Becca Polk

The Power in Our Hands curriculum is a great resource that I have been using since my student teaching seven years ago. Every year I use the Organic Goodie Simulation in my middle school classroom. It is often the case that students quickly pick up on the injustice and exploitation of the factory system, but their acts of resistance are usually individual rather than collective.

I have started to use the Goodie Simulation at the beginning of a unit about resistance, followed by historical and current examples of workers organizing — from unions to factory takeovers. We then revisit the Goodie Simulation where the students write proposals explaining how they would organize the workers and  the unemployed. The proposal that is the most thorough and connected to key concepts of the unit will become the leader organizers.

We then redo the Goodie Simulation, giving students the chance to organize together! One of my favorite memories was a couple of years ago when the students succeeded in taking over the “factory” which essentially meant that they had forced me out of my classroom into the hallway. When given the chance, students really can take the power into their own hands!