Labor union Teacher Resources
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Labor Unions in the Cotton Mills
To unionize or not to unionize? That is the question high schoolers consider in their investigation of the labor union movement of the 1920s. After a brief review of the Industrial Revolution and the importance of the textile industry in the rebuilding of the south after the Civil War, the class listens to oral histories recorded by owners of and workers in the textile industry. At the conclusion of the study, groups craft a speech either for or against the development of labor unions in the cotton mills. Complete directions for how to access the required materials are included in the detailed plan.
Labor Unions in the Cotton Mills
Students discover what working conditions were like in the cotton mills of the South. In this industrialization lesson, students read oral histories of mill workers and then write persuasive speeches for or against labor unions in the cotton mills.
Should They Stay or Should They Go?
High schoolers share opinions about labor unions, discuss the recent split within the AFL-CIO, and write an article based on interviews with union members.
Labor Day Lessons and the History of Labor Unions
America was built on the strength of its workers, and on Labor Day we recognize their contributions.
LABOR UNIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Learners define and discuss labor unions in the United States. They compare and contrast labor unions in the United States and labor unions in Europe and Japan.
Labor Unions and Strikes
Teens explore economics by listening to a labor history lecture and an excerpt from Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy. A detailed outline is provided for the lecture, along with follow up and assessment questions. In groups, they discuss how a theoretical situation might be governed in 1890 and in 1990. This is a though-provoking lesson that could be used seasonally around Labor Day.
Farmworkers and the Union: A Lesson from Viva La Causa
Learners examine the role of labor unions. In this labor union lesson, students watch "Viva la Causa" and discuss the working conditions that led farm workers to strike. Learners also read a handout regarding labor unions and share their impressions of the lesson as they compose written summaries.
Celebrating Labor Day
Students explore the significance of Labor Day. In this Labor Day instructional activity, students research Internet sources to study the history behind the holiday. Students discuss labor union history and simulate a public hearing regarding the proposal of an 8-hour work day.
Development of Labor Unions
Learners examine the conditions that led to organized labor unions. In this 20th century America lesson plan, students compare and contrast the Knights of Labor Constitution, the American Federation of Labor Constitution, and the Industrial Workers of the World Preamble. Learners analyze each of the primary sources and discuss their findings.
Agrarian And Industrial Workers
Eleventh graders study problems that agrarian and industrial workers experienced during the years 1890-1930 as modern America emerged. They focus on populism and labor unions, while attempting to determine solutions for the problems these groups faces. As an assessment, the students complete graphic organizers.
Colorado Miners: Union or Not?
Eighth graders investigate the labor unions and their points of view. They use online resources in order to conduct research with primary and secondary resources. Students could produce a written or oral report for assessment.
Striking a Deal
Students explore the economic repercussions of a potential Major League Baseball strike. Then, through researching other labor strikes in American history, students consider the importance and impact of labor unions in United States history.
Labor Unions and Working Conditions:United We Stand
Students examine primary documents about the establishment of labor unions. In this organized labor lesson, students research the working conditions that contributed to the growth of the labor union movement. Students make classroom presentations about the work of labor unions.
Great Depression's Impact on Organized Labor
Learners investigate that labor unions recruited more workers to join their ranks during the Depression, and speculate as to why this growth occurred when it did. They research the impact of federal legislation of the New Deal (esp. the Wagner Act) that made it easier for labor unions to pursue their goals.
Handout 4C: Reflection UFW Today
How has the UFW or United Farm Workers labor union changed? Learners go to the website and explore several articles and specific legislative actions currently in place today. The worksheet includes answers and a web link, and will allow the class to explore how farm workers have been helped by this particular federal union.
A Worker's Compensation
Middle schoolers read about the history of Labor Day in a newspaper article. They discuss difficulties American employees of the past had to face, learn about labor rallies, and conduct Internet research. Part of the intention of this lesson is to demonstrate how to cite websites in a bibliography. Because of the timing of this holiday and the importance of citing websites, this would be an outstanding lesson to complete upon returning to school at the beginning of the year.
Students examine the life of Dolores Huerta and her contributions to the development of labor unions. They read the book "Cesar Chavez: Triumph of Spirit," and in groups create a quiz, complete a Venn diagram, listen to a guest speaker, and write journal entries.
Chapter 2 - Section 2 Quiz
There are a lot of factors tied up in the US economic system. Quiz the class on how well they understand the US's economic goals, systems, and infrastructure. There are ten questions to answer.
The Impact of the IWW on the Nation or Who were the Wobblies?
Students evaluate the role labor groups had on the U.S. Government in the early 1900's. In this teaching American history lesson, students complete several activities, including response writing and listening to music, that reinforce what the have learned about early 20th Century labor movements.
Strike Up the Band
Young scholars create song lyrics celebrating the history of labor unions serving the entertainment industry, then create posters illustrating the importance of each union to the industry they represent.