Lesson Plan

Labor Unions in an Industrializing U.S.

Have class members eager to enter the workforce? They'll be glad to learn that things aren't how they used to be. Have your young historians examine then discuss four primary source images related to the negative effects of industrialization on the workforce in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • If your scholars have web access at school or at home, have them track down other primary sources relevant to the topic and present them to the class
  • Have them compare these practices to modern labor practices in the US and in other countries
Classroom Considerations
  • The newspaper article is a fairly vivid, graphic description of a workplace tragedy, so read it in advance and give your kids requisite warning if you decide to read it with them
  • The flipchart file requires some Promethean software; if you don't have it you may want to prepare a separate slideshow of relevant photos
  • The included primary sources are vivid and will assuredly have an impact
  • Lesson helps your class explore the negative effects of industrialization, but you're on your own on the topic of the subsequent formation of labor unions
Common Core