Labor Day Lessons and Teacher Resources
“Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. … The holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union of New York City sought to create ‘a day off for the working citizens.’ Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday on June 28, 1894, two months after the May Day Riots of 1894. May 4 was chosen to remember the Haymarket Affair. … Today, Labor Day is often regarded as a day of rest and parades. … Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. … Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer. … However, of late, schools have begun well before Labor Day, as early as July 24 in many urban districts…” Wikipedia
The International Labour Organization’s recent estimates suggest that there are still 215 million children involved in child labor in the world in violation of international standards. In the United States, children are protected by child labor laws from working excessive hours or in potentially hazardous conditions.
- Learn about Labor Day with this lesson (K-2)
- The book Carpenter, Carpenter, What Do You See is used here as a career exploration tool (P-3)
- This lesson is titled “When I Grow Up…” (K-2)
- In this brief idea, students paint a picture of what they want to be (K-3)
- This is a bingo vocabulary game about people who provide service in a community (1)
- Part of this lesson is on jobs in aviation (1-3)
- Here students draw and write about their future occupation and how they will be “Community Helpers” (2)
- This lesson is on helping and looks at jobs in the classroom (2-3)
- This in-depth lesson is on Cesar Chavez and his work to help migrant farm workers (2-4)
- Student entrepreneurs experience business, calculate profit, and develop an understanding of “economic growth” as settlers in a new community in this multidisciplinary activity (3)
- “What Is Work?” is answered here from a scientific point of view (3)
- Here career exploration results in a PowerPoint including education and job requirements, a mentor interview and possibly a job site tour (5-6)
- In this lesson, students build a web while exploring the correlation between different careers (6-8)
- Here students visually depict the duties of their career of choice using copyright safe images and Photo Story 3 software (6-8)
- This lesson looks at occupations in geography (6-9)
- This is a lesson on careers involving the respiratory system (7-9)
- This is a Hey, Get a Job!unit for teens (8-12):
- These are Job Readiness and College Preparation Workshopsand handouts (9-12 MO):
- “How to Get a First Job” is the topic of this mind-map poster creating lesson (9-12)
- Students research how technological changes impact employment opportunities in the computer field in this Photo Story 3 lesson (10-12)
- This is a graphic organizer that students use to research corporate companies and benefits (11-12)
- In this college readiness lesson, students investigate characteristics universities, internship, and scholarship organizations seek in an applicant, create a short photo story resume illustrating their qualifications, and identify additional activities that would improve their portfolio (11-12)
- Not many here yet. If you have any Labor Day lesson plans to share, please add them to our site!
- History.com presents eight videos on the history of Labor Day and the fight for workers rights.
- This Library of Congress collection of films was taken inside Westinghouse factories in 1904.
- Browse segments on labor and the economy from PBS NewsHour coverage of Origins of Labor Day.
- Here are free Labor Day PowerPoint presentations and some additional lesson plans.
- This is the history of Labor Day told by the United States Department of Labor.
- This USA.gov site includes information on all aspects of Labor Day from labor and labor union facts, occupational outlook and state job banks, career activities for kids, and back to school, recreation, and travel resources.
- Here are educational Labor Day activities including arts and crafts, puzzles and quizzes, games and activities, quotations, poetry, songs, book and vocabulary lists, and other printable materials.
- Crayola.com celebrates this holiday with a labor day worker’s cube activity, seven additional lesson plans, some e-cards, and numerous craft projects.
- John McCutcheon wrote this Labor Day song for teachers
- Here are family geared labor day activities for kids suitable for all budgets
- This is a curriculum of U.S. labor history for teachers sponsored by the Illinois Labor History Society.
- The History Place presents Lewis W. Hine’s photographic collection of the history of child labor in America prior to 1918.
- Here is a short article about the Haymarket Tragedy and an online exhibit about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.
- This page is called “Labor Day – Kids Work Too!“
- This is an e-How article on labor laws for teens.