Military Affects You and Your Community, by NYCoRE. This resource collection is a tool for educators to help students explore the role of the military in their lives and in their communities. (M, H) http://bit.ly/JTwH94

25     230th anniversary of the US Constitutional Convention. Delegates gathered in Philadelphia to draft the US Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. After much rancor, slavery was left intact and states were given control over voting rights, which led to women losing the right to vote.

Rethinking the U.S. Constitutional Convention: A Role Play, by Bob Peterson. This teaching activity is a role play on the Constitutional Convention in which students learn about the social forces active during and immediately following the American Revolution. Students also explore who should be allowed to vote (and the extent to which gender, race and property ownership play a role in that) and whether slavery and the slave trade should be abolished. (E, M) http://bit.ly/18gNBZ1

25     African Liberation Day. African Liberation Day, established in 1958 at the first Pan-African conference held on African soil, celebrates the hard-fought freedoms of African countries from European colonizers.

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://www.pbs.org/wonders/

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!, by Teaching Tolerance. Article with do’s and don’ts in teaching about modern Africa. (E) http://bit.ly/9pooY

How Big is Africa Poster, by African Studies Outreach Program, Boston University. The website features a poster of the map of Africa with other countries superimposed to compare size. Links to other K-12 resources, as well as children’s and young adult books, are also provided. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Qd8Uk4

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

26     380th anniversary of the Pequot Massacre. Following a long series of disputes, a British militia and allied Mohegan and Narraganset forces initiated a series of attacks against the Pequot. Approximately 600 Pequot were killed at their fort in Mystic, Connecticut. Many Pequot who tried to escape were killed, and those who surrendered were enslaved.

Interview with Vernon Bellecourt about the American Indian Movement. Bellecourt speaks about the state of nations and the demands being made in the American Indian Movement. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/9qBLCK

27     50th anniversary of the Australian Referendum
. With the support of 90% of the Australian public, the referendum amended two sections of the Australian Constitution: It gave the Commonwealth the power to pass laws related to Aboriginal people, and it required that Aboriginal people be counted in the census. The vote marked one of the nation’s first efforts to recognize indigenous rights.

Rabbit Proof Fence. The film, based in Australia, sheds light on the experience and determination of indigenous children in the face of forced deculturalization. The site includes lessons that accompany the film. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/LiFste

27     Rachel Carson, scientist, writer and environmentalist, born (1907-1964). Concerned about the growing use of synthetic chemical pesticides after World War II, Carson wrote Silent Springin 1962. The book warned of the long-term effects of misusing pesticides and called for a different view of the natural world. Silent Spring became a keystone of the modern environmental protection movement.

Bill Moyers Journal Unit on Silent Spring. This is a lesson plan designed for middle to high school classrooms that focuses on the first chapter of Silent Spring. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/tjT0B4

Rachel Carson: Preserving a Sense of Wonder, by Thomas Locker & Joseph Bruchac. Engaging biography of Carson’s childhood, accomplishments, and her passion for nature. (E) http://bit.ly/1UFgIBP

28     Barry Commoner, author of The Closing Circle, born (1917-2012). A vigorous opponent of nuclear testing in the late 1950s, Commoner argued that capitalist technologies were largely responsible for environmental degradation, and helped introduce the concept of sustainability with his “four laws of ecology.”

Nuclear Weapons: What Should Our Policy Be?, by The Choices Program. This unit engages students to consider 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

29     30th anniversary of Jenifer Graham’s refusal to dissect a frog. Graham sued her school district for not allowing her to complete an alternative project in lieu of the dissection. A state court ruled that schools could require dissection in biology classes, but that only frogs that died naturally could be used. Graham became well known for standing up to her school in defense of animals.

