By: Raye Von Behren

A Day in the Life of an Employed Child

Grade Level: 2nd


Students will, in groups, orally compare how their lives are different from those of children who work.

Materials Needed:

1. Marker board and Marker.

2. A LARGE sheet of chart paper or butcher paper of light color.

3. Chart of child labor schedule (see attached).

4. Chart of chores kids to vs. jobs in child labor (create your own- see #7 in procedures for ideas).

5. Writing paper and a pen/pencil for every student.


1. Tell students that we will be examining how different life would be if they were children forced into labor. Tell them that in order to do this, we need to map out what their days are like now.

2. Ask kids describe, as a class, what they did before school, starting with the very first thing they did (i.e., wake up, brush teeth, eat breakfast), and list them on the board.

3. Ask kids to think about what they have done in school so far today (i.e., music, math, lunch, recess, etc.), and what they have left to do in school today. Ask them to describe, as a class, their day in order, and then write those responses on the board.

4. Ask kids what they will do when they get home from school (i.e. homework, watch TV, play with friends, eat, sleep, etc.). Have students volunteer, as a class, what they do when they get home, trying to keep appropriate activities during the appropriate times (i.e., they shouldn't suggest "go to sleep" before they suggest "eat dinner").

5. Make sure that everyone agrees that this would represent a typical school day, and then write the entire list on butcher paper.

6. Go through the list and call on a child to determine whether the activity is enjoyable, unenjoyable, etc. Make sure that every student gets a turn by the end of the lesson. Put a smiley face by an activity if they like it, a frowny face if they don't, or an "x" if they're neutral.

7. Remind kids about the kinds of jobs kids used to have to do in America, and the kids of jobs some kids in other countries have to do. *Creating this list as a class would be a good lesson to do before this one. If not, create your own list before hand, detailing jobs that your class might do (mow the lawn, do the dishes, etc.), and and jobs that a child laborer might do (pick grapes, sew, work in a factory, etc.).

8. Tell them there was a little girl named Ashique, who did the same thing that they just did; she wrote down her schedule.

9. Write her schedule in next to theirs. Do not include the actual times. Make estimates as far as the average class wake time, dinnertime, etc. Ashique's schedule should consist of almost all hours of working with breaks for two meals and time for sleeping.

10. Call on students one by one to evaluate their desire to do the activities in the Ashique's schedule. Mark a smiley face by the activities they would enjoy, a frowny-face by the activities they wouldn't like, and an "x" by the activities they are neutral towards.

11. Have the kids reflect on the number of smiley faces on their side compared to the number on Ashique's side.

12. Have the kids reflect on the number of Frowny faces on their side compared to the number on Ashique's side.

13. Write the following questions on the board:

a. How is my life different from Ashique's?

b. Which schedule do I like better: mine, or Ashique's?

c. Why do I like that schedule better?

14. Have the students answer the questions on the board on a piece of paper. They do not have to write down the questions.

15. Have the students share- in groups of 3- their answers, before turning in their papers.


Place students into groups of three and tell them they must discuss the answers to these questions:

1. How are our lives different from Ashique's?

2. Which schedule do you like better: yours or Ashiques?

3. Why do you like that schedule better?

Have the kids write down their answers on individual sheets of paper, then share them in groups of three, before turning the papers in.