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Indiana University Bloomington
Social Movements in Modern America: Labor, Civil Rights, and Feminism
NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers, July 11-31, 2010
Institute Curriculum and Lesson Plans

Labor Movement


Tai Basurto



The Sounds of Change: Examining Social Movements Through Music Using songs allows students to understand the development of the movement by critically engaging them in discussion around the motives, themes, and ideologies of the participants.

Erin Bouton



Immigrant Experience and the Labor Movement

Students will be able to identify the challenges faced by immigrants working in factories during the early 20th century

Jose Colon



The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and its impact on the Labor Movement

This lesson is to explores and discusses the significance of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire on the labor movement. To many, its horrors epitomize the extremes of industrialism.

Maureen Conway



The Emergence of American Liberalism

This lesson will introduce students to the competing liberal and conservative philosophies as defined in the 30s; and consider how and why the debate has reemerged in the present time.

Jeannette Cooney



The Jungle In this lesson students will draw on their knowledge of the meat packing plants from their reading of The Jungle and compare Sinclair’s exposure of the problems in meatpacking to other historical documents depicting these same problems.

James Diskant



The Current Conflict over Trade Unions in the United States

This lesson will enable students to understand the challenges facing the union movement in the United States today in the face of changing work, the role of the federal government, and the role of globalization in terms of competing business priorities.

Trent Dlugosh



Differing Interpretations of Freedom in Turn of the Century Labor Union Movement

This lesson explores the different meanings of “freedom” in regard to the labor union movement in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Claudia Eschelbach



The New Deal Students will discover what life was like in the United States during the 1930s by conducting research in the LMC (using print and electronic resources) and then create a digital story using a variety of sources.

Nicole Getz



From Fiction to Fact: Applying Character Analysis Techniques to Understand Historical Perspective

This lesson is to reinforces student understanding of literary character types while introducing the concept of alternative perspectives on history using Salt of the Earth.

Cherith Johnson



Comparing and Contrasting Attitudes of Americans Towards Immigrant Laborers
Gilded Age to Present Day Using Political Cartoons
This lesson allows students to analyze political cartoons depicting attitudes of Americans concerning immigrant laborers. In their analysis of the cartoons students will create charts describing similarities and differences, allowing students to draw conclusions about the spectrum of attitudes Americans have had toward immigration and the labor movement.

Summer Johnson



Sharecroppers Union: Alabama 1931-1935 Students will explore the motivations, strategies, successes, and struggles of the Communist led Sharecroppers Union in Alabama during the Great Depression.

Desi Lee



How Federal Legislation was used during the 19th and 20th Century to help or hinder the Labor Movement

Tthis lesson discusses how three different labor legislative acts were used by the federal government, unions, and corporations during the 19th and 20th century to help or hinder the various groups involved in the labor movement.

Kevin Murphy



Taft-Hartley Political Cartoon Activity

This activity, designed to have students consider the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, will enable students to list or describe the details of the Taft-Hartley Act and to explain the impetus for this act and the short and long term impact of the act on labor.

Mark Olesh



Alternative Viewpoints in a Labor Strike

This lesson will foster in students a greater understanding of the importance of bias and viewpoint. Specifically, students will be able to appreciate the diverse viewpoints that are taken when looking at a specific event – in this case a labor strike.

Kathryn Person



The Value of Unions This lesson personalizes the concept and purpose of a labor union for the students. In this simulation, students must draw up their own labor contract. Students will be able to discuss the role and possible social, economic, and political value of unions.

Jennifer Prince



Students as photojournalists: critical literacy and point-of-view using depression-era migrant workers photographs

Connecting to Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, this lesson asks students to think about point-of-view through the lens of a photojournalist. Students will be expected to think critically about what it might have meant to be a migrant worker during the Great Depression.

Elizabeth Robbins



Immigrant Workers: Forces of Freedom, Forces of Fear

This lesson allows students to analyze the role of immigrant workers within industry, specifically meatpacking. Students will also discuss the implications of the current policy of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and create a national policy.

Patrick Sprinkle



Labor Unions in America This lesson, within a larger unit on labor unions, will enable students to describe major reasons why people joined unions in the early 20th century and identify obstacled faced by people who joined unions.


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Last updated: 19 July 2010
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