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Labor Day Workers Cube

How do different countries observe Labor Day? Create a cube to honor jobs that men and women do.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Open a discussion with students focused on the history of Labor Day. Why did this holiday start? The first Labor Day parade was sponsored by the Central Labor Union in New York City on September 5, 1882. In 1894, U.S. President Cleveland made the first Monday in September a day to honor blue-collar workers. Invite students, working in small groups to find out how Labor Day began in their country and gather information about its origins. Once research is complete and shared, here’s one way to honor workers in one's community.
    2. Create a cube: Students draw six large circles with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Within each circle draw a square whose corners touch the circle’s sides. Cut out the six circles with Crayola Scissors.
    3. Choose jobs: Inside the squares, use Crayola Twistables to draw pictures of people doing various jobs. Decorate panels with words, dates, or patriotic symbols.
    4. Put the cube together: Students fold the lines forming each square upward. Lines can be erased if so desired. Place one circle face down on its edges. Select one edge from each of four other circles and attach them to the edges of the circle facing down with Crayola Glue Sticks. Add the sixth circle and continue to glue adjoining edges to form your cube.
    5. Provide time in the school day for students to share their cubes and the jobs they selected with small groups of classmates.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of grade level text's complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

    LA: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    MATH: Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and conditions.

    SS: Explore ways that language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements may facilitate global understanding or lead to misunderstanding.

    SS: Describe how public policies are used to address issues of public concern.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Students construct circles for the cube to a specific, given radius. If students are working in small groups, each can use a different radius when constructing the cube's circular sides.

    Organize a career day for the class or school. Invite parents to speak with students about their work histories, education, etc. After each talk, students complete a response card reflecting what they learned.

    Interested students research the labor-union movement and child labor laws. Provide students with photo images that influenced the enacting of child labor restrictions for companies. Students organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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