zep header
Zinn Education Project News
New Labor Lessons Online
The Power In Our Hands
The Power In Our Hands
A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers
in the United States

The Zinn Education Project has just posted all the lessons from The Power in Our Hands by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond, published in 1988 by Monthly Review Press. The lessons are available to download for free.

This comprehensive labor history curriculum is filled with role plays, simulations, imaginative writing activities, poetry, first-person readings, and more. In the spirit of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, the lessons in The Power in Our Hands encourage students----through their own active participation---- to recognize the struggles of ordinary workers to achieve justice at work and beyond.
Pete Seeger praised this unique curriculum, saying that the The Power in Our Hands "is a way of getting American teenagers not just interested, but excited and passionate about their history----modern American labor history."
The Zinn Education Project is able to make this resource available through the generosity of individual donors as well as Monthly Review Press.
Here are a sample of the lessons now available.
Lesson engages students in a lively simulation that helps them experience some of the pressures that lead workers to organize.
This role play explores the possibility of solidarity among workers of very different backgrounds and at different levels in the workplace hierarchy.
In this playful activity, students utilize the principles of "scientific management" to restructure a burger joint----one that has been run a good deal more democratically and imaginatively.
Writing activity for students to complete the narrative of women workers striking at a glove-making factory, exploring possible outcomes.
Related Resources
Book - They're Bankrupting Us!
Book - Non-fiction. By Bill Fletcher, Jr. Unpacks the 21 myths most often cited by anti-labor propagandists.
Profile. By Gabriel Thompson. Introduction to influential labor organizer who trained many activists of note including Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez.

Teaching About Labor

Women in Labor History
Women in Labor History
If We Knew Our History Series
Article: The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools
The Real Irish American Story
Not Taught in Schools
By Bill Bigelow
"Wear green on St. Patrick's Day or get pinched." That pretty much sums up the Irish-American "curriculum" that I learned when I was in school. Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing.
Sadly, today's high school textbooks continue to largely ignore the famine, despite the fact that it was responsible for unimaginable suffering and the deaths of more than a million Irish peasants, and that it triggered the greatest wave of Irish immigration in U.S. history. Nor do textbooks make any attempt to help students link famines past and present. Continue reading.
New Resources
Website. A Pinterest-style poster board providing a stream of activist art.

Book - Non-fiction. By Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. Pictures by David Diaz.
Book that features the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the U.S.
Film. By Leah Mahan. Documentary about the impact of "development" on a historically African American community in Gulfport, Miss.

Survey Coming Soon
We Want to Learn from You
The Zinn Education Project is preparing to send a survey to document how and why educators across the country are teaching people's history. This will help us reach and support more teachers through the Zinn Education Project. It will also give us data to respond to the critics and attacks. You will receive the survey during the week of March 24. Film: Not Just a Game: Power, Politics & American SportsPlease plan to respond. 

All respondents will be entered in a raffle to win a copy of Not Just a Game: Power, Politics, and American Sports by Dave Zirin (a $200 value). Twenty names will be drawn. Stay tuned!
Donor Profile
Donor Profile: Bill Fletcher 
Zinn Education Project
The goal of the Zinn Education Project is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history.
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Donate to the Zinn Education Project
� 2013 The Zinn Education Project, a collaboration of