One day on Gilded Age industrialization, robber barons / captains of industry, and the rise of labor unions! This lesson opens with students reading and answering questions about an article about fast food workers going on strike for a higher minimum wage in Chicago, in order to hook them into contemporary events and history and assess their prior knowledge of labor unions and strikes. The lesson then provides a quick overview of the industrialists Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller, the growth of monopolies, and government responses, including the Sherman Antitrust Act. (For a full lesson on robber barons/captains of industry go here
Students then learn about three major labor unions--the Knights of Labor, the AFL, and the IWW, and fill out a graphic organizer. The lesson concludes with students working together to create a poster about about one of three major labor unions.