Monday, September 2, 2013

Turn of the Century Labor Simulation on Labor Day

Labor Day was first proposed in 1882 in New York City and it became a federal holiday in 1894 following the deaths that year of striking workers during the Pullman Strike (Click here for a lesson plan involving a Pullman Strike Mock Trial). To help students better understand the history of workers, unions, immigration, and industry, on this Labor Day, I am posting a Labor Simulation Activity, which was created by myself and former colleagues at Framingham High School. In this simulation, students take on the roles of immigrant laborers, industrial factory owner, political boss, and labor union organizer. By the end of the activity students should have a better understanding of the complex political and social structures that governed the lives of immigrant workers. Following this activity, I also recommend using this Tenement Problem Solving activity to help students gain understanding of the conditions immigrants faced in the inadequate tenement housing of the time.

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