The Labor Movement ended child labor, unfair business practices, long hours, and lack of benefits in the workplace. Labor Day celebrates the achievements of the movement and it is worth taking time to teach children about what the workplace used to look like for some people. It is worth sharing how the work of many brave men and women made life easier for us today. You will find some suggestions for books and activities below for this Labor Day holiday.
- Labor Day, Carmen Bredeson
- Kids on Strike! Susan Bartoletti
- Fire at the Triangle Factory, Holly Littlefield
- Kids at Work, Lewis Hines and the Crusade against Children Labor, Russell Freedman
- Research a labor activist together. Read a biography, search the internet, or look in the library to learn about someone who made a difference in our labor laws.
- Help someone else who has to work harder or longer than you do. Give a gift basket of food, help someone pick up trash in the neighborhood, or volunteer to work at a soup kitchen. Use your day off to help those who have to work no matter what.
- Read about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and then write up your own fire plan for your house and your work or school. Talk as a family about your evacuation plan and practice it, if you don’t already.
- Look at pictures of children at work at this website:http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/index.html. Then, compare to family pictures. Make a list of all of your favorite activities that you would not be able to do if you had a full time job.
- Write a letter to the editor and tell the history of the Labor Movement and explain why it is important to celebrate Labor Day.