High School & Up Curricula

Overview

High School & Up Curricula

Find a new video and curriculum on the history of May Day, a new climate crisis primer, CFT’s landmark labor history series Golden Lands, Working Hands, union primers and a beautiful California labor history map for your classroom wall.

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We Mean to Make Things Over: A History of May Day
Video

We Mean to Make Things Over: A History of May Day is a new half-hour documentary video. It’s a look at how May Day became the workers’ holiday all over the world except in the United States, despite the fact that the events that inspired the holiday occurred here.

Using historical images, contemporary illustrations, and animation, We Mean to Make Things Over is an educational and entertaining tour of a long-suppressed story from American working-class history.

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The Climate File
Booklet

The Climate File cover

NEW! This booklet is designed to introduce students to the climate crisis that is engulfing the Earth and its inhabitants — animal, plant, and human. Actually, it’s a series of starting points for further reading and research, for organizing and for effective action on climate justice. The sooner all of us, especially young people become informed and active, the better future for all of us.

Grades: Middle school and up
Language: English
Free download: 21 pages 
The Climate File

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The Climate Change Crisis: A Brief Primer for Educators
Booklet

NEW! This primer provides a big picture overview of the climate change crisis and encourages educators and others to take a more active role in taking positive steps that will build resiliency for our students and labor. Developing ways to adapt to the existing changes in climate — as well as methods to mitigate worsening climate change — are part of an essential paradigm shift that will provide students, labor, and to a larger extent, humanity, the greatest opportunity to have a healthy, productive, and sustainable future.

Grades: High school and up
Language: English
Free download: 13 pages 
The Climate Change Crisis: A Brief Primer for Educators

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Why Are Unions Important?
Pamphlet

Why Are Unions Important cover

Unions are organizations of workers who join together so they will have greater influence in determining their wages, hours, and other working conditions. This pamphlet sums in short order how how unions work and why they are important. 

Grades: High school and up
Language: English
Free download: 4 pages
Why Are Unions Important?

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A Very Brief Outline of American Labor History for Beginners
Booklet

A Very Brief Labor History cover

What drove American workers to form unions? What did unions win for workers? While it is impossible to do a comprehensive job of addressing American labor history in a brief presentation, it is possible to do a gloss that might help you get a sense of the big picture. This booklet does just that. 

Grades: High school and up
Language: English
Free download: 12 pages
A Very Brief Outline of American Labor History for Beginners

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Work, Money and Power: Unions in the 21st Century
Booklet

Work Money and Power cover

Revised edition of the classic “Union 101″ pamphlet explaining what unions are and do, including an overview of labor history and compelling evidence for the continuing importance of unions in workers’ lives. 

Grades: High school and up
Languages: English, Chinese, Spanish 
Free downloads: 27 pages each
Work, Money and Power - English
Download Spanish and Chinese language versions from the UC Berkeley Labor Center.

Print booklet: You may order printed booklets in English from the UC Berkeley Labor Center. For 1 to 50 copies the cost is $1.50 each; 51 or more copies cost $1.25 each.
Pages: 28
For more info: Phone the Labor Center at 510-643-7089.

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California Labor History Map
Poster

A large full-color, high-quality wall poster map of California with the locations and brief explanations of more than 250 key labor history events. Perfect for union hall or classroom wall. 

Grades: High school and up
Language: English
Size: 44 in x 33 in  
Cost of print poster: $5

ORDER PRINT POSTER

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Golden Lands, Working Hands
Landmark CFT video series introduces the labor movement

This powerful ten-part video series brings the hidden history of working people to light. Golden Lands, Working Hands documents the events and issues central to California labor history, from the Gold Rush through the present. The award-winning series has been seen on public television and in museum exhibits, in high school and college classrooms and in union halls. 

Grades: High school and up
Language: English
Cost: $20 for two DVDs; $25 with CD of lesson plans, student handouts and readings

ORDER LESSON PLANS & DVDs

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Talking Heads: The San Diego Free Speech Fight
Lesson Plan and DVD

In 1912 downtown San Diego streets became off-limits to unionists wishing to exercise free speech rights. Through municipal ordinance and vigilante violence, “order” was maintained, but at a high cost. Inspiration for founding the ACLU, the San Diego Free Speech Fight was a mostly forgotten event — until now.  Includes a 28-minute video on DVD.

Grades: High school and up
Language: English
Cost of lesson plan plus DVD: $10

ORDER LESSON PLAN & DVD

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Collective Bargaining Education Project
Role Play

Collective Bargaining Education Project

In the morning, when the students arrive, they know little or nothing about unions and collective bargaining. At the end of the day, they can tell you what the union is — and they like the idea. Based on the popular education techniques of Paolo Freire, the Collective Bargaining Education Project provides a range of labor history and contemporary union organizing and collective bargaining role plays for the high school classroom. Contact the project to organize a one-day institute for 100 students, as well as teacher in-services.

Grades: High school
Common Core Correlation
Language: English
Free downloads: 11pp  and 192pp
Simulation – Teacher Instructions and Student Materials 
Curricula – Workplace Issues and Collective Bargaining in the Classroom  
For more info: Email the Collective Bargaining Project

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Safe Jobs for Youth
Online Resource

Most teens don’t know their rights and protections on the job, or how they can work together to make change in the workplace. Teaching curricula, fact sheets about labor laws for youth and parents, and resources are available from the Young Worker Health and Safety website. Youth can get involved in leadership academies, the teen “safe workplace” poster contest, and our annual Safe Jobs for Youth Month campaign in May. Coordinated by UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program.

Grades: High school and up
Website: youngworkers.org
For more info: Phone the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program at 510-643-2424