Who needs Trump's 1776 Commission? Certainly not us. Kids deserve more than nationalist propaganda. They deserve to learn a complete history of the United States of the people and for the people. And we can help.
To teach a people’s history is to consider the historical perspective of the marginalized and the oppressed. It is to acknowledge the historical impact of people from all backgrounds; to share the groundbreaking cultural and political contributions of everyday people, not just the stories promoted by (and beneficial to) those in power. When we teach history from this perspective, we can uncover a better understanding of how our present came to be. By sharing these stories, we equip children with the foundation needed to make lasting, meaningful change in our society –– for the good of all of us.
Young people have been making important contributions to history for centuries. To take a few examples from Howard Zinn's A Young People's History of the United States: There's Anyokah, the child who helped bring written language to her Cherokee people. There are the young laborers who—to the benefit of their peers toiling in cotton mills, canneries, and mines—stood up for themselves with the National Child Labor Committee's Declaration of Dependence. And there's John Tinker, the high school student who fought all the way to the Supreme Court for freedom of expression at school—and won. Our mission with the For Young People series is not to talk down to the young, but to make accessible versions of some of the best books around, and thereby giving young people the facts and inspiration they may need in order to lift their voices up.
For more teaching resources, visit:
Free Teaching Guides, Lesson Plans, & Other Resources
A Young People's History of the United States Lesson Plan
1493 for Young People: From Columbus's Voyage to Globalization
A Different Mirror for Young People Teaching Guide
Eiffel's Tower for Young People Teaching Guide
A Road Map to Howard Zinn's Writings Published by Seven Stories Press
Ink Knows No Borders Teaching Guide
Martha and the Slave Catchers Teaching Guide