Child Labor

By: Emily Nelson &

Jennifer Pearson

 

Table of Contents

Overview and Rational

Teacher Background and Information

Unit Planning Chart

Organization and Subject Matter Overview

Learning Activities Bank

       Lesson 1    The Industrial Revolution

       Lesson 2   What is Child Labor?

       Lesson 3   Child Labor Centers

       Lesson 4   Where I’m From

       Lesson 5   Simulation Sweatshop

Lesson 6   Kids on Strike

       Lesson 7   Child Labor Now

       Lesson 8   Child Labor Debate

Assessment

Appendices

Overview and Rational

 

          We chose to do this unit based on the theme of the social justice issue of child labor.  We thought that it is important for children to know when other children have been discriminated against and what these children have done about it in order to more fully understand their rights as children.  By teaching this unit, the students will learn about their rights, dispelling any ignorance about rights and therefore putting power into the hands of the students.  We believe that social studies should take events from the past (that may still be issues today) and show their relevance today so that our society is learning from past mistakes or events and making a better world because of this education.  By teaching this unit on child labor, we feel that by looking at the issue of child labor in the past and present, we will be showing what students can to make a difference in the world today or their personal lives to make the world better.

          In this unit, we will be doing various activities to teach some of the National Standards for Social Studies.  The students will identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS II d) by looking at journals and photos of child laborers and writing letters and poems to more fully understand the life of a child laborer.  They will show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS V g) by looking at the unions that worked to dispel child labor in the past and today (such as UNICEF.)  They will also describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VII e) by looking at what child laborers did, how that affects our economy and why anyone would want to employ child laborers (pros and cons.)

          This unit also teaches the state standards for fifth grade.  The students will analyze events and leaders in the United States through the 19th century (Utah Core Standard 6) by looking at the event of the Industrial Revolution and how that contributed to the start of child labor.  They will also analyze the significant social and political movements of the United States from the Civil War to 1900 (Utah Core Standard 6.3) by looking at the issue of child labor in the past and what was done about it.  Finally, they will analyze the significant events and actions of the 20th century (Utah Core Standard 7.1) by looking at child labor today, and what they can do about it now.

          This unit is appropriate for fifth grade, because fifth graders can understand the more sensitive issue of child labor and are mature enough to deal with the emotional involvement of looking at child labor.  This is a good age to show children how they can be involved and make a difference in the world, to get students started on a path leading to more civic action in the future.  The students will be learning about an issue that they can relate to, being children, so that they can start with an issue that they will feel a deep connection with in becoming socially active.  This unit will help students begin to understand different social issues and help them find ways to make a positive difference in the world today.

 

 

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Teacher Background Information

 

          The focus on this unit is child labor and what jobs the children performed.  The teacher will need to know about the industrial revolution and how that affected child labor and helped the beginnings of the labor force.  The background on the industrial revolution is not too extensive, just enough to know why it happened and how it came about.  The main knowledge is on child labor itself, how it came about, what it involved, the different jobs, and the way that the kids stood up for themselves.  The teacher will also need to know about child labor now and how it affects children and the factories, what are the advantages to employing children, and the risks.

The knowledge about the industrial revolution should include how an assemble line works and the advantages and disadvantages to that method, as well as a knowledge of some inventions and inventors.  May also want to know what a revolution is and why it is called an industrial revolution.  An assembly line is a method of manufacturing wherein one person does one specific job to build something, not building the whole product just one part.  The advantage is that it made work much faster and more efficient.  The worker only needed to be trained to do one thing and over time he or she would become much faster and able to assemble more of that part at a higher rate which helped to decrease the cost. Also what types of inventions came about this time, and how did they affect everyday people?  Before the revolution most things were done by hand, during and after many inventions were made which made life easier for the people.  A revolution is a major change, and the industrial revolution changed the way that industries were ran. 

The knowledge about child labor during the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s should include what child labor is, the types of jobs performed and the working conditions, why child labor was used and the different views on children in the work force, and how the children learned to take a stand for their rights.  Child labor is the employment of children who are too young to legally work.  Many of the states had laws about how old children had to be to enter the workforce, which was fourteen in most states, but these laws were often broken.  The children worked in the coal mines, the textile mills, and other factories.  Their jobs were often dangerous because of the use of big machines, heavy loads the children were required to carry, unhealthy work environments, long hours with few breaks, and sitting or standing doing the same thing every day for long amounts of time.  Child labor was used because it is cheap to pay someone young to do a jog.  At this time in history it seems that most kids in more rural towns, those of lower classes, and immigrants were often employed to help the family make ends meet.  Many children felt that it was their duty to earn money to help feed and clothe themselves.  This made it easy to break the laws because both parents and employers were willing to lie about the age of the children so that they could work.  Some people felt that children who did not work would end up lazy and were not getting the proper training to make something of themselves.  But there were also many others who believed that the work environment was not a proper one in which for children to work, so this was and continues to be a controversial topic.

The teachers need to know that child labor goes on today even in the U.S.  They should also be familiar with resources about child labor today (as listed in the appendices) there are also many resources on the internet. UNICEF is one of the organizations against child labor today and they may be able to provide you with up to date information.  Since the students will be doing their own research the teacher should be familiar that it exists today such as working on the street, low pay and long hours, immigrants farming…  It is not just a problem that other countries have, although it may be a bigger problem there.

 

 

 

 

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Unit Planning Chart

 

 

Social Studies

Teacher Resources

Student Reading/Literature

Math

Science

Industrial Revolution

 

Social issues of the time

 

Socioeconomic status of child laborers

 

Social action for kids

 

Internet

 

Books about child labor

 

Movies about child labor and strikes

 

Textbook (for information on Industrial Revolution)

Read about labor

 

Read accounts of children who were child laborers

Calculate yearly/ monthly/ daily wages of child laborers and compare with the cost of living at the time

 

Make a timeline showing the number of child laborers each year

 

Calculate money saved by companies by employing child laborers

 

Talk about the chemicals in the air in coal mines

 

Inventions during the Industrial Revolution

 

Design an invention

Art

Physical Education/

Movement/ Health

Music

Technology

Oral Language

Draw and interpret political cartoons on child labor

 

Draw machines

 

Look at pictures of child laborers and factories

 

Talk about health problems associated with child labor

 

Role play working conditions in a factory

 

Talk about mental health of child laborers

 

Listen to and analyze music from the time period

 

Listen to “labor rights” songs, such as songs from Newsies

 

Create a rap about child labor

Look up information about child labor online

 

