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Calendar Item: Troops Settle Dispute on January 29, 1834

Worker Safety - The Triangle Fire Legacy

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.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 04/06/2004

Henry Ford and the Model T: A Case Study in Productivity (Part 2)

When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, he probably did not realize what a great impact his achievement would have on life in the United States. and, eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportation. This three-part learning unit provides students with the story of Henry Ford and the Model T from an economics perspective. Parts 1 and 2 explore how the Ford Motor Company successfully introduced mass production strategies to the auto industry. Students learn how specialization and investments in capital (machines, people, etc.) increased productivity and allowed Ford to slash the price of his popular vehicle. Students chart a plan for the assembly line production of bookmarks, test their plan, and make recommendations for improvements. Students also explore how Henry Ford used economic incentives to address a problem created by mass production techniques—worker turnover. An optional Part 3 explains how increased productivity resulted in shifts in the supply and demand for the Model T. Students analyze how a variety of non-price determinants continue to influence the automobile market today. The unit also provides a wealth of extension activities. 

Grades: 9-12
Published: 01/05/2007

Work, Earnings and Economics: Using 'Lyddie' by Katherine Paterson

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 It is also available in DVD video format and may be purchased on line at Circuit City, DVD and

Grades: 6-8
Published: 09/13/2007

Related Publications

The following lessons come from the Council for Economic Education's library of publications. Clicking the publication title or image will take you to the Council for Economic Education Store for more detailed information.

Focus: Middle School World History

Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.

Grades: 5-8
Published: 2011

24 out of 24 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Learning, Earning and Investing: High School

This publication contains 23 lessons that introduce high school students to the world of investing--its benefits and risks and the critical role it plays in fostering capital formation and job creation in our free market system.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2004

23 out of 23 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Financial Fitness for Life: Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide

This publication contains 17 lessons that complement the 6-8 Student Workbook. Specific to grades 6-8 are a variety of activities, including developing criteria that students think would make a good graham cracker and taste-testing to determine which graham cracker meets their needs; deciding which activities are better suited to careers or hobbies; and learning how important planning is to the success of any goal or event.

Grades: 3-5
Published: 2010

19 out of 19 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.