Aside from being the first official holiday of the school year, Labor Day is a great opportunity to teach your students about our country’s history regarding worker’s rights, child labor, labor unions, and more. Consider watching a video on the history and meaning of Labor Day, and then try one of these fun, themed activities!
Make a Career Book
Writing and illustrating a book about a possible future job can be fun for kids. Support students with these sentence frames if needed. For a digital option, try Book Creator!
Make Career Collages
Have students use construction paper to make a collage of pictures from a career they are interested in—and hang them around your classroom. Then, students can participate in a gallery walk to see everyone’s work. Equip them with sticky notes, and they can leave feedback and questions for their peers!
Learn About Community Helpers
Read a book about community helpers from this list, or challenge students to make a list of community helpers from A to Z.
Create a Labor History Timeline
United States labor history is actually fascinating. Challenge students to create a timeline of the important events either on paper or, for a virtual option, try HSTRY; a web-based platform that offers up to 100 student and teacher-created timelines with a free account.
Research a Key Figure in Labor History
Have each of your students research and then create a presentation about a person who influenced the work environment in our country. Cesar Chavez, Samuel Gompers, and A. Philip Randolph are all excellent options. (Check out how to use research tools with students)
Thank a Community Helper
Write thank-you notes or cards to community helpers—police officers, firefighters, paramedics, postal workers—and then send or deliver them. Check out our free thank you coloring and writing pages here.
Have an Assembly Line Race
Set up a mini-factory in the classroom! Two teams battle to be the first to put together the “product” via an assembly line. Product ideas: candy cars (pack of gum for the body and four peppermints for the tires), paper airplanes, or 3D shapes with popsicle sticks.
Record a Day in the Life
Record your students talking about a day in their lives, and then compare and contrast it with the lives of students living abroad in places that have different labor laws. Are there similarities? What are the differences?
Take Action Against Child Labor
Use non-fiction books and articles to give your students a first-hand look at how child labor is still utilized worldwide. TeacherVision has an exceptional lesson for grades 4-6, including simple ways for students to take action.
Dress to Impress Day
Encourage students to come dressed as a profession of their choice. To take it a step further, invite community members to speak to the class about their jobs and have students draft questions to ask them.
Want more? Check out this free, no-prep Labor Day Read, Talk, Write activity pack here!
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