Seasons of Service


Labor Day ~ Salute Our Nation's Workers

What better way to beat the Holiday Gimmees and observe Red Letter Days than to practice good deeds? Here's a way to discover the true meaning of holidays and heroes. Please join us in celebrating the following Season of Service.

Labor Day! It's more than back-to-school sales. For millions of Americans, the first Monday in September is time to pay tribute to our nation's workers. Since President Grover Cleveland declared it a national holiday in 1894, this workingman's celebration has long symbolized economic and political freedom. Starting in September, students can salute our working heroes with these Service Learning activities that will last long after Labor Day.

Assembly Line… Learn how assembly lines increase productivity. Then illustrate how they work by staging an assembly line production race at a local elementary school.


Bargaining Table… Locate the Web Site of your community's local AFT - CIO or NEA chapter. Read and discuss current issues. Invite parents and community members to a schoolwide debate on these issues.


Bread and Roses… Invite parents and grandparents to a Bread & Roses forum. Discuss their own, their parents', and their grandparents' labor movement experiences.


Faces of Lost Youth… View Child Labor in America 1908-1912 Photographs of Lewis W. Hine. Write Then & Now essays comparing & contrasting past and current child labor laws. Post them in a centrally located school bulletin board.


Hard Hats Required… Collect hats worn for various jobs and bring them to an early childhood center. Describe the worker each one represents. Stage a Labor Day Parade with kids wearing hats.


Labor Arts… Study graphic arts, posters, and cartoons at the Virtual Museum of the Labor Arts Collections. Organize a student Labor Art Exhibit.


Labors of Love… Read about Working Heroes Men and Women Who Shaped America's Labor Movement. Write letters to those leaders describing today's labor issues. Include excerpts as Public Service Announcements on labor.


Mill Girls… Research and read about the exploitation of young women in the early textile industry. Write and stage a one-act play about their plight. Invite parents and other classes to performance.


Solidarity Forever… Assemble and rehearse popular union songs. Perform songs at a local nursing home. Invite residents to join in.


Union Label… Learn about today's sweatshops. Educate the community about a sweatshop-free economy by distributing student made posters and flyers on responsible shopping.


Women in the Trades… Visit a kindergarten. Tell about women workers in non-traditional jobs, Down load and print The Little Tradeswomen Coloring Book to illustrate their stories.


More Labor Day Web Sites: Education World Great Sites for Teaching about Labor Day & U.S. Labor History, Illinois Labor History Society A Curriculum of United States Labor History for Teachers, The Holiday Zone Labor Day Activities for English Language Learners, Yahoo! Directory U.S. Labor History

This Season of Service page is brought to you by:
Sue Mortensen
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