Teaching about Labor and Economic Issues

 

3PLUS-U. This UN Cyberschoolbus site provides an interactive experience for students to inquire about labor rights. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/so5iaC

5 Basic Steps to Organize a Union. Student friendly step-by-step guide to starting a union from the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America’s website. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/chKJv

40 Books About Labor, compiled by The Cooperative Children’s Book Center. A bibliography of 40 children’s books about labor. (E, M) http://bit.ly/aCGFjS

A Kids’ Guide to Hunger & Homelessness, by Cathryn Berger Kaye. This book aims to explain the issues of hunger and homelessness and includes stories of how children around the world have helped their community deal with these issues. It is also a workbook that includes facts, quotes, write-on pages and resources. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/rMioaO

A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn. While chapter 15 mentions the Chicago School Children strike only briefly, Zinn puts the event into context within labor movements and uprisings that took place following World War I and during the Great Depression. (M, H, TR) The text is also available at http://bit.ly/qnDIk8

A. Philip Randolph Exhibit, by the George Meany Memorial Archives. This online exhibit includes photographs, articles, a bibliography and classroom activities about A. Philip Randolph. (H) http://bit.ly/IDxZnP

American Friends Service Society. The curriculum materials presented in this guide explore the legacy of the Spanish American War from a distinct point of view: that of the island nations in the Caribbean and the Pacific, nations whose destiny has been framed for centuries by the tension between foreign domination and the quest for independence. (M, H) http://bit.ly/KeuLaN

“Bread and Roses,” by James Oppenheim. Oppenheim’s poem is closely associated with the Strike of 1912. This site has the words of the poem “Bread and Roses” as well as a song version recorded by Mimi Fariña which has become an anthem for women and workers’ rights. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/a4iuHP

Bread and Roses, Too, by Katherine Paterson. With two teenagers as the protagonists of this historical fiction novel, Paterson introduces the reader to the Industrial Workers of the World, major figures such as Big Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, multi-nationality worker solidarity, the role of labor songs, and the various tactics used by the company to undermine the strike. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Lhb8PS

Bread and Roses. This film chronicles the Justice for Janitors strike in the 1990’s which saw an army of exploited cleaners, predominately Latino immigrants, take to the streets to protest for basic workers’ rights. (M, H) http://amzn.to/L4bOvn

Buffalo Creek, West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Photo-illustrated account of the flood and its aftermath. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/97R8qD

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Communism, by Christine Shirley. In this unit, students read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, alongside Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto, trying to understand how political ideas are often presented in popular culture. Students also learn how to evaluate what they read for such things as sexism and racism and how to connect the ideas presented throughout the unit to their own lives. (E, M) http://bit.ly/M9GVHr

Class Matters: A Special Segment of the New York Times. A NYT exploration of the ways that class—defined as a combination of income, education, wealth and occupation—influences destiny in a society that likes to think of itself as a land of unbounded opportunity. (H, TR) http://nyti.ms/jJB6I7

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin. This children’s book addresses labor conflict and resolution through the story of a fictional farmer whose cows start making demands. (E) http://bit.ly/rvRF1a

Do You Want Slavery With That? Modern slavery is still ubiquitous. In this lesson, students hear about it from the slaves themselves (through their stories) and consider what they can do to help. (M, H) http://bit.ly/8hF8vJ

Dolores Huerta Mini-Unit. This mini-unit teaches about Huerta’s contributions and encourages students to take action to change their own communities. (E, M) http://bit.ly/JRJxob

Eugene V. Debs, by Milestone Documents. This site offers information about Debs and his impact as a Socialist leader and co-founder of the American Railway Union. The site also includes further reading, study questions, and speech transcripts. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/vzPybb

Fair Trade in the Classroom, by Global Exchange. Through this Valentine’s unit, students learn about child labor and how it’s used by big chocolate companies. Students take social action by telling these companies that they should sell Fair Trade products instead. (E, M) http://bit.ly/95yZbZ

Finding Solutions to Hunger, by Kids Can Make a Difference. An educational program for middle and high school students focused on the root causes of hunger and poverty, the people most affected, solutions, and how students can help. (M, H) http://bit.ly/cYEDNd

Getting Involved in Fair Trade, by Angene Wilson. Students will learn about Turkish and Ugandan women working in fair trade organizations, study the ten standards of fair trade and in a small group write a proposal for involving a school club in selling fair trade items. (M, H) http://bit.ly/csTZgo