Make a power point presentation of what was learned about child labor

 

Inventions of Industrial Revolution—make and design inventions

 

Debate child labor issues

 

Discussion in small groups

 

Presentations on child labor

Written Language

Field Trips/ Guests

Culminating Activity/ Unit Projects

Read Alouds

Social Skills

Letters/ mock letters to president or companies about child labor

 

Journal writing and reactions about the  discussion

 

Write as if you were a child laborer

 

Mind maps

 

Poetry

 

Bring in people in the community who were child laborers or are descendants of child laborers

 

Bring in people in the community who are workers rights activists to talk about what kids can do to make a difference

 

Visit a factory

 

Write a letter to a company that still uses child labor stating reasons why they should stop

 

Write a report

 

Class presentation

 

Research a type of job done by children

“The Story of My Cotton Dress”

 

“Mr. Coal’s story”

Group work

 

Partner work

 

Debate

Accommodations for Learners

Assessment

 

 

 

Less writing

 

Scaffold writing

 

Alternative assessments (draw a picture; speak on a tape, etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

Observe students’ attitudes about child labor

 

Listen to comments on child labor

 

Reports/ presentations/ letters

 

 

 

 

 

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Organization and Subject Matter

Overview with Goals and Objectives

 

          Our unit addresses the social issue of child labor and what can be done about child labor today.  As this unit is carried through, the objectives will be realized through the daily activities.  The social issue of child labor, which began near the industrial revolution, still exists today.  We believe this issue is relevant to the students in our class because it is an issue today that involves children. 

          Therefore, by teaching our lessons of how child labor started, progressed, and continues, we will be helping students be informed about social issues today that they can connect to, and giving them opportunities to make a difference in the world.  We will carry this through by having them identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS II d);  show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS V g); describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VII e). 

          The Utah Core Objectives in the chart below support these overall NCSS unit goals.  These objectives will be carried out by giving the children multiple opportunities to research and discuss child labor in the past and present.  The students will also be given many opportunities (centers, simulations, and poetry) to experience a little what it would be like to be a child laborer or the feelings they may have felt, to make the issue of child labor personal.  Also, students will learn what laborers did, and what you can do about child labor today (debates, videos/research on strikes, and writing letters to companies.)

          The content of this child labor unit is organized chronologically.  This chronological organization seemed to make the most sense, because the unit deals with the people of the time period, how child labor started, its progression through history, and the social issues that continue with child labor today. 

          The classroom will have 5 tables (formed by 6 desks each) to facilitate easy grouping and center activities, because many of our activities use discussion in groups.  The mind maps will be displayed for easy access, so that students can add to them or change them as they learn more about child labor.  Resources will also be available.  See the diagram below.  The time allotment for each lesson is about an hour. 

 

 

 

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK

4

TOPIC

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

HISTORY OF CHILD LABOR

HISTORY OF CHILD LABOR

CHILD LABOR NOW

NCSS STANDARD

·       Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (II d);

·       Show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (V g);

·       Describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (VII e).

UTAH CORE OBJECTIVE

6  Students analyze events and leaders in the United States through the 19th century

 

 

6.3 Analyze the significant social and political movements of the United States from the Civil War to 1900.

6.3 Analyze the significant social and political movements of the United States from the Civil War to 1900.

7.1 Analyze the significant events and actions of the 20th century.

 

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

What led up to the Industrial Revolution

Overview of child labor

Poetry writing from point of view of child laborer

Overview of child labor today

 

Culture of time period of the Industrial Revolution

Jobs of child laborers

Role play sweatshop atmosphere

What can you do about child labor today?

 

Inventors and their inventions

Centers with pictures of child laborers, stories of child laborers, writing letters to the president, look at and analyze political cartoons, music of the time period

Talk about sweatshop experience—what could have been done to improve conditions?

Write letters to companies telling them why they shouldn’t use child laborers

 

Inventors and their inventions

Journal writing/ reactions about yesterday’s activity

Kids on strike

Mock debate of child labor now—should it be done?

 

Increase of factories and laborers in the Industrial Revolution

Research child labor on the internet

How can kids today make a difference?

Add to/ change mind map of child labor

 

Classroom Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Learning Activities Bank

 

Title:  The Industrial Revolution

Teachers:  Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Grade:  5th

 Unit Theme:  Child Labor

Standards Met: See below

 

Goal: The students will be able to show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS V g); describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VII e).

 

Objectives: Given information on the industrial revolution the students will be able to have their own factory where paper airplanes are produced in order to recognize a primary event in the U.S. through the 19th century.

 

Materials Needed: Lots of scratch paper (preferably 8.5 x 11)

                                 Timer

                                 Personal Journals and pencils

                                 White board and markers

                                 Method to folding paper airplanes

                                

Motivation:  The teacher will ask questions to generate a class discussion on technology and inventions.

 

Procedures:

  1. Ask the following questions to generate a discussion:
    1. How many of you used some form of technology today?
    2. What inventions are your favorite?
    3. How do you think we became such an industrial nation?
    4. Ask the students what revolution means.
  2. Explain to the students that the industrial revolution was a time in our society that we as a people began to rely more heavily upon technology.  May also want to compare some ways that people used to do things such as indoor plumbing, electricity and others.
  3. Do the assembly line activity.
    1. Tell the students that they are working in a factory and their job is to produce paper airplanes, they all need to be done the same, and they need to produce as many as they can in the time allotted.
    2. Show the students how you want the airplanes folded (there are many ways so do the one that you are most comfortable explaining to the class)
    3. Tell the students that they will be judged on quality and quantity.
    4. Give the students two to three minutes to fold as many as they can.
    5. When time is up have the students count how many they did and record the scores on the white board so that the class average can be calculated.
    6. Now tell the students they are going to do the same thing in an assemble line fashion.
    7. Have them get in groups and decide which student will be doing which fold on the airplane.
    8. Tell them that they will again be grades on quality and quantity
    9. Have them begin, doing the work for the same amount of time as they did individually.
    10. At the end of the time have them calculate how many were fully completed and record the scores so that a new class average can be made.
    11. As a class discuss the difference between the first and second way of making the airplanes

                                                               i.      Was one way faster or more efficient?

                                                             ii.      Did one way get boring, or was it easier?

                                                            iii.      Which way was the most enjoyable?

                                                           iv.      Compare your class averages.

    1. Explain to the class that during the industrial revolution the assemble line was put into full work in many factories, and that it is still used today.
    2. Have the class think of places where it is used, such as to build cars.
  1.  Have the class do a think pair share on the topic of assembly lines, what is good, and then what is not good, when sharing with the class make a chart on the whiteboard.
  2.  Have the students record in their journal whether or not they would like to work on an assembly line and why or why not.