Animal Rights Weekend Warrior, by Ingrid E. Newkirk. Created by the co-founder of PETA, this set of cards offers 52 projects that help animals. Each card describes a different way children can improve the life of an animal, or to effect change for thousands of animals-whether it’s cheering up a lonely “backyard dog,” “veganizing” a cafeteria, educating your neighbors or providing your local birds with a bath. (E, M) http://amzn.to/vzuuJ8

Classroom Dissection: Cutting through the Red Tape, by Sandy De Lisle for ASPCA. Teachers and parents are provided with information regarding how to prepare students faced with upcoming dissection activities in the classroom. (TRhttp://bit.ly/23DpdUg

29     Memorial Day. Originally designated as a day to honor those who died in the Civil War, Memorial Day (formerly called Decoration Day) is now celebrated as a tribute to all those who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces.

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

30     80th anniversary of the Memorial Day Massacre. Hundreds gathered on Memorial Day to protest the refusal of Republic Steel to sign a contract with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee. The peaceful, unarmed protestors were met by Chicago police, who fired on the crowd, killing ten and seriously injuring many more. Though a US Senate committee found the Chicago police responsible, no officers were prosecuted. Republic Steel eventually signed a union contract.

31     Margaret Sloan-Hunter, African American writer, publisher, feminist and civil rights activist, born (1947-2004). Margaret Sloan-Hunter became an activist as a teenager, organizing tenants’ unions and rent strikes in Chicago. She went on to become a nationally acclaimed speaker on issues relating to racism and sexism, and was one of the first editors of Ms Magazine.

Feminism, by Californians for Justice. The intent of this popular education piece is to critically analyze popular culture and the way it portrays women, to define what feminism is and how it connects to race. The materials are free, but you must register to use www.buildthewheel.org to access them. (H) http://bit.ly/vdT2IH

31     Shavuot begins at sunset on 5/30 (Judaism). Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of three major festivals that have both agricultural and historical significance. It commemorates the time when the first fruits are harvested and brought to the Temple, and it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

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


1     60th anniversary of the first National Wheelchair Games. Adelphi College hosted the first National Wheelchair Games held in the United States, and included many disabled WWII veterans.

Susan Laughs, by Jeanne Willis. This books features few words and relies on beautiful illustrations to tell readers about Susan, a little girl who does typical childhood things. On the final page of the book, it is revealed that Susan is in a wheelchair. (E) http://bit.ly/1aCt32n

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 and to honor their contributions to American society.

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

Island Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba, by Alma Flor Ada. These true autobiographical tales from renowned Hispanic author and educator, Alma Flor Ada, are filled with family love and traditions, secrets and deep friendships, and a gorgeous, moving picture of the island of Cuba, where Alma Flor grew up. (E) http://bit.ly/1pdpvPv

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, by Margarita Engle. Multiple voices in free verse share little-known stories of the thousands of workers from the Caribbean who suffered and lost their lives while building the Panama Canal. (M) http://bit.ly/1pdoHdw

1     First day of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month is celebrated to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, where gay rights activists clashed with NYC police over discrimination. It also aims to raise awareness about issues surrounding the civil rights of LGBT Americans.

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

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

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

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

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

Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Short video of Alice Walker reading a letter from Rachel Corrie, a young, White American, who traveled to the Gaza Strip as part of the International Solidarity Movement, and was killed by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the IDF. (H) http://bit.ly/1vSZIJU

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

4     120th anniversary of the passage of the Forest Management Act (Organic Act). The Organic Act of 1897 established the first US policy direction for the management, protection and care of the nation’s forest reserves.

5     50th anniversary of the Six-Day War. Israel’s victory included the capture of the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Old City of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. This conflict brought more than one million Palestinians in the occupied territories under Israeli rule, marking a new phase of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Teaching the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict through Dual Narratives, by Samia Shoman. This curriculum provides insights into the challenges of teaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, suggestions for how to present the historical context and current situation using essential and unit questions, and methodology for teaching peace attempts and barriers to peace. (H) http://bit.ly/266sk5P

Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, by Ibtisam Barakat. In this groundbreaking memoir, set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1UQ2aiT

Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak, by Deborah Ellis. This simple book allows young readers everywhere to see that the children caught in this conflict are just like they are, but are living far more difficult and dangerous lives. Without taking sides, it presents an unblinking portrait of children victimized by the endless struggle around them. (M) http://bit.ly/1TpP1NM


7     40th anniversary of the founding of “Save Our Children, Inc.” This campaign, led by conservative Baptist singer, Anita Bryant, aimed to repeal a gay rights ordinance in Florida. Bryant inspired many conservative Christians across the country to take political action. The campaign also galvanized the gay rights movement throughout the US.

