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Business and Labor

Lesson Plan

Content Standards:

History indicator 1 –Explain the effects of industrialization in the United States in the 19th century including:

b. Immigration and child labor and their impact on the labor force

d. Urbanization

History indicator 2 – Analyze the impact of industrialization and the modern corporation in the United States on economic and political practices with an emphases on:

b. Monopolies

People in Societies indicator 5 – Explain the effects of immigration on society in the United States:

a. Housing patterns

e. Labor practices

Estimated Duration:

One day – approximately 45 minutes

Learning Objectives:

1. Students will understand what a political cartoon is, why it is created, and how to analyze a political cartoon using The Opper Project Reading an Editorial Cartoon sheet.

2. Students will get a brief understanding of the argument between business and labor organizations during industrialization. Students will understand the position of each of the sides, will understand why these two sides did come to blows, and how these disputes might have an effect on society as a whole.

3. Students will understand how immigration might affect the point of view of both sides during these disputes.

Lesson Summary:

Part I – Students will receive one of three political cartoons, In the Name of Labor, Between Two of a Kind, or Come Brothers, You Have Grown So Big, a copy of The Opper Project cartoon evaluation sheet, and a set of questions specific to their cartoon. Students will spend approximately fifteen minutes both evaluating their cartoon and answering their cartoon specific questions while the teacher circulates around the room.

Part II – The teacher will project each of the three political cartoons on the Smart Board and will solicit feedback from a few students about the analysis of each cartoon. Students will also be asked selected questions from the cartoon specific questions to present to the class. When giving answers to either the analysis or the questions, students will be invited to approach the front of the class and support their case using specific examples from the cartoon on the Smart Board. Each of the three cartoons will be handled this way in turn.

Part III – Students will be given the T-chart Business and Labor Positions. Students will be asked to provide possible positions that each of the sides would have in this dispute as well as problems that they would have with the other side. Students will be asked to provide evidence from the cartoons to support their case. Students will be sure to address issues such as strikes, the consumer, immigration, wages, and standard of living.




Students will be given The Dispute of Big Business and Labor, which contains series of pictures from the New York Illustrated News in which the living conditions of the workers are shown. Students will write a four paragraph essay analyzing the pictures and the news article as well as providing what they believe to be the business and labor positions. The final paragraph will be the student’s opinion of who they would support in this dispute.

Teacher Materials:

Projector to project pictures for discussion and handouts listed below.

Cartoons and Descriptions.

Lesson plan, images and rubric.


Cartoons and Descriptions

Lesson plan, images and rubric

Student Materials:

Writing utensil, handouts listed above

Grade Level:

10th Grade