On Labor Day, Help Students Think about Labor!

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Labor Day is somewhat of a lost holiday. We enjoy the long weekend, but its significance is a bit muddled. This is particularly true for students. Essentially, Labor Day is just a Monday off that helps to break up the start of the school year.

Curriculum Pathways social studies resources can help mend this knowledge gap with multiple resources that explore work, from the history of labor relations to the realities of taxes and wages.

Here’s a quick look at some of the relevant resources.

The Progressive Era: The Standard Oil Monopoly

Explore the history and business practices of John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company to answer this question: Should the government break up Standard Oil's monopoly? Students take a position and defend it with evidence from primary-source documents.

Voting Rights for Women

Explore a historical narrative that presents key people, events, and issues – including the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 – related to this focus question: Why did it take so long for women to get the right to vote? Students test their knowledge by answering practice, quiz, and application questions.

The Minimum Wage

Explore the history and current status of minimum wage legislation to answer this question: Do the benefits of raising the minimum wage outweigh the drawbacks? Students take a position and defend it with evidence from primary-source documents.

NAFTA: Free Trade and the American Economy

Explore the history and controversy behind the creation of a free trade zone between the United States, Mexico, and Canada to answer this question: Should Congress approve the North American Free Trade Agreement? Students take a position and defend it with evidence from primary-source documents.

Income Taxes and Fairness

Explore the history of income taxes in the U.S. economy and the distinction between progressive, regressive, and flat taxes to answer this question: Are progressive income taxes fair? Students take a position and defend it with evidence from primary-source documents.

Explore! Primary Sources

This primary-source repository contains numerous labor-related documents, including child labor legislation, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, civil service reform, NAFTA, and discrimination in the workforce. Curated for grade-level and content needs, resources are perfect for both student inquiries and teacher-led activities.

Check out all of Curriculum Pathways' nearly 700 social studies resources. They're free!

 

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About Author

Ralph Moore

Ralph Moore coordinates and conducts professional development for Curriculum Pathways. He works with schools and organizations around the country and has presented at conferences for organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. A former army officer and social studies teacher, he spent 10 years on the Curriculum Pathways humanities team creating new digital curriculum products.

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