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Child Labor in the Early 20th Century
Getting Started

The lessons in this issue are an aid to teaching about the work and working conditions of child laborers in the early twentieth century, and the many reform movements that flourished at that time.

Students “experience” the work of these young laborers by participating in a factory simulation and gathering information from photographs and by writing a dialogue between a child laborer and themselves. They also design postage stamps that feature child laborers at work and write a letter to a factory owner who uses child laborers in his factory.

Note: This is an archival publication dating back to 1988 and any supplements or suggestions for off-site education may not be available.

Download "Art to Zoo: In the Playtime of Others: Child Labor in the Early 20th Century" (PDF).

Required Materials

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Child Labor in the Early 20th Century

Art to Zoo is produced by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. Teachers may duplicate the materials for educational purposes.

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