Activity 3: Extended Research

Use books and online resources to explore:

  1. How do the issues over which people went out on strike in the past compare to the issues over which people strike today? If anything has changed, why has it? If certain issues persist, why?
  2. In what year were there were almost 400 strikes in Massachusetts alone? What economic and political conditions contributed to the unrest?
  3. Why were model factory towns, such as Lowell in its early years or Hopedale, built? How did these towns function? What advantages and disadvantages did living in such communities have?
  4. Has there been a labor dispute in the town where students live (or nearby)? When did it happen? What were the issues and how were they resolved? How did the media cover the dispute? Is the company still in the same location? If not, why?
  5. How did someone the student knows experience a labor dispute? Interview a family member or other adult who has been involved in a labor dispute and is comfortable talking about it. What issues were in dispute? What happened? How can you learn about both sides of the dispute?

Students can share their findings by writing papers or giving oral or visual presentations (for example, exhibits, videos, PowerPoint, or Microsoft’s Photo Story 3 presentations).

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