Mom and Mum are Getting Married!, by Ken Setterington. When Rosie comes home to find her mom dancing alone in the living room – on a school day – she knows something wonderful is about to happen. So when one of her two mothers announces, “Your Mum and I are getting married,” they can’t wait to start planning the big day. At the party, family, friends and fun come together for a joyous celebration of love in a changing world. (E) http://bit.ly/1M4Lc93


11     40th anniversary of the founding of Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons. The first group was organized in Salt Lake City, Utah. Soon, other Affirmation groups formed in cities across the country. The real beginning of Affirmation as a national organization took place in December 1979. In 1985, some members of the Affirmation group formed a Latter Day Saints church for gays and lesbians called The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ.

The God Box, by Alex Sanchez. Paul, a religious teen living in a small conservative town, finds his world turned upside down when he meets Manuel, a young man who says he’s both Christian and gay – two things that Paul didn’t think could coexist in one person. Doesn’t the Bible forbid homosexuality? As Paul struggles with Manuel’s interpretation of the Bible, thoughts that Paul has long tried to bury begin to surface, and he finds himself re-examining his whole life. (H) http://bit.ly/1M4K2KL

12     50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia decision. At the time this case went to the US Supreme Court, 16 states had laws that barred White people and people of Color from marrying each other. The Supreme Court found that these bans on interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and were, therefore, unconstitutional.

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, by Selina Alko. This children’s book depicts the true story of Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, their three children, and the Supreme Court case that allowed them and all other interracial couples to marry. (E) http://bit.ly/1U8s2nR

50+ Picture Books about Mixed-Race Families, by Colors of Us. List of multicultural books, organized by age, that feature mixed race families. (E) http://bit.ly/1nFwoHU

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

Stop Child Labor Lesson Plans, by International Labor Rights Forum. Lesson plans regarding several anti-child-labor campaigns, including those aimed at cocoa farms and cotton and rubber plantations. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1nK8X9U

Iqbal, by Francesco D’Adamo. This is a powerful story based on the real life and death of a Pakistani child sold into slavery. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1tRoxV7

Teaching with Documents: Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor. This site contains reproducible copies of photos documenting the role of child labor in the development of the industrial United States. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/3qo8vl

13     Eleanor Holmes Norton, Delegate to the United States Congress and civil rights activist, born (1937). Norton is a long-time advocate for civil and women’s rights and represents the District of Columbia in Congress. In the 1970s she signed the Black Woman’s Manifesto, a seminal document of the Black feminist movement. She has held numerous high-profile positions, including that of the first female head of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights, a film by Nevline Nnaji. Through the personal stories of several former Black female former civil rights activists, Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights unearths the lesser-known story of Black women’s political marginalization. The male-dominated Black Power movement and the predominantly White, middle class feminist movement virtually shut out Black female participation in the 1960 and 1970s. The film covers the eventual mobilization of Black and other women of Color into a united feminist movement. (H)http://bit.ly/1W6kjHp

18     Father’s Day. Father’s Day is an annual holiday that honors fathers and father figures and celebrates their contributions to the lives of their children and to society.

