Living the Legacy


From Suffering to Action, From the Individual to the Collective

Unit 1 , Lesson 2

Jewish Women's Archive - Living the Legacy

From Suffering to Action, From the Individual to the Collective

Notes to teacher: 

Teachers may want students to read the Background Essay for the Lesson, but students should not encounter this information until they have finished the Walk the Line activity in Part 2 of the lesson. You may choose to incorporate the Background Essay in Lesson 4 to share more information about how the workers and those helping them transformed the injustices discussed in this lesson into better working conditions.

In Part 1 of the lesson, students are asked to look at two photos, one of a typical tenement “sweatshop” and the other of a factory floor, both typical garment industry workplaces at the turn of the 20th century. Students will share what they notice in each picture under the categories of “fact, feeling, idea and question” to get at both intellectual and emotional responses to the photos and to activate their thinking about what propels individuals to become part of a collective effort to make change.

In Part 2 of the lesson, students will engage in an activity called “Walk the Line.” They will hear statements that imply a range of values about labor and appropriate responses to workplace injustice, and they will place themselves on a continuum from Agree to Disagree with opportunities to explain their positions.

Part 3 of the lesson invites students to write their own, personal work manifestos after they have examined primary sources from the early 20th century period in the categories of “working conditions,” “hours and pay,” and “organizing.”

The following biographies can be used in connection to this lesson:

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Living the Legacy - Lesson: From Suffering to Action, From the Individual to the Collective." (Viewed on April 17, 2014) <>.