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If you asked students what comes to mind first when they think of Labor Day, what do you think they would say? The last days of summer? A family picnic? Shopping the Labor Day sales? The purpose of this lesson is to broaden and deepen student understanding of the Labor Day holiday. Students will learn why workers organized unions during the nineteenth century to fight for higher pay and better working conditions. They will discover that unions help balance the power between workers and employers—yielding a better life for many workers and their families today. This is a great lesson to do just before Labor Day. If your school doesn’t begin till after the holiday, consider doing it on May 1—the International Worker’s Rights Day!
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