Child Labor Slide Show

Author: Matthew Tidwell

Time: 1 class period
Retrieval of photos from provided website
Materials: Thumbnail picture from provided website
Averkey—hooks computer to a television screen

After students have read the poems of Carl Sandburg, it would be of interest for them to see images of a laborer. This lesson provides engagement for the student by giving them the chance to see images of child laborers from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.

Students will be able to:
1. The students will observe a slide show of child laborers and share their reactions to the slide show in a reflective writing piece.


Teacher Background
The teacher will have to collect thumbnail images from the provided website. With each photo is relevant information that will be necessary to give to the students. To obtain the photos, follow these instructions:

National Archive and Records Administration is at: http://www.archives.gov/research_room/arc/index.html
Directions for searching the Archival Research Catalog:

1. Click on the "Search" button on the ARC main page
2. In the box marked "Search for descriptions of Archival Materials containing the following keyword(s)", enter your search phrase; for example: "Lewis Hine" and "child labor"
3. Click "Go". (You may get several hundred "hits")
4. You will see descriptions of items that match your search phrase, 10 to a page. Click on the link marked "Digital Copy Available" to view a thumbnail image of the item (when available).
5. To show the full record, click on the item's title
6. Click on thumb-nail of image to enlarge
7. Please note that the title offers a full description of the image

Resource Websites



1. All equipment should be set up and ready to go when the class begins.

2. Take a few minutes to refocus students on the ideas they shared about the American worker while reading the poems of Carl Sandburg. Inform them that instead of reading about them, they are now going to see what they looked like. Moreover, they will be viewing images of child laborers, a sometime forgotten element of the workforce.

3. The students should do nothing but observe the images. While viewing the images, the teacher should go over the information that accompanies each photograph. Allow students to make observations as they see fit.

4. Assign in-class reflective writing:

a. Give students the rest of the class period to further respond to the slide show and observations in a reflective writing using the following prompt:
b. What feeling (s) does the slide show leave you with? Include the impact certain images had on you and what they made you think about.

Students should turn in writing at the end of class.

If applicable

Embedded Assessment

Focuses on the student’s writing and their ability to explain their observations. It is assumed that this is a writing skill that has already been covered.




PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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