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Labor Curricula For Educators

found in: social studies; preK-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Trouble in the Hen House: A Puppet Show  ( PDF 1.9 MB, 24 pgs.) (K-5) This flexible puppet show or play about hens that organize against a mean farmer can be read to younger students and staged as a puppet show or a play for younger students by older students. The PDF includes lesson suggestions, print resources list, script, puppet patterns (hen, rooster, and cow), and an annotated bibliography of more labor education resources.

Don’t miss the picture book Farmer Duck (1991) by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury. It has a similar theme. My grown children still quack when I ask them “How goes the work?” Chicken Run (2000) (1:24) might still work with an older audience, though the hens organize only to revolt.
Along the Shore  ( PDF 9 MB, 44 pgs.) (K-3) is a coloring book that highlights the importance of unions for longshore workers. In English and Spanish. Maps locate ports on the East, Gulf, and West Coasts making this suitable for geography classes as well.
FarmWorker Comix  ( PDF, 4.2 MB, 30 pgs.) (4+) is about farm labor struggles in California, especially the Delano Grape Strike (1965-70) and Larry Itliong, Caesar Chavez, and Delores Huerta. In English and Spanish.
The graphic novel mentions Harvest of Shame, a film (60 minutes) made by Edward R. Murrow and available on DVD.
AutoWorks ( PDF, 4.6 MB, 20 pgs.) (5-12) A color graphic history of the automobile, the assembly line, the Great Depression, and the United Automobile Workers (UAW). Lists sources.
Work, Money and Power: Unions in the 21st Century ( PDF, 5.3 MB, 28 pgs.) (9-12+) explains what unions are and do. Includes an overview of labor history and makes an argument for their continued importance. Spanish and Chinese versions are available.



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