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, article in The Atlantic, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. “American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal justice system that’s left the US with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they’ve failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Moynihan’s report, ‘The Negro Family,’ tragically helped create the system, it’s time to reclaim its original intent.” (H, TR) http://theatln.tc/1LP0eVD

Daddy, Papa, and Me, by Leslea Newman. Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with his daddies. (E) http://bit.ly/1LbyE4Y

19     Henry Spira, Belgian-American animal rights advocate, born (1927-1998). The founder of Animal Rights International, Spira is remembered for his successful campaign in 1976 against animal testing at the American Museum of Natural History, where cats were being experimented on for sex research, and for his full-page advertisement in the New York Times in 1980, which featured a rabbit with a bandage over its eyes, and the caption: “How many rabbits does Revlon blind for beauty’s sake?”

What Price Beauty, by the Institute for Humane Education. This activity encourages students to explore and think critically about the personal care products they use and the impact of the ingredients on themselves, other people, animals and the environment. (H) http://bit.ly/1n4khhl

19     30th Anniversary of Edwards v. Aguillard. The US Supreme Court ruled against a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools whenever evolution is taught. While the court suggested that this law favored one religion and was therefore unconstitutional.

19     Juneteenth. The oldest known celebration of the end of slavery, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when 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, by Michael Ray. This six-minute digital history of slavery includes the voices of slave survivors, as well as pictures that depict the struggles and inequities that these individuals had to face. (H) http://bit.ly/1pCbpBh

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

Perspective on the Slave Narrative, by EdSITEment. Lesson about the Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (1847). 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, by Bill Bigelow, Huffington Post. This article questions the portrayal of President Lincoln as an abolitionist in the movie Lincoln. Bigelow also discusses how he and his students approached the study of the Emancipation Proclamation, beginning with Lincoln’s inaugural address. (H, TR) http://huff.to/UpgZq8

22     Octavia Butler, science fiction writer, born (1947-2006). An African American science fiction writer, Butler was known as the “Grand Dame of Science Fiction.” Her award-winning books address issues of race, sexuality, gender, religion, class, and the environment.

7 Black Women Science Fiction Writers Everyone Should Know, by For Harriet. Quick blog post drawing attention to the works of seven Black women sci-fi writers, and their must-reads. (H, TR)http://bit.ly/1OYJnKJ

24     Inti Raymi, the celebration of the Inca Sun God. Winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, Inti Raymi is a nine-day festival that celebrates the life-giving power (physically and spiritually) of Inti, the Inca Sun God.

Abuelos, by Pat Mora and Amelia Lau Carling. In this delightful story, two young children, Ray and Amelia, discover the old New Mexican tradition of los abuelos. This midwinter masquerade, which contains elements of Spanish and indigenous Pueblo culture, as well as sharing features common to solstice celebrations in other parts of the world, died out in New Mexico for a time, but has been revived in recent years. (E) http://bit.ly/1R5BMSq

25     70th anniversary of the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl whose family hid from the Nazis for two years with the help of non-Jewish friends. In 1944 they were arrested and taken to the Aushwitz concentration camp in Poland. Anne and her sister were transferred to a camp in Germany, where they both died. Her father, the family’s sole survivor, published the diary that Anne kept while in hiding. It has been translated into dozens of languages, and several plays and movies based on her account have been produced.

The Diary of Anne Frank, Teacher’s Guide, by PBS. This guide is a detailed resource on the book, The Diary of Anne Frank, and the historical and social context of the time in which it was written. There is a list of additional resources at the end of the guide. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1igZMuB

The Story of Anne Frank, Lesson Plan, by Scholastic. This lesson plan will introduce students to Anne Frank and the time period during which she lived. The lesson goal is for students to be able to articulate that certain groups of people dislike others because of their race, religion or other characteristics. (E) http://bit.ly/17hKLtb

25     150th anniversary of the strike by Chinese rail workers in Sierra Nevada. 2,000 Chinese railway workers building a tunnel to connect existing rail lines to the Truckee River demanded the same treatment that White workers received. When their demands were not met, the Chinese workers went on strike. The nonviolent protest ended after a week when the protestors, cut off from supplies, ran out of food.

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

25     Eid al-fitr begins at sunset on 6/24 (Islam). Eid Al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-Breaking) is celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan to mark the end of fasting. It is often celebrated over the course of three days.

