Retro Report and Pear Deck have partnered to help teachers give historical context to today’s most important stories. With these ready-to-teach lessons, students learn how journalism and storytelling allows us to better understand the lessons of history and apply them to today’s world.

Behaviorism, B.F. Skinner, and Social Media

This lesson introduces students to the influential psychologist B.F. Skinner through interviews and vivid footage of his original experiments, including pigeons playing a version of Ping-Pong. It illuminates the connections between Skinner’s theory of variable rewards and the rise of habit-forming internet applications. The video is useful for introducing Skinner and behaviorism, or for setting up a classroom discussion about the ethics of creating habit-forming products.

Gerrymandering Tilts Political Power: Lesson 1

This lesson explores the ways reapportionment and redistricting affect how and by whom the people are represented. Students will examine interactive resources to explore how changing district lines can affect the balance of partisan power and evaluate criteria for drawing district lines.

Gerrymandering Tilts Political Power: Lesson 2

In this lesson, students will experiment with interactive maps to see both historical and contemporary changes to the balance of power among states and discover who has the power within those states to redraw the lines. These activities ask students to examine primary sources, pose questions for investigation and gather additional narratives.

From Women’s Suffrage to the ERA

In this lesson, students will examine the history of the E.R.A. and develop a claim, using evidence gathered from a variety of sources to support their answer.

The Civil Rights Movement Expands: Busing

In this lesson, students will learn about why the U.S. Supreme Court authorized the use of cross-town busing to accelerate school desegregation and how that decision affected communities and students in the American South.

How a 1944 Supreme Court Ruling on Internment Camps Led to a Reckoning

This lesson revisits how just months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered 120,000 people of Japanese descent, most American citizens, rounded up and imprisoned in camps. Decades later, the government admitted wrongdoing, issuing official apologies and reparations to those who had been imprisoned. But the Supreme Court’s decision had a lasting impact.