Lesson PlansBack to lesson plans archive August 30, 2013
Labor Day Lesson Plan: Unions Today
Created by Tina Yalen and Michael Magathan
Repurposed by Katie Gould
Economics, government, civics
Two 45 minute classes or one 90 minute block
*1. You will want to explain the upcoming main activity simulation briefly to your students and pass out the “Applications” sheets to them two days before the simulation takes place. This will allow you and the students time to select what roles they will play in the simulation.
*2. Divide the class into the two teams of Labor and Management and announce who will be playing what role for each team. Pass out the both sides of the “Demands” sheets to students the night before the simulation. For homework have them select the 6 most important demands for their team and be ready to share their choice with their group in class
Warm up Activity
Background on Unions and Labor Day
1. Ask students what they know about unions and write their answers on boards- many may know nothing about unions, but prompt them to think of any historical events they may have learned about.
Provide students with this definition: an organized association of workers formed to protect and further their rights and interests; a labor union.
2. Watch the short video clips that give a brief background on unions and the holiday Labor Day:
3. Pass out the student handout “Unions Play a Surprising Role in Your Everyday Life” to students and read and watch the video together which provides examples of how the union plays a role in some everyday topics.
4. Read the interview with Doyle Pryor Assistant General Counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) from 1992-2012, and learn more about the union’s role in professional sports.
“Negotiation”: A Labor/Management Simulation
- to expose students to the dynamics of a labor/management dispute involving a given set of issues
- to instill real world awareness that resolution of conflict often depends on the art of compromise and the acceptance of the need for it
- to observe the difference between mediation and arbitration
- to improve skills in the following area:
- analysis of information
- creative problem-solving
- logical thinking
- communication skills and public speaking
- listening skills
- teamwork and leadership skills
Basic Flow of Simulation
- “Negotiations” scenario (see materials for scenario and demands) will be given to all students at least two days ahead of the start date as well as applications(see materials for applications) to be a Negotiator or Team Leader.
- Each class will be divided into two equal-sized “teams,” the labor team and the management team
- Each team will have its own Team Leader and several teams of Negotiators.
- The teacher will serve as Mediator/Arbitrator.
- Each team will be given a list of 12 “demands” that its side will be trying to achieve and each team will be asked to choose its top 6 priorities and work hard to achieve them in any agreed upon contract. (see materials for scenario and demands)
- There will be several rounds of negotiations. Between rounds, teams will huddle, revise and prepare for the next round.
- If needed, there will be a final round of negotiation- with an “all-star” team of negotiators appointed by the team leader w/ advice of his/her team.
- If both teams agree, any unresolved issues will be resolved by an arbitrator (teacher) who will announce the final decisions on the day of class.
- The end point/goal of “Negotiation” is to achieve a “contract” between labor and management that includes each side’s top priority without each side feeling like it lost. The goal, in short is a “win-win” finish, not a “win-lose” finish.
- Following final negotiations, the debriefing process will occur. First each student will analyze the process in writing; this will be followed by a class discussion.
Proposed Time Sequence
- Brief Introductory Remarks (Teacher)
- 15 minutes: Opening team meetings Goals: Achieve a consensus on 6 priority demands, discuss possible responses to opposition demands, Team Leader- prepare opening statement, Negotiators- prepare for round one
- 5 minutes: Both Team leaders make opening presentations (2 minutes each)
- 10 minutes: Round 1 negotiations, 5 minutes each side to focus on its two highest priorities; Mediator summarizes (Teacher)
- 10 minutes: Team Meeting to plan for Round 2
- Brief Introductory Remarks (Teacher)
- 10 minutes: Round 2- same rules as Round 1; second set of Negotiators; reverse sequence of teams
- 5 minutes: Team Meeting to plan for Round 3
- 10 minutes: Round 3- same rules as Round 1 & 2; third set of Negotiators; reverse sequence of teams
- 5 minutes: Team Meeting to plan Final Round; All-Star Negotiators selected by Team Leaders with the help/advice from teams
- 10 minutes: Final Round- same rules as rounds 1, 2, 3; All-Star Negotiators; reverse sequence of teams
- Closure: Offer of arbitration; debrief sheet
A special thanks to Doyle Pryor for his contribution to this lesson plan.
The Materials You Need
Tooltip of materials
Common Core Standards
Tooltip of standarts
Relevant National Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.3 Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Tooltip of RSS content 3
After victory, Standing Rock protesters remain at camp
On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would have come a half a mile south of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Instead, the Corps said it would begin to explore alternative routes. Continue readingDakota Access PipelineGovernment & Civicsnonviolent protestNorth DakotaoilpipelineSocial StudiesStanding RockStanding Rock Sioux Tribe
Massachusetts students recreate election reactions with Mannequin Challenge
A group of students at Somerville High School in Somerville, Massachusetts decided to capture the range of emotions they were experiencing by creating a Mannequin Challenge video. Continue readingElection 2016mannequin challengePoliticsStudent Voice
Aid groups call for access as airstrikes continue in rebel-held Aleppo
Fighting has escalated in Aleppo, Syria as rebel groups try to hold off government forces attempting to take back the eastern section of the city. Continue readingAleppoCivil WarSyrian Civil War
The legacy of Cuba’s Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, the 90-year old communist leader of Cuba, died on Friday. He had ruled the country with a firm grip for nearly half a century, withstanding a 50-year long U.S. economic embargo and multiple assassination attempts. Continue readingBay of PigsCold WarcommunismcubaCuban Missile CrisisFidel CastroGovernment & CivicshistoryPoliticsRaul CastroSocial Studies
DACA Dreamers fear Trump’s immigration policy
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to crack down on undocumented immigration, including hundreds of thousands of young people who have obtained temporary legal status under the Obama Administration. Continue readingCivicsDACADonald TrumpDreamersElection 2016GovernmentGovernment & Civicsimmigrantsimmigrationimmigration policyPresident ObamaSocial Studiesundocumented immigrants