Islamic Celebrations, by Teachers’ Domain. In this video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, members of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC discuss the religious and spiritual significance of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday. (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, by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. An Introduction to Islam is a 16-page reader-friendly guide that can be downloaded for free to share with teachers and students. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/23DqeeR

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

26     40th anniversary of the Gay Freedom Day parade in San Francisco. The 1977 Gay Freedom Day parade in San Francisco followed shortly after Anita Bryant launched her “Save Our Children” anti-gay campaign. An estimated 300,000 protestors, both gay and straight, turned out for the parade, which was essentially a civil rights march.

Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans, by Philip Gambone. For two years, Gambone traveled throughout the United States, talking candidly with LGBTQ people about their lives. For some, their identity as a sexual minority is crucial to their life’s work; for others, it has been less so, perhaps even irrelevant. Gambone’s subjects have managed, despite facing ignorance, fear, hatred, intolerance, injustice, violence, ridicule, or just plain indifference, to construct passionate, inspiring lives. (H) http://bit.ly/1QEo9HJ

27     National HIV Testing Day. National HIV Testing Day is an annual campaign encouraging people to “take the test, take control.”

AVERT: Averting HIV and AIDS. A variety of resources and information, including quizzes, handouts, videos and lessons for teachers and teens about living with and preventing HIV/AIDS. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uq5WS7

30     90th anniversary of the Johnson-Reed Act (Phase 2 of the 1924 Immigration Act). The Johnson-Reed Act set quotas to limit immigration from particular countries. From its passage in 1924 until 1927, the quota was 2% of the population of each nationality as calculated by the 1890 US Census. In 1927, the overall annual quota of 150,000 was divided among countries in proportion to the ancestry of the 1920 population. This severely limited immigration from countries in the Middle East, eastern and southern Europe, Asia and Africa.

Invisible Americans: Stories from the New Immigrants, by Black Swan Arts & Media. 20+ stories culled from over 400 oral histories collected over a six-year period by African American children and children of immigrants in Oakland, California from interviews with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Listeners hear family stories, read by a broad range of community members and actors, set to a musical score, and placed into the larger context of the American immigration experience by leading scholars and community activists. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1njIE0l

30     40th anniversary of the bill requesting Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. Representative Frank Horton introduced a bill to the US House of Representatives that authorized the President of the US to designate a week in the first ten days of May as “Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week.” On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the joint resolution into law, which proclaimed the week of May 4-11 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.

10 Examples of #AAPI’s Rich History of Resistance, by Reappropriate. This post on Reappropriate’s blog describes ten examples of Asian American resistance.  (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1eFq1tS

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/266pj5A

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


1     Canada gains independence from Great Britain. On July 1, 1867, with the passage of the British North America Act, the Dominion of Canada was officially established as a self-governing entity within the British Empire.

Great Canadian Lives: A Cultural History of Modern Canada Through the Art of the Obit, by Sandra Martin. Award-winning Globe and Mail journalist, Sandra Martin, captures the life and times of 50 extraordinary Canadians, whose achievements, follies, and dreams have shaped the country. (H) http://bit.ly/1W78cK9

2     100th anniversary of the East St. Louis Massacre. Whites indiscriminately attacked Black men, women and children, partly in retaliation for Black workers’ breaking a strike at a local factory. Exact figures are unavailable, but between 40 and 250 African Americans were killed in the attacks, and another 6,000 fled or were left homeless as a result of arson. This event helped galvanize the nascent NAACP.

It’s a Mystery – White Workers Against Black Workers, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Teachers are provided with a unit plan depicting the history and social factors that contributed to the racial tensions between workers in the 1920s. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1mFmfZV

4     Independence Day

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

8     240th anniversary of Vermont’s abolition of slavery. On this day the Commonwealth of Vermont adopted a constitution that prohibited slavery, becoming the first sovereign state to abolish slavery.

