Celebrate the achievements of workers throughout history with resources and ideas for exploring Labor Day.
Established as a national holiday in 1894, Labor Day recognizes workers and the labor movement. Today, the holiday is marked with parades, news stories, and personal celebrations on the first Monday in September.
Teaches the history behind Labor Day, and explains that Labor Day honors the annual contributions workers make to the strength and well-being of the United States. The program provides insight into what led to the creation of Labor Day, especially poor-working conditions during the Industrial Revolution, union mobilization, the first Labor Day parades, and the Pullman Strikes.
K-5 Three Cheers for Community Workers: Explain to students that they will work in small groups to make a digital poster celebrating the work of people in the community. Project the video segment Workers in Your Community from Exploring Communities and Its Workers on Discovery Education Streaming… Access the complete K-5 lesson starter from Labor Day Content Collection.
6-8 Table Top Texting about Labor Day: Preview the activity with students by inviting them to share aloud with the class what they already know about Labor Day. After activating prior knowledge, explain to the class that they will watch a primary source video segment about one important time in labor history. Have them prepare for the activity by taking out a blank piece of paper and a variety of writing utensils such as colored pens, markers, and highlighters… Access the complete 6-8 lesson starter from Labor Day Content Collection.
9-12 Multiple Perspectives on Labor: Show the video segment Unions and Strikes from America in the 20th Century: The Post-War Years on Discovery Education Streaming. Tell students to pay attention to the different points of view on the labor movement presented in the segment, such as that of workers, President Truman, and supporters of the Taft–Hartley Act. Pause the segment regularly to allow students to take notes on these perspectives. Then, have each student select one perspective to represent… Access the complete K-5 lesson starter from Labor Day Content Collection.