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Do Now!. Listen and sing along to Joe Hill’s “We Will Sing One Song.” Working with a partner, answer the historical thinking questions. Lawrence, 1912: The Singing Strike. Day 1 Individual Work. It is the year 1912. You’ve been hired to work in a Lawrence, MA textile mill.

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do now
Do Now!
  • Listen and sing along to Joe Hill’s “We Will Sing One Song.”
  • Working with a partner, answer the historical thinking questions.

Lawrence, 1912:

The Singing Strike

day 1 individual work
Day 1 Individual Work
  • It is the year 1912.
  • You’ve been hired to work in a Lawrence, MA textile mill.
  • Read and Annotate “You Are in the IWW.”
  • When finished, complete the “You are in the IWW” Discussion Questions.
you are in the iww discussion questions
“You are in the IWW” Discussion Questions:
  • What is a craft union?
  • What change has taken place in the ownership of industry?
  • How do all these changes affect the ability of unions to bargain for their members?
  • What kinds of workers does the AFL try to organize?
  • How does this compare to the IWW?
  • What do IWW members think the goal of a union should be? (What kind of society do you want to create?)
  • Why do you sing together?
big bill haywood s clenched fist
Big Bill Haywood’s Clenched Fist
  • Reread Big Bill Haywood’s metaphor of the hand from the reading.
  • What was the point of Haywood’s demonstration?
  • How does the IWW try to bring the separate fingers into a fist?
  • How is the kind of education and involvement encouraged of IWW members important in uniting workers?
  • Complete the “IWW Membership Questions” worksheet.
do now1
Do Now!

Eugene Debs, founder, IWW:

“Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. He has not come; he never will come. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds that there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves.”

  • Historical Thinking:
  • Close reading: critically analyze and evaluate Debs’ argument, evidence, and language.
  • Contextualize: what would people have to believe about themselves in order to accept Debs’ message?
  • Contextualize: what attitudes would IWW organizers need to develop and help others develop to make Debs’ message a reality?
facing the devil s advocate
Facing the devil’s advocate
  • Why do you think women can be organized?
  • How can immigrant groups that don’t even speak the same language work together in a union?
  • What makes you think that lowly, unskilled workers are in any position to change society?
  • If you don’t recognize the right of owners to own, how could anything even be produced? Who would get everybody organized and working?
  • If the AFL is so bad, why does it have so many more members around the country than the IWW?
the game
The Game

Students will be able to…

  • Build a union in line with the principles of the IWW, where all members are leaders as well as organizers for social change.
  • Build a strike that can win.
group reading
Group Reading
  • Read Lawrence 1912—part 1, “The Strike Is On!”
  • As a group, answer the following questions:
    • Why did the strike occur? What about working and living conditions was important in the decision to strike?
    • What obstacles did IWW organizers face when attempting to build a unified strike? What divisions might exist within the workforce or community? What attitudes toward authority?
    • Why did the AFL act as it did?
democracy in action
Democracy in action
  • Sit in a circle so that you can talk and see each other easily.
  • Yours is a democratic union and because you believe in equality, no one will be around to tell you what to do.
  • The strike will succeed only because you are able to make it succeed—together. I will play no role in your discussions. Once your strike meeting begins, I will be just observers.
  • It will be up to your group to decide how to make decisions and what those decisions should be.
strike meeting begin
Strike Meeting—Begin!
  • Answer the Lawrence Problem-Solving #1 Getting Organized discussion questions 1-6.
  • At the conclusion of your first strike meeting, write an evaluation of your group’s decisions and of the process that brought you to those decisions. If it’s helpful, use the following questions as a guideline:
    • What was good about how your group conducted the discussion?
    • What difficulties did you have? Why?
    • How might the meeting have gone better?
  • Work individually to finish any remaining problem solving questions from your first strike meeting.
  • Read/annotate “Lawrence 1912—Part 2.”
do now2
Do Now!
  • Compare your decisions in the first strike meeting to what actually happened as described in last night’s reading.
the game1
The Game

Students will be able to…

  • Build a strike that can win.
  • Build a union in line with the principles of the IWW, where all members are leaders as well as organizers for social change.
strike meeting 2 begin
Strike Meeting 2—Begin!
  • Answer the “Lawrence Problem-Solving #2” questions.
picket sign activity
Picket Sign Activity
  • Using the supplies provided, create a personal picket sign.
  • Signs must have a short, sweet, catchy slogan.
  • Ideas:
    • Signs could list the four demands
    • Could strike back at newspapers, religious leaders
    • Could encourage Unity in Diversity
    • Could support illegal immigrants involved in strike effort.
  • The group with the best signs and strike will be awarded scrips!
  • Read “Lawrence, 1912—Part 3,” and answer the corresponding Reading Questions.
  • Finish your picket sign and be ready to strike!
do now strike
  • Organize your group, with your picket signs, in your corner of the room.
  • Together as a group, come up with a song or chant that you can all sing for the strike.
  • Showcase of songs and signs.
  • “Can We Win?” questioning.
group reading1
Group Reading
  • Lawrence 1912—Part 3, “The Outcome” reading and questions (pg. 17)
assessment socratic seminar
Assessment: Socratic Seminar
  • The class will reflect and debrief Lawrence: 1912 by participating in a Socratic Seminar.
habits of mind
Habits of Mind
  • Be prepared!
  • Text/Analysis
  • Ask questions: Clarification and Probing
  • Talk to all participants, by name, eye-contact, and by building off other people’s ideas.
  • Stick to the point!
  • Don’t raise hands; take turns speaking. One speaker at a time.
  • Listen carefully and respectfully.
  • Speak up so that everyone can hear you.
  • Discuss the ideas, not opinions. This is not a debate—there are no correct answers.
  • You are responsible for the success of the seminar.


  • Use S.S. Seminar Participation Rubric
  • Interactive Notebook


  • S.S. Reflection Questions
  • Interactive Notebook
  • They Say, I Say, pgs. 232-233
  • Evidence:
  • Where do we see an example?
  • Where is this in the text?
  • Is there any evidence?

13 minute rounds

  • Analysis:
  • Why is this historically significant?

Students will be able to…

  • Demonstrate understanding of labor organizing tactics during the 1912 Lawrence strike by participating in a self-led Socratic Seminar discussion;
  • Students will be able to evaluate their own participation in group work during the strike simulation.
essential questions
Essential Questions:
  • Why was the Lawrence 1914 strike successful?
  • Was your group successful throughout the decision-making process?
outer circle roles
Outer Circle Roles
  • Note-takers document conversation
  • Assess a peer’s work in the inner circle.
inner circle roles
Inner Circle Roles
  • Each student will receive an envelope containing their role description and any note-taking materials associated with each role.
  • During the discussion, each student will not only have to participate, they will also have to fulfill their assigned role.
  • You will have to guess what people’s jobs were at the end.
  • Take out readings, notebook, and homework question for use as evidence during the discussion.
  • Use the 1912 content questions as a starting point or to redirect the conversation if it lags.
  • Guess roles
  • Write: What did it feel like to lead your own discussion? Your own group work? What sort of collective work/self advocacy do you learn in school?
  • Discuss: What worked about the discussion? What was hard? Are you taught to work collectively? Why/why not?