 

Accommodations: For those who are unable to fold planes they may be in charge of watching the time or the quality of the airplanes.

 

Closure:    Have students share in their groups their ideas.

 

Assessment:  The assessment will mainly come to listening to the students as they share with the class their ideas of the assemble line, some journals may also be checked for understanding of the topic.

 

Extension: They can research the assemble line to find out if humans or robots do most of the work now.

 

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Title:  What is child labor?

Teachers:  Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Grade:  5th

Unit Theme:  Child Labor

Standards Met: See below

 

Goal: The students will be able to show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS V g); describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VII e).

 

Objective:  Given teacher prompts and instruction the students will be able to create a mind map of what they know and think about child labor in order to analyze the significant social and political movements of the United States from the Civil War to 1900.

 

Materials:      Chart paper for each group

                        A different colored marker for each student

                        Books or pictures for the students to look at dealing with child labor

 

Motivation:  A discussion about the jobs that students in your class have.

 

Procedures:

  1. Ask the class questions to generate a class discussion
    1. Do they have jobs?  What they do?
    2. Do they get paid, if so haw much?
    3. Do they know that children used to and still do have jobs instead of going to school, and that these jobs were often dangerous?
  2. Demonstrate how to make a mind map using the topic jobs we have had
  3. Have each group make their own mind map about child labor; they may look at the pictures, books or other materials provided by the teacher.
  4. Have each group share their mind map with the class.

 

Accommodation:  For those students who are unable to write someone in the group may write for them.

 

Closure: Tell the class that over the next three weeks they will be learning more about child labor and they will have the opportunity to add to their mind maps as they learn more.

Assessment:  The teacher will notice who is making comments on the mind map by the different colored marker, and by the questions that are generated.

 

Extension:  The students may begin to find answers to their questions.

 

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Title:  Child Labor Centers

Teachers: Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Grade: 5th

Unit Theme:  Child Labor

Standards Met:  See below

 

Goal:  The students will be able to identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS II d); show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS V g).

 

Objectives:  During the five centers the students will be able to analyze pictures, political cartoons, and music from the time period as well as read stories about and write journal entries for children during the time period, in order to analyze the political and social movements of the United States from the Civil War to 1900.

 

Materials Needed:   Pictures of child laborers

                                  Political Cartoons from the time period                                                                        

                               Scott Joplin’s “The Strenuous Life”

                                  Work sheet for analyzing music

          CD or tape player

                                  “Mr. Coal’s Story”

                                  “The Story of my Cotton Dress”

                                  Paper and pencils

                                  Cards explaining what to do at each center

 

Motivation:  Discuss what happened in the previous lesson and what they have learned thus far.

 

Procedures: 

1.      The teacher will explain each of the five centers (see cards below).

2.      The teacher will distribute the materials on each of the proper tables needed for the centers.

3.      Divide the class into five groups.

a.       Tell the students at which center they begin and how and when to rotate (about every five minutes).

b.      Have the students begin the centers.

4.      After the students are done with the centers have some volunteers share their journal entries, or anything they learned with the rest of the class.

 

Accommodations: For those who have difficulty writing they may draw a day in the life of a child laborer.

 

Closure:  Have volunteers share their thoughts about one of the centers, or share their journal entry.

 

Assessment:  The teacher will assess the students learning through their journal entries, and music worksheet.  Also through observing and listening to the students discussions at the various centers.

 

Extension:  students may record their thoughts in their journals.

 

 

Music Worksheet

 

 

The Strenuous Life

Scott Joplin

 

Name___________________

 

As you listen to the music please answer the following questions.

 

1)     How would you describe this music?

a) happy                b) sad                   c) busy

 

2)     What is the tempo of this piece?

              a) fast                    b) slow

 

3)     If you had to put this piece to a picture what would you see, describe then draw.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4)     Why do you think this piece is called The Strenuous Life?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Center Cards

 

Political  Cartoons

 

In this center you will look at and discuss political cartoons from the time period with your group.  Please discuss within your group the following questions:  

1) What are the cartoonists trying to tell you about child labor?

2) Why do you think cartoons were used?

3)  Find your favorite one and tell your group why it is and what you think the illustrator is trying to get across.

4) As a group come up with an idea for a cartoon that could be used about your school or classroom.

 

 

Pictures

 

In this center you will be looking at pictures of child laborers.

Please notice the following, and discuss them with your group:

1) Clothing and hairstyles (does it differ from yours, how)

2) Tools (are there any you recognize)

3) Machines and buildings (what are their working conditions)

4) Age of the children

5) The type of work they are doing (does it look fun, dangerous...)

 

 

 

 

Music

 

Please fill out the worksheet while and after you listen to the music by Scott Joplin.  When the song is over you may restart it.

 

 

Journal Writing

 

Pretend as if you are a child in the early 1900’s, the time we have been talking about, and you just got a job. Describe your new job, when and where do you work, what is your specific job, and tell about your friends.  Use what you have learned so far in class as well as the pictures that you have seen.

                                                          

 

Stories

 

Read these two stories as a group.  When you are done answer the following questions:

1) What kind of jobs have you had?

2) Was it hard work that the children did?  Why?

3) Is it something that you would like to do?  Why or why not?

4) Do you think that it is right for children to work instead of go to school?

 

 

 

For Picture:   www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor

 

For Political Cartoons:  www.boondocksnet.com/gallery/child_labor_intro.html

 

Mr. Coal's Story

Our warm friend, Mr. Coal of Pennsylvania, tells us:

I lay snug and comfortable for many years, way down in the middle of a large mountain, until I grew into a great big coal.

One day a sharp steel pick cut through the rocks and I was pulled down from my bed and fell to the ground. All was so dark, I could have seen nothing if it had not been for tiny lamps which two men wore in their caps. The men were miners, digging for coal.

My former neighbor, old Mr. Wise Coal, soon fell beside me. He used to tell about the great world outside, where every one, to be really good, must make someone else happy. When he heard the picks he said, "We are going there now, and we will make some children and grownups warm and comfortable. But I am sad when I think of the little boys who must help take us there. Watch to see what happens and you will understand."

A coal car, drawn by mules, came along. I thought they must he men, who threw us in and drove the mules; but on looking closely I found that one of them was a boy about 12 years old. My companion shook his head. "It is only half past seven o'clock in the morning. Boys of his age should be eating breakfast and getting ready for school," he said.

