In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8. The first International Women’s Day emerged from from the labor movement in 1909 when the Socialist Party of America designated February 28 to honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against unfair working conditions.
Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 7 pages.
Writing activity for students to complete the narrative of women workers striking at a glove-making factory, exploring possible outcomes.
Teaching Activity. By S.J. Childs.
The author describes how she introduces students to the classic 1953 film, Salt of the Earth, about a miners’ strike in New Mexico.
Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond.
Activity for students to write from the point of view of one of the women featured in the film Union Maids.
That’s Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/¡No Es Justo!: La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia
Book – Non-fiction. By Carmen Tafolla, Sharyll Tenayuca, and Celina Marroquin. 2008. 40 pages.
Bilingual (Spanish and English) biography of labor activist Emma Tenayuca for upper elementary.
Book – Non-fiction. By George Ella Lyon. Artwork by Christopher Cardinale. 2011.
This children’s book tells the story of a classic union song written in 1931 and the harsh conditions under which it was written.
Book – Fiction. By Diana Cohn and illustrated by Francisco Delgado. 2008.
A children’s book based on the true story of the Justice for Janitors strike.
Book – Fiction. By Emily Arnold McCully. 1996.
Historical fiction for upper elementary based on a true story about the Lowell textile workers.
Book – Fiction. By Katherine Paterson. 1995.
A young girl works in the mills and gets involved in labor activism.
Book – Fiction. By Margaret Peterson Haddix. 2007.
Three young women march against unfair labor practices in the Shirtwaist Strike of 1909-10, only to find themselves engulfed in the raging flames consuming the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
Film. By Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar. 2007. 70 minutes.
Emmy award-winning feature documentary follows the story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles sweatshops on an odyssey to win basic labor protections from a clothing retailer.
Film. By Herbert Biberman. 1954. 94 minutes.
This classic, powerful film about a miners strike in New Mexico can be used to teach about the intersection of class, race, national origin, and gender.
Film clip. Voices of a People’s History.
Dramatic reading of Vicky Star’s “Back of the Yards” by Christina Kirk.