Got Food? Thank a Farmworker. A collection of classroom discussion questions and additional resources related to farmworkers. (E, M) http://bit.ly/c1wODF

Granito de Arena/Grain of Sand; Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad/A Little Bit of So Much Truth; Desde el Filo de la Navaja/ From the Edge of the Blade. These three films document different aspects of the community-based movement against the state government in Oaxaca. The first film documents the three decades long struggle by the teachers’ union to democratize their union. The other films specifically focus on the 2006 “rebellion,” which lead to the temporary toppling of the state government. (TR) http://bit.ly/MZjjV5 
http://bit.ly/g9cgtf

Handouts on Poverty, by Paul C. Gorski. Handouts on many topics, but several on class, poverty, and equity in education. (TR) http://bit.ly/uLvAio

Harlan County, USA, by Barbara Kopple. This Oscar-winning documentary about the coal miners strike uses archival footage, Appalachian coal mining songs, and intimate footage from the picket lines and union meeting rooms to give voice to the miners and their wives who stood up against the owners and violent scabs. (M, H) http://bit.ly/LhcHxg

Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez, by Kathleen Krull. This picture book chronicles Chávez’s youth and the struggles he endured on his journey to becoming a leader. The second link is to a teacher’s guide. (E) http://bit.ly/cechbook http://bit.ly/tLyjqJ

History of Railroad Unions in the U.S. Comprehensive collection of documents, videos and links about the history of Railroad Unions in the United States. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/uxlfH

History of ¡Si Se Puede! This webpage tells the story of this fast and how the phrase ¡Si Se Puede! began. (M, H) http://bit.ly/cSSPDC

Iqbal, by Francesco D’Adamo. This is a powerful story based on the real life and death of a Pakistani child sold into slavery. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/L7g5e6

Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor, by Russell Freedman. Photobiography of early twentieth-century photographer and schoolteacher Lewis Hine, using his own work as illustrations. Hines’ photographs of children at work were so devastating that they convinced the American people that Congress must pass child labor laws. (E, M) http://bit.ly/s8A6c3

Kids On Strike!, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This book tells the story of children who stood up for their rights against powerful company owners. Some strikes led by young people were successful; some were not, but all are a testimony to the strength of mind and spirit of the children who helped build American industry. (E, M) http://bit.ly/rQ198r

Labor Matters, by Teaching Tolerance. Draws on your students’ prior knowledge to help them understand the importance of the labor movement. (M, H) http://bit.ly/JAZ0wb

Labor Rights in the Classroom. Workers all over the world suffer from conditions that many would consider unbearable. These conditions are in part a result of corporations taking advantage of workers and their rights. The lessons on this website help students to understand how consumerism and corporate greed here in the US affect workers around the world. (M, H) http://bit.ly/bVIovt

Lawrence, 1912: The Singing Strike Teaching Activity PDF, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Through this role-play, students explore some of the actual dilemmas faced by strikers in Lawrence, Mass., in 1912. (M, H) http://bit.ly/suxeJC

Learning Guide to Matewan, Teaching With Movies. Directed by John Sayles, this film is based on the true story of a labor leader seeking to organize the workers of a company town. The organizing sets off racial hostility, corruption and betrayal during this bitter clash in West Virginia in the 1920s. (Lesson Guide requires subscription) (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/d6kI4p http://bit.ly/9Q1Zpy

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech to the UAW 25th Anniversary Dinner. Text of King’s address to UAW. (M, H) http://bit.ly/A2pJGd

Mass Moments. This website contains timelines, maps, audio files and teacher resources (i.e. lesson plans) about the Boston Bread Riot and other important moments in Massachusetts’ history. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/w20bD1

Model Curriculum and Resources for Teachers. This curriculum on the life and work of César E. Chávez from the California Department of Education includes biographies, pictures and other resources provided to help teachers prepare lessons for this holiday. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/cb8NfJ

Mother Jones: Labor Leader (Graphic Biographies series). This graphic novel tells the story of Mary Mother Jones, a leading labor union and child labor activist in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (E, M) http://amzn.to/t3u38W

Norma Rae, directed by Martin Ritt. This 1979 film, based on Crystal Lee Sutton’s life, is about Norma Rae, a southern textile worker employed in a factory with horrible working conditions. Rae’s concerns lead her to become involved in struggling to unionize the factory. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/tblJsW

