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In researching and making plans for our unit on the westward expansion, I was reminded about another important event in history that I couldn’t possibly leave out of our learning time – the Industrial Revolution, including the subject of child labor. My children were very much moved by the thought of children working so hard, especially when they found out that so many children around the world are still effected by this practice.
We found and read two living literature gems that I had to pass along.
Set in England rather than America, we found The Gate In The Wall by Ellen Howard to be an excellent piece of living literature as well as giving us a clearer picture of the effects of child labor.
Set in 1830’s New England, The Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCulley is a superb picture book on the topic.
And not living literature, we found Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman and Growing Up in Coal Country by Susan Campbell Bartoletti at our local library. Both gave information and pictures that made the topic real to my children.
While reading, I found a coloring sheet in The Story of the World Activity Book Three: Early Modern Times to occupy busy hands and the back served as a nice place to notebook about child labor.