Nonfiction Text Set – Labor Movement in Chicago

Since I work in the schools in Chicago, I think it might be timely to trace the history of labor movements in Chicago. The current teacher strike is part of a larger picture and long history of Chicagoans being at the heart of movements that have led to better working and learning conditions for everyone. I’ve included web links that are student-friendly to grades 4-12, essential questions and transferable concepts (vocabulary) that can be used during discussions, and relevant Common Core Standards.

Essential questions that could be posed during discussions of these events might include:

  • What are the similarities between these events and the current CPS strike or other current labor movements around the world? What important questions do these similarities pose for us to consider? Why?
  • From whose perspective are the informational texts on these topics written? Why does this make a difference? Whose voices should we also listen to regarding these events? Why?
  • What does it take to make change happen in society? What is evidence from history that supports this theory?

Transferable concepts (key vocabulary, too) that could be introduced & tapped:

Perseverance                                      Collaboration

Tenacity                                              Cooperation

Patience                                              Beliefs

Strategic thinking                               Ethics

Common Core connections – Reading Standards for Informational Text

  • Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas or concepts in a historical text based on specific information in the text. (5th grade)
  • Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories). (8th grade)

Just a final note – the content of this blog was inspired by a blog by Xian Barrett, a CPS educator, on why he’s striking – Thank you, Xian.



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