Occupy Movement Political Education Workshop, by Build the Wheel. This site offers a list of curriculum and resources helpful to use for political education. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ntlFvi

Occupy Wall Street: Background & International Context, by Mark Engler. In this lesson, students use two readings from the OWS protests to think critically about the issues raised. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ncRSfC

Parade Classroom. Short article about Clara Lemlich. Includes some essential questions and activities. (M, H) http://bit.ly/LHRLOm

Raising the Bar: Kids Say No Cheap Labor for Chocolate, by Octavia Davis and Lisa Goodman. IndyKids article highlighting the protests against Hershey’s for their use of child labor on their cocoa farms in Africa. Discusses fair trade as well as the involvement of children in the cocoa growing process. (E, M) http://bit.ly/snKlPb

Resources for Labor Union Organizing. This organization is designed to support U.S. workers to organize themselves and their co-workers into labor unions. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/LHJ3QX

Resources I’m Using to Discuss Occupy Wall Street, by Stephen Lazar. On this page of his blog, Lazar, a Social Studies and English teacher in Brooklyn shares the resources he’s using to discuss OWS with this students. (TR) http://bit.ly/qxo6Uh

Rethinking Globalization. A collection of lesson plans that helps to introduce issues of corporate power, wealth distribution and power to youth. One sample lesson has cookies representing wealth distributed to students who represent the global population – some students receive more cookies than others. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/uvPb0p

Reverse Trick or Treat, by Global Exchange. This kit lets children help end the exploitation of adults and children working in the cocoa industry and raise awareness of Fair Trade. Trick-or-treaters hand out Fair Trade chocolate back to adults, with informational cards attached, to explain the problems of the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade presents a solution. (E) http://bit.ly/ph5dpd

Si Se Puede, by Diana Cohn. This is a bilingual picture book about Carlos, a young boy whose mother is a janitor in the Justice for Janitors strike. He organizes his class to support his mother’s union in their struggle. (E) http://bit.ly/KK8nrc

Southern Tenant Farmer’s Union: Black and White Unites?, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond, Zinn Education Project. This teaching activity examines efforts by Black and White workers to overcome deep divisions and racial antagonism. Students are faced with a “What would you do?” assignment that helps them grasp many of the difficulties in achieving some degree of racial unity. (M, H) http://bit.ly/rYmZcW

Labor Rights in the Classroom, by International Labor Rights Forum. It provides lesson plans connected to several anti-child labor campaigns including cocoa farms, and cotton and rubber plantations. (M, H) http://bit.ly/JSIp6e

Sweatshop Accounting, by Rethinking Schools. Intolerable working conditions are not a thing of the past. Look at contemporary issues on economic justice in relation to sweatshop labor. (H) http://bit.ly/9kIgsZ

Teaching American History: Meeting the Standard, by Joann Johnson. This site provides a lesson plan in which students will learn about the impact of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and connect its enactment to President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women and its effects on wages in today’s market. (M, H) http://bit.ly/s5BplQ

Teaching Economics as if People Mattered, by United for a Fair Economy. A collection of lesson plans about economics from a social justice perspective. (H) http://bit.ly/6AIy7u

Teaching with Documents: The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii. This lesson plan uses original documents about the Native Hawaiians who organized against the annexation of Hawai’i by the United States. (H) http://1.usa.gov/12DDOR

Teaching With Documents: Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor. This site contains reproducible copies of photos documenting the role of child labor in the development of the industrial United States. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/3qo8vl

The 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America – The Homestead Strike – July 6, 1892. Narrated by Martin Sheen, this documentary chronicles the strike at a Carnegie steel mill and its effect on the labor movement. (M, H) Lesson plans: http://bit.ly/a79rQ3 Purchase DVD: http://bit.ly/95nIGg

The First Labor Day, by the Library of Congress. This website details the events of the first Labor Day celebration and contains links to other resources such as photographs and prints. (M, H, TR) http://1.usa.gov/49Ga8f

The Great Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902. This website contains a detailed narrative of the strike. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/uHKDNU

The Lucy Parsons Project. This website is a tribute to Lucy Parsons, her work and the causes she championed. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/bVhmZz

The Most Dangerous Woman in America? The Mock Trial of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, by ExplorePAhistory.com. This site contain a lesson plan in which students conduct a mock trial of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. The site also links to additional resources including a PBS webisode on Jones. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/vm5kEs