A Forgotten History: The Slave Trade and Slavery in New England. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that examines slavery in New England and the effects of the trade on slaves and slavery for the new Americans of the time. Materials include videos, graphic organizers, lesson plans, and web links. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/uyVzP3

10     100th anniversary of Emma Goldman’s conviction for resisting the draft. Emma Goldman was an anarchist, as well as an early advocate of free speech, women’s equality, and organized labor. Her protests against the draft led to her arrest, imprisonment and deportation.

Should the Draft be Reinstated?, CNN, Time, Washington Post. Mainstream news coverage from this debate can be used to fuel an in-class debate on conscription in modern times. It can also be linked to class discussions about how the media shapes public perception. (H) http://wapo.st/uLkCE6   http://ti.me/567E9x   http://bit.ly/vabJhr

12     60th anniversary of the Newark Rebellion. John Smith, an African American cab driver, was arrested when he drove his taxi around a police car and double-parked. Smith was charged with “tailgating” and driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. His brutal treatment by Newark police led to the 5-day riot, which left 26 people dead, 750 injured, and over 1,000 arrests.

Revolution ’67, a documentary film by Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno. This film focuses on the six-day urban rebellion in Newark, NJ in the summer of 1967. Includes free streaming video clips, background, teacher lesson plans, activities and discussion guides. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1Uce2ep

12     100th anniversary of the Bisbee Deportation. 1,300 striking (IWW) mine workers, supporters and bystanders in Bisbee, AZ were kidnapped by 2,000 vigilantes at the behest of the local sheriff and the mine owner. They were transported in cattle cars for 18 hours through the desert without food or water. Although the action was ruled illegal, no one was ever punished.

The Bisbee Deportation of 1917, A University of Arizona Web Exhibit. Background, primary sources, resources, demographics of deportees, and a “teacher’s corner” set of hyperlinked lesson plans on the Deportation. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1R4FKo4

12     Malala Yousafzai, children’s and women’s rights activist, born (1997). As a child, Yousafzai became an advocate for girls’ education, which resulted in the Taliban’s issuing a death threat against her. On October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Malala in the face as she was on her way home from school. She survived, and has continued to speak out on the importance of education. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest person to receive the award.

Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan, by Jeanette Winter. This children’s book tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a youth and women’s rights activist, and inspires children to create change as Malala has done, despite the oppressive environment she grew up. Ideas for activities and teacher resources are also available. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1NPGCeC

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition), by Malala Yousafzai. Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school. (M, H) http://amzn.to/1W73kEQ

14     100th anniversary of the arrest of 16 women picketing the White House demanding universal women’s suffrage. The women, representing the National Woman’s Party, were some of the many suffragists to picket the White House. They were jailed and charged with obstructing traffic. That year, 218 women were arrested and 97 jailed.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement, by Deidrah Scott. This unit plan helps students explore the history of the Women’s suffrage movement, women’s rights, and Women’s History Month. It also provides links to relevant resources, such as documents from the Library of Congress, PBS webisodes, and DVDs from the History Channel. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/sE6ovu

14     140th anniversary of the the Great Railroad Strike. In the country’s first major strike, and the first ever general strike, the Great Railroad Strike began in West Virginia and spread to several other states in response to the third wage cut within a year. Striking workers would not allow the trains to roll until the wage cut was revoked, but the National Guard and state militia violently shut down the strike.

What Rights Do We Have?, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. A teaching activity that provides teachers with five units centered around labor movements, history, and rights. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1kaTKy8

22     30th anniversary of the shooting of Naji al-Ali, Palestinian cartoonist and activist. Naji al-Ali was a political cartoonist best known for his relentless criticism of repression and despotism in the Middle East. He exposed the brutality of the Israeli army and the hypocrisy of the PLO and its leader, Yasser Arafat. Naji al-Ali was shot on July 22 and died on August 29, 1997. The gunman was a Mossad agent posing as a Palestinian student, but his identity was never made public.

