Credit cards are convenient, user friendly, and at times dangerous. In this lesson students learn the joys and dangers of using credit as they help Credit, the main character in this activity, solve her credit problems.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 was a turning point for employee health and safety protections in the U.S. Students investigate the Triangle tragedy and how its impact is still felt today. Students identify eerie parallels between the Triangle Fire and more recent workplace events with safety implications – recent complaints of Wal-Mart employee lock-ins, a deadly fire in a North Carolina poultry processing plant in 1991, and a 1993 fire in a Thailand toy factory given the sad distinction of most deadly industrial fire in the world. How can future tragedies be prevented in the workplace? Students assess the costs, benefits and effectiveness of various government and labor actions. They discover that worker safety is a complex issue and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
To get started, the students will read Lyddie, a novel by Katherine Paterson. The novel is set mainly in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. In Lowell the main character, 13-year-old Lyddie Worthen, works six days a week, from dawn until dusk, running weaving looms in a murky dust-and lintfilled factory, trying to save enough money to reunite her family. In reading and discussing this fine novel, the students examine basic economic concepts and explore the growth of labor unions and the role of government in a market economy. Lyddie is published by Puffin Books and is available at Amazon.com. It is also available in DVD video format and may be purchased on line at Circuit City, DVD Empire.com and Overstock.com.
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