Elementary & Middle School Labor Education Resources

Elementary & Middle School Materials

Use these great labor education resources from the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) to celebrate Labor History Month in New Mexico by providing basic information about tremendously influential union leaders from all backgrounds!

sample labor cards

The Labor Cards deck puts labor history into your students’ hands! The cards boast 30 drawings by artist Jos Sances and short bios of famous labor figures all in a friendly trading card format. From Lucy Parsons to Dolores Huerta, from Haywood to King and Bridges and everyone in between. A great way to introduce the labor movement and teach kids about labor’s campaigns for workplace rights and social justice for all.

Language: English
Format: 30 cards, 2.5 in x 3.5 in​ each
Free download: 31 pages
Labor Cards – English

Trouble in the Hen HouseReader and Puppet Show

Flexible elementary curriculum based on a play and puppet show about hens organizing against a mean farmer. Read as a story to kindergarten and first grade students. Grades 2-3 children can stage the puppet show. Grades 4-5 can use in a “readers theater” format or students can stage play for a younger group. Students can make puppets and learn about the potential for power in collective action.

Grades: K–5

Common Core Correlation
Language: English
Free download: 22 pages
Trouble in the Hen House – English

Along the ShoreColoring Book

Along the Shore cover

A coloring book for grades K-3 presents scenes from the lives of working people, focusing especially on longshore workers (in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union), but including many others. Simply but effectively shows the importance of unions in workers’ lives. Excellent for geography lessons as well.

Grades: K–3

Common Core Correlation
Languages: English, Spanish
Free downloads: 21pp and 23 pp
Along the Shore – English
Along the Shore – Spanish

The Yummy Pizza CompanyRole Play

Yummy Pizza cover

Ten lesson plans for elementary students, introducing them to the world of work in a pizza factory simulation. Students learn how to apply for jobs, to work cooperatively on an assembly line, to retail their wares, to bank their earnings and—most importantly—to resolve conflicts through organization and negotiation.

Grades: 1–5

Common Core Correlation
Languages: English, Spanish
Free downloads: 35pp and 12 pp
Yummy Pizza – English
Yummy Pizza – Spanish

The Yummy Strawberry CompanyRole Play

Yummy Strawberry cover

Substitute for The Yummy Pizza Company if you don’t have access to cooking facilities. Same basic idea, but rearranged for simpler cooking. For elementary students, introducing them to the world of work in a chocolate dipped strawberry company simulation. Students apply for jobs, work cooperatively on an assembly line, retail their wares, bank their earnings and participate in collective bargaining.

Grades: 1–5

Common Core Correlation
Languages: English
Free download: 30 pages 
Yummy Strawberry – English

Mission Labor Reader with Study Questions

Mission Labor cover

Learn the real story about what happened in the California missions under Spanish and Mexican rule. Who built the missions? How were the workers treated? What was the impact of this type of work on the California Indian population?  Written by veteran elementary teacher Bill Morgan, with beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Jos Sances.

Grades: 4–5

Common Core Correlation
Languages: English, Spanish
Free downloads: 24 pages each
Mission Labor – English
Mission Labor – Spanish

Farmworker ComixComic Book History

Farmworker Comix cover

To honor the 50th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike, which resulted in the founding of the United Farm Workers, the committee produced this comic book history. Written by elementary teacher Bill Morgan, and beautifully illustrated by Zap Comix artist Spain Rodriguez and Jos Sances, the bilingual booklet traces workers’ struggle for dignity in California’s fields from the 19th century through the UFW.

Grades: 4 and up

Common Core Correlation
Languages: English, Spanish
Free downloads: 15 pages each
Farmworker Comix – English
Farmworker Comix – Spanish

AutoworksComic Book History

Autoworks cover

A full-color comic book history of the United Automobile Workers, one of the most important industrial unions of the mid-20th century, and central to the creation of the American Dream for millions of workers over several generations. Written by Bill Morgan and illustrated by Bill Yund.

Grades: Middle school and up

Common Core Correlation
Languages: English
Free download: 28 pages
Autoworks – English

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