Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Free Labor Day Activity


Labor Day is approaching, and the Pirate Queen has a fun activity for your students and their parents. 

If you ask children what kind of work their parents do, they are probably able to name the job or profession of their parents. However, how much do they really know about the details of the work that their mother and father do most every day of the week? 

To teach students about the history of Labor Day, I have created a FREE product that provides background as to how and why a holiday was created to honor American workers. In the process, students also learn about the type of work their parents do by interviewing their mom or dad about her/his job.


Before introducing Labor Day to your students, gather books from your school or local library about the history of this holiday. (A list is included in the product, Labor Day: Worker Interview Activity.) Display the books to encourage students to review, and select a few to read to the class for background. In addition, I recently added to this Labor Day resource an up-to-date list of websites dedicated to the holiday, including a few that are designed for children.

When you are ready to begin this mini unit, ask students general questions such as: What are jobs? Why are there jobs? Ask students if they have thought about what they want to do when they grow up. Discuss various careers and make a chart listing different professions and their purposes. Introduce the word, labor. Ask students if they know what it means. Then remind them that Labor Day is approaching. Ask what they and their families will do to celebrate. Be sure to ask why do we have a day for celebrating labor. At this point, show one of the websites or read one of the books to help students understand the reason for Labor Day.


After a day or so on the history of Labor Day, talk with students about their parents' jobs. Ask if any of them have been to their parents' work place. Ask students what their parents' work day is like. Some students may know quite a bit about the work their mothers and fathers do. Others will know very little. 

Page 1 of Interview Sheet
Distribute the Parent Letter/Interview Questions and go over the questions with students. Remind students that they are to choose one of their parents to interview. Make sure they understand that "Stay-at-home Moms and Dads" can be interviewed. After interviewing their parents, students will present to their classmates information regarding the type of work their parents do. Also, if possible, students will bring a "Tool of the Trade", something their parents use to do their work. For example, if a parent is a nurse or doctor, the student might be able to bring a stethoscope, a "Tool of the Trade" in the health profession. 


To help students prepare for their presentations, distribute the Oral
Presentation Scoring Checklist and go over the characteristics of a well done speaking presentation. Model for them how a speaker should stand, how to make eye contact, how to hold and present an item for viewing.  Suggest that when they practice their presentation at home, their parents can use the score sheet to evaluate the student's presentation and help the student to make improvements. Set aside three or four days for students to share what they have learned about their parents' jobs.

I recommend taking photos of students holding the "Tool of the Trade" their parents use. These photos along with pictures that students draw of their parents at work can be displayed on a wall in your classroom or in the hall outside your classroom for others to see.

If you would like to download Labor Day: Worker Interview Activity, click on the product cover which will take you to my TpT store. 

Happy Labor Day, Matey!