Featured Teaching Kits
Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about real teens who changed the world throughout history, courtesy of Junior Scholastic magazine
While the Vietnam War raged, many teenagers in America struggled with reports of the violence. One 13-year-old named Mary Beth Tinker decided to do something about it. Her fight for the right to express her views took her all the way to the Supreme Court.
In 1951, there were 21 American states that required black students and white students to attend separate schools. A young African American girl named Barbara Johns knew this wasn't right—and that she had to do something about it. Her bravery led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that changed the nation forever.
In the early 20th century, young children across the country were toiling away at dangerous jobs in factories and mills. After suffering a terrible injury on the job, one courageous 12-year-old girl helped change the lives of thousands of American workers.
Famous quotes from real teens throughout history
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
— Anne Frank
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
— Malala Yousafzai
“Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge”
— Louis Braille
“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”
— Joan of Arc
Four teens who made an impact on the world
A blind French educator born in 1809, who, as a teenager, invented the Braille system of printing and writing for the blind.
A Jewish teenager whose diary provides a unique and personal account of Nazi Germany's persecution of the Jews during World War II.
An Egyptian pharaoh who ruled from age 9 to 19 between the years 1332–1323 B.C. He is one of the most famous Egyptian kings because his tomb was the richest of the few royal burial chambers that survived comparatively intact.
An advocate of female education in Pakistan and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in history.
Supplemental resources that link to external websites about real teens of history
Terms and definitions that pertain to real teens of history
a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change
to refuse, as an act of protest, to participate in a certain event or buy particular products
an organized effort by employees who refuse to work until certain conditions are met by their employer
to express an objection against an idea, an act, or a way of doing things
the separation of people by race, ethnic group, gender, or class
a protest in which people seat themselves somewhere and refuse to move until their demands are met
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Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources.
James D. Morgan/Getty Images for The Growth Faculty (Top Malala Yousafzai); Bettmann/Getty Images (free speech teens); Rudolph Faircloth/AP Images (classroom), Gluekit (photo colorization); Illustration by Allan Davey (child worker); Courtesy Sarah Kaminsky (forging materials); Anne Frank Fonds Basel/Getty Images (Anne Frank); ullstein bild via Getty Images (Louis Braille); DEA/G. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini/Getty Images (King Tut); Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images (Bottom Malala Yousafzai)