Voices of a People's History
Voices of a People's History


What's in it and how do I get one?

September 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012


The Chicago Voices Educators Toolkit includes a DVD, several books, and a pre-loaded 2GB carabiner USB flash drive packed with educational material, all collected in an organic cotton tote bag from The People Speak tagged with the film’s message: Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport.

The Chicago Voices Educators Toolkit is suitable for middle and high school and introductory college classes. Relevant subject areas include Social Studies, U.S. History, English, Language Arts, Drama, Writing, Sociology, Women’s History, Labor History, African-American Studies, Race and Ethnicity Studies.

Over the course of the 2011-2012 school year, the Chicago Voices project will provide the free toolkit to one thousand Chicago educators.

Public school teachers and non-profit community educators who sign up for the toolkit will also receive additional free materials for download throughout the year, including more lesson plans, short video modules of live performances of historical material, a script of dramatic historical readings suitable for classroom or theater use, and much more.

This is not a marketing gimmick! Voices of a People’s History is a non-profit arts and education organization and does not sell, market or rent anyone’s email or private information.

Chicago Voices is a pilot project sponsored by Lannan Foundation, a family foundation established in Chicago in 1960 and now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

So, here are the details on what’s in the toolkit:

The People Speak Extended Edition DVD, which includes:
Full length, 110-minute feature film, narrated by historian Howard Zinn, with bonus features from behind-the-scenes at the live performances and interviews with participants and producers.

A preloaded 2GB carabiner USB flash drive, which includes:
E-book of Voices of a People’s History of the United States, Second Edition (Seven Stories Press 2009) by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, the primary source companion volume to Howard Zinn’s bestselling book A People’s History of the United States (also in the toolkit).

• E-book of Teaching with Voices of a People’s History of the United States, (Seven Stories Press 2009) by Gayle Olson-Raymer, a comprehensive chapter-by-chapter teaching guide.

Standards-aligned lesson plans covering themes raised in the film The People Speak and its primary source material, organized by time period and by subject.

• The official The History Channel Viewing Guide for the December 2009 broadcast premiere of The People Speak.

• An article from the Sep/Oct 2009 issue of The History Channel Magazine by Dr. Libby O’Connell, Vice President and Chief Historian of A&E Television Networks, about The People Speak and live Voices performances.

Graphics folders with photographs from the film The People Speak, public domain historical photos and visual material from Voices including logos and posters.

• Paperback of Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States.

…all delivered in the organic cotton tote bag from The People Speak, tagged with the film’s message: Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport

Educators who sign up for the free toolkit will receive additional multimedia material throughout the year, including a script of edited readings from primary source documents suitable for classroom use and dramatic performances.

Educators currently teaching in Chicago area public schools (including the suburbs) are eligible for the free tool kit, as are educators in Chicago-based non-profit education and community organizations actively teaching middle and high school students or young adults. We are also making the toolkit available to educators in community colleges. We simply ask that those who sign up for the toolkit have a plan or an idea for how they will actively use the material in their classroom, school, college, or community.

At this time, the Toolkit is not available for sale or for free to teachers in other parts of the country. There are other free teaching resources on the Voices website. Please log in as a teacher here.

Anyone who wants a toolkit must sign up and provide basic information about their school or educational organization and valid contact information.

Everyone who signs up will have to pick up their toolkit in person and show ID. Voices doesn’t have the resources to individually ship it out. We’ll provide many pick-up opportunities throughout the year.

Only one toolkit per person. We’re sorry, you can’t pick up a toolkit for a colleague.

Educators can sign up IN PERSON at advertised free film screenings (such as the October 13screening at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum) and other events throughout the year, including several Chicago area curriculum fairs (such as this November’s Teachers For Social Justice Curriculum Fair) and professional development workshops.

Educators can sign up ONLINE by filling out this online form HERE. You’ll still need to come pick up your toolkit in person at an event.

The Chicago Voices Educator Toolkit is made possible by the generosity Lannan Foundation and our allies at The People Speak; book publishers Haymarket Books, Seven Stories Press, The New Press and HarperCollins; broadcasters HISTORY and A & E Television Networks; and, organizations Louder Than A Bomb: Chicago Youth Poetry Festival and the Chicago Teachers Union.