Child Labor

Our Long Term Learning Target for this case study is: I can connect (identify) with someone affected by unfair working conditions.  To meet this target, students chose a Lewis Hine photograph of a child laborer.  They studied the working conditions that child may have endured.

In the photos below, students are creating journals. Students will take on the perspective of the child in the photo they chose and will use these journals to describe what working life was like and how it was changed by unfair working conditions.



Case Study 2: Working Conditions

We have finished our study of the novel Lyddie and the working conditions she encountered at a young age.  Now, we are beginning our second case study where we will be studying child labor and working conditions in many different fields of work.

In this “Hosted Gallery Walk” students were able to become an “expert” about child labor and working conditions in specific areas such as; farming and food production, oyster shucking, coal mining, mill work, canneries, cotton picking, and newsies.  Students were very surprised at the working conditions these young workers had to endure.  After becoming “experts”, students then used their knowledge to teach others.


Revolutions to Resolutions

Just a little information about our new Expedition, “Revolutions to Resolutions”.

In the first case study, students will become historians as they experience the industrial revolution through the eyes of Lyddie. As we read about her journey inside a textile factory students will discover the harsh working conditions in which children of that tine were subjected.

Image result for lyddie

In the second case study, students will make connections with someone affected by unfair working conditions, They will take on the perspective of a specific laborer and describe what their working life was like and how it was changed by unfair working conditions.

Image result for lewis hine famous photographs

In the third case study, students will research modern working conditions to help them compose potential solutions to child labor inequalities worldwide. They will capture what they have learned in a research synthesis paper and will also create an audio public service announcement to inform others of this topic.

Image result for modern working conditions child labor

The Guiding Questions for this Expedition are:

  • What is the relationship between people and industrialization?
  • What are working conditions and do they matter?
  • How does reading and writing help me change the world today?


This may seem like a depressing topic, but in the past I have found that students really like this expedition. Many of my past students have expressed that it was one of their very favorite expeditions!!

Expedition Kick-Off

Students had a very interesting day today! To kick off our expedition, students got to experience a little bit of what the working conditions might have been like for child laborers, by grinding corn. Their only tools were a rock that they picked out, the corn, and their own two hands. They had to work in the cold while their mean “bosses” supervised to make sure no one was talking, taking breaks, or not grinding good enough. 😉 After their “shift” was up, students were rewarded with hot cocoa (not truly reflective of past child labor, but they worked hard!). J
After the experience, students wrote a cinquain (a type of poem) about how they felt during their work. Surprisingly, some students used the word “fun” and “happy” in their poems.  Students were then asked to observe actual photographs taken by Lewis Hine of child laborers during the Industrial Revolution. They wrote down their notices and wonders of the photos, and then chose a picture of a child that resonated or spoke to them.
 This kick-off really sparked the students interest.  I am so excited to get started on this expedition!

It’s a Slippery Slope

It was a perfect day skiing!  The weather was PERFECT!!  The only thing that could have made the day better, would have been more snow, a lot more snow.  But the sun was shining, it was warm and the kids had a blast!

Bumps, Bruises, and Blisters.  Day one of our winter sports intensives, “It’s a Slippery Slope” was spent ice-skating at the Ogden Ice Sheet.  It was a lot of fun, despite all of the bumps, bruises and blisters.

Emotional Car

Today in crew, we played an initiative called “Emotional Car”.  Five students are assigned a role– Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister, and Baby.  They are each given an emotion (i.e. happy, sad, angry, overjoyed, excited, etc.). They are all in a “car” together and have to act out their role.  It is a lot of fun!!!