Driving through the mine we came to a big trap door. "When men work in mines, air is forced in to them from the outside," said old Mr. Wise Coal. "The trap doors must be kept closed so that the air will go where the men are working. Boys open and close these trap doors for the cars to pass from one chamber to the other. They are called trapper boys.

"Look back and see how lonely this one is" I heard him cough and tell one of the drivers that medicine didn't help him anymore. The mine was so damp, he always got a new cold."

The next trapper boy we passed was John. John wanted to go to school but his parents made him work. They didn't know that he could earn better wages later, if he went to school now. The trap door was the nearest thing to a blackboard he had, so he drew pictures on that. John liked birds, and couldn't see any out doors, because it was after dark evenings when he left the mine. So he drew them on the trap door, and played they were alive and he wrote on the door, "Don't scare the birds!" and this was all the fun he had.

When we passed a place where the roof had caved in, old Mr. Wise Coal shuddered. "I hope no boys and men are buried there." he said, "they often get killed in that way."

As we came out of the mine we met James. They call him "a greaser" because he has to keep the axles of the car greased so that they run smoothly. He had grease all over himself and his clothes.

Next we met Harry. He does odd jobs about the mine. When he first started at work, he wanted to go to school, but now he does not care. He is too tired to think about it, even.

At last our car full of coal came to a building, called a "coal breaker." Here the coal was put into great machines, and broken into pieces the right size for burning.

Then the pieces rattled down through long chutes, at which the breaker boys sat. These boys picked out the pieces of slate and stone that cannot burn. It's like sitting in a coal bin all day long, except that the coal its always movie; and clattering and cuts their fingers. Sometimes the boys wear lamps in their caps to help them see through the thick dust. They bend over the chutes until their backs ache, and they get tired and sick because they have to breathe coal dust instead of good, pure air.

Hundreds and hundreds of boys work in the mines and in the breakers from early morning until evening, instead of going to school and playing outdoors.

Do you suppose the little fellows sitting all alone in the deep coal mine, or bending over the chutes, ever think of the merry children sitting around the burning coal?

This bright room is better than the dark mine. The happy talk is better than the silence. The warm fire glow is better than the cold.

Do you suppose that the happy children made warm by the coal ever think of the boys who helped to get it ready for them?

Do they think of the children who make medicine bottles in glass factories and cotton dresses in mills and tenement homes?

What can these children who play around the fire do to help the boys and girls who work in mines and factories? They can do this:

They can ask their fathers and mothers to make laws to help these other children. Fathers and mothers can make laws. They know how to make laws that will kelp children. They also know how to make sure that the laws are obeyed.

Sometimes fathers and mothers are so busy taking care of their own children-the children round the fire at home-that they forget the others-the children in mines and factories. But we must not let them forget the other children The most important matter in the world is, that all the children-all the children -- shall grow up healthy and intelligent and good.

http://www.history.ohio-state.edu/projects/childlabor/mrcoalsstory/

 

 

 

 

The Story of My Cotton Dress

Scanned from The Child Labor Bulletin, August, 1914.

I HAVE HAD another accident! A big tear in my pretty new dress. This time I want to mend it. When we went to Atlanta Georgia, a few weeks ago, and saw the beautiful white cotton fields, mother told me how little boys and girls must help make most of the stuff used for our dresses. I used to think all other children had good times, and that going to school was very hard. Now I know better.

I appreciate my dresses more since I know that from the very beginning when the cotton is ripe in the hot sun, little boys and girls must pick it for my dresses, while their backs grow tired and their heads ache.

 Mother also took me to a cotton mill, on that trip. I saw how the cotton bolls arc brought to the mill and the fluffy soft white mass is combed and then spun from on bobbin another, until it is the finest thread like the ravelings from the tear in my new dress.

The bobbins whirl around on large frames in the spinning room.

Little girl "spinners" walk up and down the long aisles, between the frames, watching the bobbins closely. When a thread breaks, the spinner must quickly tie the two ends together. Some people think that only children can do this quickly enough, but that is not so, for in a great many mills only grown-ups work.

Mary is one of the spinners. She was very sad. Standing all day long, she said, had broken down the arch of her foot and made her flatfooted, which is very painful.

Some people say it is good for the girls and boys to work—that all children should be industrious But they do not stop to think that there is a right and a wrong kind of work for little girls and boys. Spinning for a little while a day could be made the right kind, but work in a spinning room from 7 o'clock in the morning until 6 o'clock at night is the wrong kind. It keeps the children out of school, it gives them no chance to play, and they cannot grow strong. Many spinning rooms have their windows closed all day because the rooms must be kept damp or the threads will break. Now, like growing plants, growing girls and boys need fresh air as well as light and sunshine. But there are more than a million children in this country who do not have fresh air, or play, or school because they are working. And of these there are enough in the cotton mills to make a big city full.

When a bobbin is filled, the "doffer boy" comes along, takes it off the spinning frame and puts an empty bobbin in its place.

Many doffer boys and girl spinners grow up without learning to read or write, and without even hearing of George Washington.

Sometimes the machine is so high and the boys are so little, they have to climb up to reach the bobbins. If they slip they can hurt themselves badly.

At last the thread is ready to be woven into cloth. It is put through a machine called the warper, which prepares the threads which run the length of the goods. I think the hardest work the girls in the mill did was to thread every one of these warp threads through a tiny hole to prepare them for the loom that weaves the cloth.

"Surely, mother," I said when we left the cotton mill, "little girls can't do any more work for a dress."

"Ah, yes, dear," she said, "it is in the making of the dress itself that little girls take a big part. The cloth you saw woven is sent to factories in other large cities. It is cut into dresses that are carried in bundles into tenement homes. And such homes! Often only one or two rooms for the whole family to cook and eat and sleep and sew in. Mothers sew the dresses, while their little girls help draw out the basting threads and sew on the buttons.

"Not long ago I read the story about Rose, nine years old. who sews buttons on little girls' dresses. Her mother used to make dolls dresses, and Rose had to snip them apart. She grew so tired of doing this for dolls for other little girls to play with, when she had no doll herself and when she wanted to read fairy stories, that what do you think she did? She snipped into the dolls' dresses with the scissors! So now her mother makes big dresses, for little girls, and Rose cannot use the scissors, but must work with a needle. She sews on 36 buttons to earn 4 cents."

 "The scallops of the embroidery trimming little girls like so well for their dresses," mother continued, "are cut out by children in tenement houses. These little girls generally go to school, but often fall asleep over their lessons because they worked long after bedtime the night before, and an hour or two before school in the morning.