The Power in our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States, by Bill Bigelow and Norman Diamond. This celebrated book provides entertaining, easy-to-use lesson plans for teaching labor history. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/rtAWyl

Think Fair Trade First, by Ingrid Hess. In Think Fair Trade First, Stella and Henry discover the world of Fair Trade when searching for a birthday present for their mother. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/uOz4vG

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Disasters in History) by Jessica Sarah Gunderson. This graphic novel depicts the labor conditions, the fire and the ensuing movement for labor rights. (E) http://bit.ly/KY27sL

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Online Exhibition, by The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives. This web exhibit presents original documents and secondary sources on the Triangle Fire. (H) http://bit.ly/JRMdSE

U.S. Economic Inequality is Rising. What Can We Do About It?, by Julie Weiss. In this lesson, students will examine the 2011 Pew Research Center report as well as other data that shows the overall economic inequality in the US. This will allow them to explore systemic factors that maintain and further economic inequality and discuss strategies to combat it. (TR) http://bit.ly/nWjkLk

Valentine’s Day in the Classroom, by International Labor Rights Forum. This lesson plan explores workers’ rights in the cut flower industry and how consumerism on Valentine’s Day in the US affects workers abroad. Also includes an educator resource page called Labor Rights in the Classroom, with links to lesson plans on the topics of child labor, sweatshops, workers’ rights and the Sweatfree Schools movement. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/tFAlAq

Viva La Causa: The Story of César Chávez and a Great Movement for Social Justice, by Teaching Tolerance. This short documentary film and accompanying teacher’s guide explore the Grape Strike and Boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. The free teaching kit includes a 39-minute film on DVD and a teacher’s guide. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/ffoc4E

Voices of Buffalo Creek. A re-examination of what happened through interviews with people who lived through it. Site has link to original news coverage of the disaster. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/KD63CN

Waging a Living, by PBS. Students will become familiar with the difference between “minimum wage” and “living wage” through classroom discussions and media exposure. (H) http://to.pbs.org/KuBX5v

We are the 99%: Occupy Wall Street Protest, by Jinnie Spiegler. In this lesson, students will learn about OWS including the meaning of 99%, wealth and wealth disparity, and what some of the protestors want. (E) http://bit.ly/qcnyMg

What the Tour Guide Didn’t Tell Me: Tourism, Colonialism, and Resistance in Hawai’i, by Wayne Kwai Au. Lesson on the history of Hawai’i and the impact of colonization and tourism. (M, H) http://bit.ly/JoxMK2

Where’s Your Shirt From? Second Graders Learn to Use Data to Change the World, by Mary Cowhey. This site tells the story of how Mary Cowhey’s second graders used their data collecting and sorting skills to make a connection between the clothes they wear, where they were made and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/tAq3V

Who are the 99%? Ways to Teach About Occupy Wall Street, by Sarah Kavanagh, Holly Epstein Ojalvo and Katherine Schulten. In this lesson, students are introduced to Occupy Wall Street, then investigate the movement more deeply through articles, pictures, photographs, video, slogans, quizzes and more. (TR) http://nyti.ms/ogNEcj

Who Built America: Working People and the Nation’s History, by the American Social History Project. A two-volume textbook examining the history of the United States from the perspective of working people accompanied by a collection of videos. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uLUcIN

Who Built America: Working People and the Nation’s History, by the American Social History Project. A two-volume textbook examining the history of the United States from the perspective of working people accompanied by a collection of videos. (M, H) bit.ly/uLUcIN

Whose Fruits and Just Desserts?, by Dawn J. Bixby Saari. Students will examine the causes and consequences of labor strife between 1900 and 1920, taking into consideration the needs and wants of labor and the reactions of “capital.” (H) http://bit.ly/uBfuys

Win Win Solutions: An Introduction to Fair Trade and Cooperative Economics, by Equal Exchange. Comprised of four units, this curriculum raises students’ awareness of core issues surrounding food production and trade. (E, M) bit.ly/Ry1Mb

Women Deserve Equal Pay, by the National Organization of Women. For full-time, year-round workers, women are paid on average only 78 percent of what men are paid; for women of color, the gap is significantly wider. This website includes information and activities to address the pay gap. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/8fjvZy

Work, Workers & the U.S. Labor Movement, by Emma Rose Roderick. An eight-lesson activity for fifth grade social studies helps students explore issues of work and workplace conflicts through reading, discussion, interviews, and investigation. (E) http://bit.ly/t5KvcH