Labor Day Collection

Learn more about how the meaning of Labor Day, labor history, and how Labor Day got its name with these free resources from Share My Lesson. How do labor unions work? What impact have they had on the course of history, particularly in the United States? As the American Federation of Teachers celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, Share My Lesson has curated a collection of lesson plans, activities and resources to help you explore explore labor history with your K-12 students.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Media, Modules (Teaching Unit), Oral Histories
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Martin Luther King Jr: History and Legacy

Martin Luther King Jr., arguably the 20th century’s most famous civil rights leader, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. King’s last speech was a testament to his commitment to the labor movement, showing recognition that labor’s fight for economic justice and dignity were intertwined with the civil rights movement. Here are some teaching resources that will deepen your students’ understanding of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject:
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Meaning of Labor Day

In this ebook, we consider the origins and traditions of Labor Day, the role of the labor movement in America, and the satisfactions of the working life. Each selection includes a brief introduction by the editors with guiding questions for discussion. Includes short stories, speeches, and other writings from Samuel Gompers, Jack London, Mother Jones, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and more.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 9, 10, 11, 12

César Chávez Collection

On March 31, we celebrate César Chávez Day. Chávez, a civil rights and labor activist, co-founded the United Farm Workers Union and used nonviolent protests to fight for the rights of laborers. The Share My Lesson team has identified lesson plans and resources you can use in your classes to help teach your students about César Chávez.

  • Resource Type: Audio, Essays, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Migration: In our democracy, should legal foreign workers have the same labor rights as citizens?

This lesson provides students with background information and arguments for and against providing legal foreign workers with the same labor rights as citizens. Students are encouraged to deliberate the issue and come to their own conclusions based on evidence and reason.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Southern “Black Codes” of 1865-1866

Describes the development of Black Codes following Civil War and details sections of the South Carolina code on Civil Rights, labor contracts, vagrancy, apprenticeship, courts and punishment, and other restrictions. In small groups, students evaluate one of six sections of the South Carolina code through the lens of the 14th Amendment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Growing Up American Style: Grades 3-5

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Growing Up, American Style show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they help students see how life has changed for children living in the United States, specifically with respect to child labor.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 3, 4, 5

Growing Up American Style: Grades 6-8

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Growing Up, American Style show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they help students see how life has changed for children living in the United States, specifically with respect to child labor.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8

Growing Up American Style: Grades 9-12

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Growing Up, American Style show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they help students see how life has changed for children living in the United States, specifically with respect to child labor.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Citizens United v. FEC (2010)

Does a law that limits the ability of corporations and labor unions to spend their own money to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech? The Supreme Court has held that donations and campaign spending are forms of speech.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12