"The pretty ribbon trimmings are pulled through the dresses by children in still other tenement homes. You see, their mothers do not mean to be cruel, but they must pay rent and buy coal and bread and shoes with the money the children can earn. More cruel than these poor mothers were the people who, when the fathers were little boys, made them do work that taught them nothing; for now the fathers do not know how to earn enough money, and they are idle while the children work.

"If only everybody cared, and would not buy things that children make, the factory men would give the work to the fathers and not to the children."

http://www.history.ohio-state.edu/projects/childlabor/cottondress/

 

 

 

 

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Title of Lesson:  Where I’m From

Teachers:  Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Date:

Time Allotted:  70 minutes

Grade Level:  5th

Number of Learners:  30

 

Unit Theme:  Child Labor

Standards Met:  (see below)

 

Goal:  The learners will be able to identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS IId).    The learners will be able to show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS Vg).  The learners will be able to describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VIIe).

 

Objectives:   Given (materials), the learners will be able to create their own “Where I’m From” poem from the point of view of a child laborer in order to begin to analyze the significant social and political movements of the United States from the Civil War to 1900. (Utah Core 6.3)

 

Materials Needed:

1.  Poem-“Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon, available:  http://www.studyguide.org/where_I'm_from_poem.htm

2.  Teacher’s “Where I’m From” poem from the point of view of a child laborer

3.  Picture cards of child laborers

4.  Pencils (30)

5.  Lined Paper (60)

Motivation:  Where were you born?  Where were your parents born?  Where did your ancestors come from? How is this different from child laborers?  Have a short discussion about where students are from and if this tells who they are and how their lives are different from child laborers.  (5 minutes)

Procedures:

1.  Read “Where I’m From.”  Remind students about when they wrote their own “Where I’m From” poems.  Ask if anyone has done any more work on their poem and let three students share with the class.  (10 minutes)

2.  Pass out picture cards of child laborers, and have each student pick a picture card.  Tell them that today they are going to write a “Where I’m From” poem from the perspective of a child laborer.  (1 minute)

3.  Review what students know about child laborers by looking at their mind maps of child labor.  (5 minutes)

4.  Have students get out pencils and paper and tell them they’ll brainstorm lists of things from the child’s past.  It can’t be completely factual, but it should be something that could have happened.  They should have a list for each item on the board.  Before students brainstorm, go over where these items are found in the “Where I’m From” poem.  Items written on board are: 

Items found around their home

Items found around their yard

Items found around their neighborhood

Names and jobs of relatives

Sayings heard in their family or at work

Foods and dishes famous to their family (remember the culture of the time period!)

Places they would keep childhood memories      

(3 minutes)

5.  Students brainstorm for 10 minutes.  (15 minutes)

6.  Talk about using the list to write their poem.  They don’t need to use all of what they brainstormed, only their favorite lines.  They should try to use a lot of describing adjectives or imagery, connect the statements with “I’m from” statements and the last lines should tie the child’s past to the child’s present.  (2 minutes)

7.  Students write their poems.  (15 minutes)

8.  Have students share their poems in groups of five, and with the class if there is time.  (10 minutes)

 

Accommodations:  This activity automatically accommodates to the writing level of the students.  Extra scaffolds can be provided, so that it is more of a fill in the blank activity rather than a total recreation of the poem.  This can also be written in the student’s native language.  Students who get done quickly, can type their poem on the computer or can illustrate their poem. 

 

Closure:  Have students Think-Write-Pair-Compare to answer the question, “How is your life different from the life of a child laborer?”  (4 minutes)

 

Assessment/ Evaluation:  Collect poems from students and read to see if content is historically accurate.  Also listen to discussion about final question and keep their notes to understand their attitudes about child labor, and if they are starting to see why it should be stopped. 

 

Extension:  If a student finishes early, they can begin the publishing process for their poem.  All poems can be made into a class book (including the picture for each poem.)

 

Resources:

 

Where I’m From by George Ella Lyon


I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elm
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls and the pass-it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I’m from He restoreth my soul with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.

I am from those moments-
snapped before I budded-
leaf-fall from the family tree.

 

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Title of Lesson:  Simulation Sweatshop

Teachers:  Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Date:

Time Allotted:  10 minutes before recess, 45 minutes after

Grade Level:  5th

Number of Learners:  30

 

Unit Theme:  Child Labor

Standards Met:  (see below)

 

Goal:  The learners will be able to identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS IId).    The learners will be able to show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS Vg).  The learners will be able to describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VIIe).

 

Objectives:   Given (materials), the learners will be able to experience (a little) what it was like to be working in a sweatshop and write their feelings about the child labor simulation in order to begin to analyze the significant social and political movements of the United States from the Civil War to 1900. (Utah Core 6.3)

 

Materials Needed:

1.  Students’ journals (30)

2.  Pencils (30)

3.  Audiotape or CD with loud clanging sounds and buzzing in the background that can be played for 45 minutes if needed, and player  (If on CD, you can repeat 5 minutes of the CD 9 times…)

4.  One pound bag of dry macaroni noodles

5.  12 pieces of kite string 2 feet long with one knot at the end of each

6.  Six needles and thread (lots of thread)

7.  A variety of scraps of cloth, at least 30 pieces

8.  Four empty ice cream buckets or other big containers

9.  One bucket full of 4 different types of small objects (different sizes washers, nuts, bolts, different shapes of paper, or different math blocks)

10.  Six chairs

11.  One pound bag of Smarties (candy)

12.  Paper cut like confetti

13.  A whistle

14.  Fake money (coins)

15.  Lamps (optional)

Motivation:  10 minutes before recess, ask students what they think it must have felt like to be a child laborer.  Review some of the working conditions in the sweatshops, and explain that after recess, they will be workers in a sweatshop.  In order to get full points for the activity, which could change their grade for the term, they will need to earn $2, so they will need to work hard.  Explain what must be done for each job (listed on whiteboard).  Tell students that although in real sweatshops and factories kids got hurt all the time, they need to be careful so that no one in our class gets hurt.  Also, after doing a job, they must put things back the way they found them.

