A Day for Workers

Labor Day is this upcoming Monday – and we all know it as a wonderful day full of parades and barbecues. It’s also widely considered to be the end of summer and the beginning of the school season. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t actually know a lot about the history of Labor Day–so here are a few facts I found that might take away a little joy from my grilled hotdog.

  • People often faced unsafe and unsanitary working conditions while slogging through 12 hour days during the height of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Though there were restrictions in some states, it wasn’t uncommon at the time to see children as young as 6 working in factories and mines alongside adults.
  • The first Labor Day parade is considered to have been held on September 5, 1882. The “parade” was actually thousands of workers in New York who took unpaid leave to protest terrible hours and conditions in the workplace.
  • The federal government created Labor Day as a way to re-establish a positive relationship with American laborers after a particularly violent clash between police and workers who were boycotting Pullman Railway cars in the late 1800s.

I value what people went through to establish the working conditions we have today. Hooray for Labor Day! Check out these worksheets to use with your students prior to Labor Day.




With this worksheet, students work on ABC order and identify common jobs based on tools.






Students think about goods vs. services with this worksheet!

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