Jewish Time Jump: Strikes and Unions (Module #2)
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Jewish Time Jump: Strikes and Unions (Module #2)

grades:  Middle School (6-8) 

Lesson Summary:

The Jewish Time Jump: New York lesson plans were created by Jewish Women s Archive in partnership with ConverJent: Games for Learning. There are four modular lesson plans for 5-7 grade that can be used on their own, or in conjunction with the place-based augmented reality game Jewish Time Jump: New York which is currently available on iPhone and iPad.

The four lessons include:
The Immigrant Experience in NYC, 1880-1920 (Module #1)
Strikes and Unions (Module #2)
Judaism, Text Study, and Labor (Module #3)
Contemporary Labor Issues (Module #4)

In this module, students will explore the realities of working conditions in garment factories and the experiences of labor union members then uncover why and how both workers and factory owners organized to reach their goals.

Enduring Understandings:

1. Working conditions in many early 20th century garment factories were often unfair or dangerous to workers.
2. Employers have to balance the financial interests of business with the needs of their employees.
3. Workers and employers both organized to make change based on their interests.
4. There are both opportunities and risks involved with making change.

Essential Questions:

1. How did the experiences of Jewish workers shape their actions?
2. What are the opportunities and risks involved with joining a union or going on strike?
3. How did the experiences of Jewish factory owners shape their actions?
4. How did both workers and employers organize within their communities to make change?

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore


(accessible via link below, in "procedure" section)

  • Selling Your Agenda Worksheet
  • Convincing Others Worksheet
  • copies of primary sources for document study
  • white board or butcher paper
  • pens/pencils, paper


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore

Evidence of Learningmore

• Students will be able to explain the motivations of workers and describe how working conditions inspired people to take action for better labor laws.
• Students will be able to articulate the interests, goals, and actions of both workers and employers in the early labor movement.
• Students will be able to identify the opportunities and risks associated with participating in a strike (for workers) or raising wages to meet union demands (for employers).


Lesson Contributors

The Jewish Women’s Archive is a national public history organization dedicated to telling the stories of Jewish women and inspiring change and inclusivity in communities everywhere. The collections and encyclopedia on invite learners of all ages to connect with role models from history and today. Nearly 100 lesson plans for kids, families, and adults help Jewish educators weave stories about identity and activism into programs about Jewish values, holidays, and ritual. And, JWA’s professional development programs and trainings encourage educators to connect with one another to create new ways of engaging the communities they serve. As we say at JWA, “You cannot be what you cannot see,” so check us out anytime, anywhere, at