Jobs:

1.  Thread macaroni onto string.  (Like working to bead necklaces/cloth)

2.  Sew two pieces of scrap cloth together.  (Like working in a cloth factory)

3.  Separate items in bucket into the four other buckets while sitting on chair.  (Like working in the coal mines)

4.  Separate Smarties into groups by color.  (Like sorting parts in a factory)

5.  Picking up all of the scraps of paper off the floor. (Like being a scavenger)

(10 minutes)

 

Procedures:

1.  While students are at recess, set up centers.  Use 3 groups of student desks, 1 for the macaroni and string, 1 for the scrap cloth and needles and thread, and 1 for the Smarties.  Spread these on the respective groups of desks.  Move chairs to side of room.  For separating items in the buckets, place the buckets on the floor with six chairs around them.  Throw confetti paper on the floor.  Pick two students to favor with the money (preferably students who get low grades or are not as motivated.)  Put CD or audiotape of noises into player.  Turn about half the lights off (preferably farthest from centers) or all lights and use lamps for light.  Put whistle around your neck, and get ready with the money.  (10 minutes)

2.  When students come in from recess, designate them to one of the jobs and have them get started.  (30 seconds)

3.  Every 5 minutes, blow the whistle to have them clean-up and move to the next job on the list.  Repeat until all students have done all jobs.  While students are doing their jobs, yell at them to work faster, do things right (if they mess up), keep standing (if they sit down, except sorters with buckets), take smaller stitches or do things better, etc. (reading information about factory conditions prior to the lesson will make this easier.)  This may be hard, but it is supposed to be an unpleasant experience.  You know your students best and just how much they can handle.  Give out some money, but make it clear that only the 2 students picked will ever get enough to get the points.  Praise these students on their jobs and give them money fairly freely to show unjust wages.  Be aware that some classes have started strikes in the past, so your class may do that.  In this case, just play along in the role of a factory owner.  (35 minutes)

4.  Turn on the lights and have everyone clean up their area (and help with the floor) and put the desks back in order.  Thank them for being good sports and let them know that the money won’t matter with their grade, but you wanted them to feel what it feels like to have unjust wages.  Tell them that you want them to think a lot about this activity, what it must have really felt like to be a child laborer, and how this simulation was like the real factories and sweatshops and coal mines, and how it was different.  (5 minutes)

5.  Have them write personal reactions in their journals.  (5 minutes)

 

Accommodations:  Send a letter home to parents before the activity or call parents before the activity to get permission for students to participate.  Emphasize that no one will be physically hurt or touched, but you will be yelling at students, so feelings may get hurt.  Give reasons why you are doing this (increase understanding and empathy for child laborers.)  If they don’t want their child to participate, provide an alternative activity.  Also, clear it with the principal first and talk to your janitor about the paper on the floor.  Again, you know your students best-- don’t be so hard on them that they will never forgive you or burst into tears… but remember the experience you are trying to convey.  If ELLs are not proficient in written language, they can draw a picture in their journal of how they felt or what happened with a caption.  Kids in wheelchairs don’t need to stand up for the activities.

 

Closure:  Ask for three students to share one thing they wrote about and let the students know that you will be discussing in detail the simulation first thing tomorrow, so they will be able to think about it and talk about it with others first.  (5 minutes)

 

Assessment/ Evaluation:  All students participate in the sweatshop activity (or if not allowed, the alternative activity is completed.)  Look at journals to see if they are understanding why child labor should be abolished, and their attitudes towards child labor.  The next day discuss the activity and do more assessment of attitudes, and if students know details of child labor in the past.

 

Extension:  Students can write stories about “A Day in the Life of a Child Laborer” in writer’s workshop.  Also, if you would like, assign a few kids to have physical disabilities (such as missing a leg or arm, things that could happen in the factories.)  Again, be cautious of who you assign these roles to.  If possible, you can do lunch with this by getting permission to have oatcakes and milk in the classroom and giving them one each, not letting them sit down while they eat it, and not giving them very much time.  After the activity, they could get real lunch in the cafeteria.

 

Resources:

Life in factory:  http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/IRchild.main.htm

 

 

 

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Title:  Kids on Strike

Teachers:  Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Grade: 5th

Unit Theme: Child Labor

Standards Met: See below

 

Goal:  The students will be able to identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS II d); show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS V g).

 

Objectives:  Given stories of strike leaders and examples of how children were involved in the strikes the learners will be able to trace the development of political and social movements in order to write a newspaper article of a strike from the time period.

 

Materials: Kids on Strike by: Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Accounts from the book of individuals who led the strikes and how the children were influential, one for each base group                  

       Movie: Newsies

                   Paper for each student

                   Pencils for each student

 

Motivation: Show the clip from Newsies where they organize the strike.

 

Procedures:

1.      Ask and discuss the questions with the students

a.       What is a strike?

b.      Why do people go on strike?

c.       Why did the children get involved in the strikes?

2.      Have the base groups each read about one of the strikers and then discuss in their groups why that particular person went on strike and what the students thought they would do in that situation.

3.      Each group will then choose one person to report to the class their findings.

4.      The students will then individually report on a strike as a newspaper reporter, these are to be turned into the teacher upon completion.

 

Accommodations: For those who are struggling readers or writers they can have student or teacher assistance, or may draw a political cartoon of the strikes.

 

Closure:  Volunteers may share their newspaper articles with the class.

 

Assessment:  Read the students articles about the strikes to assess their knowledge of the concepts discussed in class.

 

Extension:  Students can brainstorm how they can make a difference in their community, school, or family.

 

 

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Title of Lesson:  Child Labor Now

Teachers:  Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Date:

Time Allotted:  50 minutes

Grade Level:  5th

Number of Learners:  30

 

Unit Theme:  Child Labor

Standards Met:  (see below)

 

Goal:  The learners will be able to identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS IId).    The learners will be able to show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS Vg).  The learners will be able to describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VIIe).

 

Objectives:   Given (materials) the learners will be able to state five facts about child labor today in order to analyze the significant events and actions of the 20th century. (Utah Core 7.1)

 

Materials Needed: 

1.  One piece of chart paper

2.  One marker

3.  Books and magazines on child labor today

4.  Internet to look up child labor today

5.  Students’ journals (30)

 

Motivation:  Is there still child labor today?  How would you feel working in a factory?  Discuss what it would be like to be a child laborer today.  (5 minutes)

 

Procedures: 

1. Make a KWL chart on the chart paper about child laborers today. Ask students what they know about child laborers today and what they want to know.  (10 minutes)

2. Split up questions on the chart into six groups and split kids into six groups and give each group their list of questions. (2 minutes)

3.  Let students research the answers to their questions by using the books, magazines, and internet. (20 minutes)

4.  As a class finish filling out the KWL chart.  (5 minutes)

 

Accommodations:  Students can draw pictures in their journals instead of writing if needed.  Paraprofessionals can be brought in to translate information for ELLs.  Students with learning disabilities only need to write three facts they learned in their journals. 