Handala: Cartoons Through the Eyes of a Palestinian Refugee, by Naji al-Ali. Website containing collections of al-Ali’s cartoons, drawn in defiance of the occupation of Palestine. Also find links to additional resources and a short autobiography. (H) http://bit.ly/21XflDX

22     80th anniversary of the passage of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937. As part of the New Deal, the Act provided sharecroppers and tenant farmers, many of whom where African American, with low interest loans to buy small farms, turning them from farm workers into farm owners.

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

23     50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion. During the summer of 1967, riots erupted in inner cities across the United States. One of the most devastating occurred in Detroit, Michigan in response to police brutality, as well as segregated housing and schools and rising unemployment. 43 people were killed and 2,000 people injured in the rebellion.

The Riots in Detroit, from Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement, from PBS. Introduction to the Detroit Rebellion, as well as multimedia resources, including music, brief video, a gallery of photographs, and linked media coverage of the events. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/21jVVU0

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, a documentary film by Grace Lee. As she wrestles with a Detroit in transition, contradictions of violence and nonviolence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience – the ability to transform oneself to transform the world. Includes a classroom discussion guide and toolkit for dialogue-based screening. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1U2m4aJ

24     Amelia Earhart, pioneer aviator, author and women’s rights activist, born (1897-1937). Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the first person to fly solo across the Pacific from Honolulu, Hawaii to mainland US. She was an active member of the National Woman’s Party and served as the first president of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots.

Women in Aviation and Space History, by Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This museum website features 47 women who are or have been included by name, artifact or photograph in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s exhibits. Amelia Earhart is among the 47, and included in her comprehensive biography are Earhart’s notable flights, her role in The Ninety-Nines (a female pilot organization), and her work designing “functional” women’s clothing. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/18KWb34

26     190th anniversary of the ratification of the Cherokee Constitution. The ratification of the Cherokee Constitution was an act of sovereignty and resistance against the United States, as well as an internally controversial act. The constitution, which consolidated power to a central government, reflected the organization of the US government with executive, judicial and legislative branches. Some Cherokee felt that it departed too far from tradition in an attempt to prove that the Cherokee were “civilized.”

The Cherokee Nation and the Birth of a New Script, by Geraldine Granahan, New-York Historical Society Museum & Library. This New York Historical Society Library blog post features items that were printed in the Cherokee language, including the Cherokee Advocate newspaper, which was printed weekly in Cherokee and English. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1jTLAht

26     170th anniversary of Liberia’s independence. The Republic of Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society, declared its independence. The United States reluctantly accepted Liberian sovereignty, making the West African nation the first democratic republic in Africa. A constitution modeled after the US Constitution was approved, and in 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts was elected Liberia’s first president.

African American Odyssey: Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period (Part 2), Library of Congress online exhibition. This site features information and primary sources related to the contribution of free Blacks during the Antebellum Period, including the establishment of Liberia. (M, H, TR) http://1.usa.gov/17yUxDV

28     100th anniversary of the Silent Parade. The Silent Parade was a march by 10,000 African Americans to protest violence toward African Americans. Organized by W.E.B. Du Bois and the NAACP, participants hoped to influence President Woodrow Wilson to carry through on election promises to African American voters to implement anti-lynching legislation and promote Black causes. Wilson rescinded his promises, and federal discrimination increased during Wilson’s presidency.

“Domestic Terror:” Understanding Lynching During the Era of Jim Crow, by PBS and The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. Terror and violence were used to sustain the Jim Crow system throughout its bloody history. Many of the stories and images contained in the series depict disturbing scenes of terror that need to be discussed in the classroom. This unit considers violence in the struggle for civil rights – when and why violence was employed. (H) http://to.pbs.org/1RyOW4x 

Strange Fruit, by Joel Katz. This documentary explores the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic. The film examines lynching, the interplay of race, labor and the Left, and popular culture as forces that gave rise to the civil rights movement. Site includes a protest music overview and a resource page (“Learn More”) with websites, books, articles, and lesson plans on protest music. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/dm2psW