Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes

Labor Day

Writing Prompt

Description:

Constructing a building is a pretty tough job, but very rewarding when you see it finished. Have students describe a difficult job that they completed and felt good about after they finished.

Activities

Grades K–2: Social Studies
Helping Hands

Have your students talk about the kinds of jobs they do to help out in school. Then have each student trace an outline of his or her hand on paper and write a sentence about a “helping job” on the hand. The student can also color or decorate the hand. Display all the hands on a Helping Hands bulletin board or hang them from the ceiling with yarn.

Grades K–8: Social Studies
Future Jobs Book

Create a classroom book about jobs that the students think will be important in the future. Have them brainstorm a list of jobs and then draw pictures to illustrate the jobs. Older students can write job descriptions as well.

Grades K–8: Social Studies
Who Am I?

Have an afternoon of mime. Have the students take turns acting out different jobs without using their voices. Then have the rest of the class guess the correct job after each performance.

Grades 1–8: Language Arts
Word Scrambles

Can your students unscramble these Labor Day words?

Grades 2–6: Social Studies
Everyday Heroes

Often, postage stamps honor famous people. Ask each of your students to choose a profession that is often overlooked, one that we depend on every day, and design a stamp to honor that profession.

Grades 2–8: Language Arts
Word Finds

Have the students find words related to Labor Day hidden in a puzzle.

  • Labor Day (grades 2–3) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/september/pdf/laborday_easy_wf.pdf
  • Labor Day Answer Key (grades 2–3) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/september/pdf/laborday_easy_wf_key.pdf
  • Labor Day (grades 4–6) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/september/pdf/laborday_hard_wf.pdf
  • Labor Day Answer Key (grades 4–6) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/september/pdf/laborday_hard_wf_key.pdf
Grades 3–5: Social Studies
Safety First!

Have your students start a job safety awareness campaign. Ask each student to choose a job, such as that of a construction worker, a doctor, a firefighter, or a police officer. Then have the students create posters showing how people doing these jobs can stay safe. Posters can be used to decorate the classroom or the school hallways to get the campaign going.

Grades 3–5: Social Studies
How We Work Together

Have the students create a web to show the interdependence of workers in the community.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Quizzes

Test students' knowledge about Labor Day.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
Diary Entry

Have your students look at primary source photographs of child labor in the early 1800s. Then have each of them choose one child from the photographs to write a diary entry for. Encourage the students to include what the child's workday might be like and how that child might feel about the job.

  • The Spinning Frame
  • http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/empty.jpg
  • The Knitters
  • http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/london.jpg
Grades 4–8: Social Studies/Mathematics
Future Careers

Have the students graph careers that they might choose in the future. These careers will be based on their current favorite school subjects. First, have each of them make a list of the careers that match his or her interests. Then have a classmate graph the results to display in the classroom.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Career Awareness Day

Hold a career awareness day. Have the students research careers that interest them. Then have the students create pamphlets about the careers they researched. On Career Day, the students can distribute their pamphlets to fellow classmates or, if possible, to other classrooms in the school.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Jobs Survey

Have the students use surveys and interviews to gather information about how people in their community make a living and then organize that data.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Job Match-Up

Have your students take the Career Key Measure. This will help match their interests with different jobs.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Labor Day History

Have the students explore the history of Labor Day while learning how to cite websites in correct MLA bibliographical format.

  • Daily Lesson Plan
  • http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/lessons/19990903friday.html?searchpr=learning_lessons
Grades 7–8: Social Studies
Strikes and Protests

Have your students follow labor strikes and protests around the world. First, have them write brief summaries of some current strikes or protests. Then have each student create a large world map and pinpoint the location of each strike on the map. Hang the maps on a wall, and link the students' summaries to the appropriate locations. Encourage the students to update their maps from time to time.


Houghton Mifflin