 

Closure: Students will write five facts they learned about child labor in their journals.  (8 minutes)

 

Assessment/ Evaluation:  Students will answer most of the questions their group is given.  Students will be able to write five facts about child laborers now in their journals.

 

Extension:  Students can look up stories about child laborers today on the internet. 

 

 

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Title of Lesson:  Child Labor Debate

Teachers:  Emily Nelson and Jennifer Pearson

Date:

Time Allotted:  60 minutes

Grade Level:  5th

Number of Learners:  30

 

Unit Theme:  Child Labor

Standards Met:  (see below)

 

Goal:  The learners will be able to identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others (NCSS IId).    The learners will be able to show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so (NCSS Vg).  The learners will be able to describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the production and exchange of goods and services (NCSS VIIe).

 

Objectives:   Given (materials) and their previous knowledge about child labor now, the learners will be able to participate in a debate about child labor in order to analyze the significant events and actions of the 20th century. (Utah Core 7.1)

 

Materials Needed:

1.  Eight Copies of each of the four the "Perspectives on Child Labor" role cards (source:  Fountain, S., 1993. It’s Only Right! New York, UNICEF.)

2.  Five pieces of chart paper

3.  Markers (30)

4.  Four child labor stories for students to use later if they finish other work early

(source:  http://www.ic21.org/childlabor2.html)

5.  Student Journals (30)

 

Motivation:  Do you think everyone disagrees with child labor today?  Who disagrees with it?  Who agrees with it?  Make a chart on the board of who agrees or disagrees. Then have students think to themselves what they think.  Have them write if they agree or disagree with child labor and why in their journals.  (10 minutes)

 

Procedures:

1.  Put students into four groups (you want a good mix of ability in each group.)  Give each group the copies of the role cards for the group (A, B, C, or D.)  Also give each group a piece of chart paper and each student in a group a different color of marker.  (2 minutes)

2.  Have students read through their cards quietly, and then write on the chart paper the reasons why their person thinks the way they do.  Each person needs to write with their marker (you can supervise participation by looking at what colors are on chart paper.)  (5 minutes)

3.  Have students discuss reasons they think another person would think differently (based upon what they’ve learned so far about child labor) and write these concerns on the chart paper and how they would respond.  (5 minutes)

4.  Students must agree upon which argument is strongest, which they will present to the class as their opening argument.  Discuss the rules of debate for your class.  (Raise your hand when you are responding to what one person says, one person speaking at a time, be respectful-- attack ideas, not people.)  (5 minutes)

5.  Have each group present opening statements and then go at it, referring to their charts as necessary.  If needed, call on students to bring up a subject to get everyone involved.  (20 minutes)

6.  As a class, look back at your chart and discuss whether you were right about why people would agree or disagree with child labor.  (3 minutes)

7.  On chart paper, as a class brainstorm some of the problems with child labor and possible solutions.  (5 minutes)

 

Accommodations:  In journals, students can draw pictures with captions instead of just writing if needed.

 

Closure:  Have students write in their journals how their opinion has changed or why it’s stayed the same from the start of the lesson.  They need to address some of the problems discussed with child labor.  (5 minutes)

 

Assessment/ Evaluation:  Have a checklist of student names.  In debate, put a tally mark next to their names as they make comments, etc.  If someone isn’t talking at all, call on them to look at their chart and bring up an issue on their chart.  Everyone should have a mark by their names.  The chart paper for each group should show thought about the issues that person faces with child labor, and should have the color of each child’s marker on it.  Students will be able to list the problems and possible solutions for child labor today.

 

Extension:  Students can look at the child labor stories and write different perspectives of the same story (e.g. the parents’ perspectives, a company’s perspective, etc.)

 

 

Resources:

Shifting Perspectives on Child Labor: Role Cards

Source:  Fountain, S., 1993. It’s Only Right! New York, UNICEF.
Role A: Parent No. 1
            Last year, my child Chris, who is now 13 years old, started picking fruit on a farm for a couple of hours after school each day. This year, Chris left school and began working full time on the farm. Having Chris work full time has made a big difference to our family. There are very few jobs available in our town. I have never been to school or had any special training, so the wages I can earn are always low. We have had trouble earning enough to feed our four children, even with both parents working whenever they can. Now with Chris bringing home some money every day, we can buy a little more food, new clothes, or medicine when one of the children gets sick.
            Chris is as strong as any adult, and is perfectly able to work a full day. Besides, I feel that children should help contribute to the support of their families, as they have always done in our society. I am proud of Chris for being so responsible, and I hope all of my children grow up to be just as hard working and reliable.

Role B: Social worker
            I am very concerned about Chris, who at the age of 12 started working part time picking fruit on a farm. Chris has dropped out of school and, at the age of 13, is now working full time. The work is backbreaking. Chris always seems tired and is suffering from pain in one shoulder; I would like Chris to see a doctor who can tell what long-term effect that this job might have on Chris's health.
            I really feel that this child should be in school with other children of the same age. Chris has no free time to rest, play, join a youth group or take part in the kinds of activities that are available in our town for young people. These types of activities are important if children are to grow up to be healthy and know how to get along with others. No child of Chris's age should be working with adults all day long. Many of the farm-workers smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and some may even be using drugs. Chris is too young to understand that these types of things are dangerous.

Role C: Child
            I am Chris. I started school when I was 6. When I was 12, I started to work picking fruit on a farm from the time school let out until dusk. I did it because my parents needed more money to buy food for our family.
            Now I'm 13, and I have left school. I work full time on the farm. I like working better than going to school. I was bored with school. I never knew why we had to learn the things they taught us. I couldn't see how learning those things would help me get a job. I wanted to get a job and work in the real world, not sit at a desk all day.
            I like the people I work with on the farm, even though they are all older than me. I learn a lot by talking to them. I start work at six in the morning; take a break for lunch and work until dusk. Then I take all the fruit I have picked and have it weighed. I get paid by the kilo, so the more I pick, the more I earn. Then I take my pay home to my parents, and eat dinner. Then I go straight to bed, so that I can be ready for the next day.

Role D: Parent No. 2
            Last year, my child Chris, who is now 13 years old, started picking fruit on a farm for a couple of hours after school each day. This year, Chris left school and began working full time on the farm. I don't want Chris to work full time. It would be better for all of us if Chris got an education. Everyone knows that children who finish school can get better jobs and earn more money. If Chris would finish school and get a good job, we would all be better off from the extra money.
            Chris got very good grades in the first few years of school, although they went down last year. But the teachers always said that Chris could be a top student, maybe even to go on to university. I had hoped that Chris would set an example for our younger children by working hard and staying in school. I don't want my younger children to follow Chris's example by dropping out of school to work picking fruit. I love my children; I want Chris, and all of them, to have a good future.

 

 

 

Child Labor Stories:

Source:  Teaching Human Rights and Conflict Resolution” http://www.ic21.org/childlabor2.html

 

Karen, age 17, Armenia:
            For me, it's really hard both to work and study. I am busy selling industrial goods at the market, and very often I do not have time to get ready for my classes. Many child workers quit school, as school is no longer a priority when you are pressed to work by need. Many people say you can work and study on your own. In my opinion, need makes people lose their belief in life, and they start thinking that education and knowledge cannot really help you.

Dibou, age 13, Senegal (interviewed at the 1997 International Conference on Child Labour; Dibou has worked as a maid since she was 7 years old):
Q: During the Conference you have put across the point of view that you want to be able to work, and you believe that this is an important choice. Is that correct?
A: It is my choice, because of the poverty. Had my parents been rich I would not have worked. It is to prepare myself for the future so that I can become a good head of family.
If my parents had been rich I would have gone to school.
Q: So the call for the immediate end to child labor under the age of 14 is something that you cannot endorse?

A: I don't think it is possible to eliminate child work in Senegal; there are too many poor families who depend upon it. I work as a maid, and my brother who is only seven has to take care of his younger brothers and sisters, give bottles, etc.
Q: What are your dreams about the future?
A: That there would be no poverty, and that I could learn a trade to earn money for my family.

Cicero (parent of a child sugar cane cutter in Brazil):
            I feel sorry to take the boy to cut sugar-cane, the knife can cut your hand, but there is nothing we can do except say to my son, let's live our life the way God wants us to. We couldn't do anything because we needed his help, he cuts, he ties the sugar cane together, and helps us. He could not stay home doing nothing because we couldn't afford it. It is better to be at school learning things, because I am this way nowadays because I didn't learn anything. My son can have a better life, he can go out look for something better, he can grow up and I will be still cutting sugar cane.

Edvaldo, age 11 (ex-sugar cane cutter in Brazil):
            I started when I was 7. I used to go to work with my father, my mother and my uncles. I used to get mad at them. It was a very bad job. You wake up very early, leave without breakfast, and when you get there you have nothing to eat except sugar cane. The worst part of the job was the risk of cutting one's foot or one's hand. I only stopped after I joined the "Helping Hand" program. After the program I was never hungry again. I am learning how to read and write, and I like my teacher very much. I would like to be a teacher.

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Assessment

 

          Students will demonstrate their learning through the use of assessments that are culturally and linguistically relevant.  The many and varied assessments will help target all learning styles to provide a more cohesive look at what students actually know. 

Through the use of the mind map at the beginning of the unit, students will show what they already know about the topic of child labor.  Throughout the unit they will be given the opportunity to add to or change the mind map, which will allow the teacher to visually check the students’ learning and growth.  The KWL chart for child labor today will give both the teacher and students the opportunity to research unanswered questions and find out what they know.

Through the use of the written assessments such as the poem, journal entry, music evaluation, and newspaper article, the students will have tangible evidence of their learning, which can be put in their social studies portfolios.  These portfolios will be used at parent teacher conferences to show the students’ progression.

By writing or drawing in their journals, students are able to keep track of their own growth and changing knowledge and attitudes about child labor.  The teacher will also look at these journals to get a feel for how the students feel about child labor.

By listening to student discussion, the teacher will be able to get a feel for what the students know (finding out what needs to be re-taught) and the attitudes of the students.  The teacher should take anecdotal records while listening to student discussion. 

Looking at the chart paper used for the debate and the letters written to companies about using child labor today, the teacher will be able to see if students understand child labor, and the different perspectives on child labor.  These activities include what should be learned in the whole unit by building on the background knowledge gained and showing the students’ attitudes about child labor today.

 

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Appendices

 

 

Bartoletti, S. C. (1996). Growing up in coal county.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

 

Bartoletti, S. C. (1999). Kids on strike.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin        Company.

 

Freedman, R. (1994). Kids at work. New York: Clarion Books.

 

Golden Triangle Books.  (2000).  Child labor today.  Child labor.  Retrieved October 10, 2003 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.pitt.edu/~press/goldentrianglebooks/childlabor.html#3

 

Gunn, S., & Ostos, Z.  (1992).  Dilemmas in tackling child labor:  The case of the Wazzu scavenger children in the Philippines.  International Labor Review, 131.

 

Hall, P. J. Cotton dress story. Ohio State University.  Retrieved October 6, 2003 from the World Wide Web:   http://www.history.ohio-state.edu/projects/childlabor/cottondress/

 

Hindman, H. D. (2002). Child labor an american history. New York: M. E. Sharpe.

 

Hines, L. W. (1986). Photographs of child labor in the new south. Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi.

 

Hopkins, Gary.  (1997).  Kids helping kids:  UNICEF kit teaches kids about child labor.  Education World:  The educator’s best friend.  Retrieved October 10, 2003 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson025.shtml

 

Interconnections21.  Teaching human rights and conflict resolution.  Interconnections21:  Kids and communities making a world of difference.  Retrieved October 10, 2003 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.ic21.org/childlabor2.html

 

Ohio State University. Mr. Coals story. Retrieved October 6, 2003 from the World Wide Web:http://www.history.ohio-state.edu/projects/childlabor/mrcoalsstory/

 

The History Place (1998).Photographs of Lewis W. Hine. Retrieved     September 30, 2003 from the World Wide Web: www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor

 

Tides Center and Julia Dean & Associates.  What causes child labor today?  Child labor and the global village:  Photography for social change.  Retrieved October 10, 2003 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.childlaborphotoproject.org/childlabor.html#causes

 

Todd, D.  (1992, July 20).  The children cheap to hire—easy to fire—a no fuss labor pool.  The Vancouver Sun.

 

Todd, D.  (1992, July 4).  The child slaves of Asia.  The Vancouver Sun.

 

UNICEF.  United nations children’s fund.  Retrieved October 10, 2003 from the World Wide Web:  http://www.unicef.org/

 

Zwick J. Child labor cartoons.  Political cartoons and cartoonists. Retrieved September 30, 2003 from the World Wide Web:    www.boondocksnet.com/gallery/child_labor_intro.html

 

 

 

 

 

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