Lesson Plans

Kindergarten-4th Grade

Be a Hero For a Better World Coloring Book activity. This activity might be as simple as reading a chapter on the March of the Mill Children and pairing it with a coloring page activity, available here. 

Grades 5-8

1 ) Freedom Project Middle School Lesson Plan Using the Mother Jones America’s Most Dangerous Woman documentary


The objective of the lesson is to highlight women’s role in effecting important social change specifically in the labor movement. The unlikely “heroine” Mother Jones’ activities will be the vehicle used to do that.


2) Leigh Campbell-Hale’s Lesson Plan

Campbell-Hale High School Lesson Plan DVD

Less developed than # 1, but a good vocabulary list and is valuable.

3) Explore Pennsylvania’s The Most Dangerous Woman in America? The Mock Trial of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones

This lesson plan is from Explore Pennsylvania.

“Students conduct a mock trial that summarizes key figures and events of the industrial era. Once students understand the labor struggle, they can analyze the characterization of Mother Jones as “the most dangerous woman in America.”


4) Lesson plan From PBS.ORG Teaching Freedom Website, Webisode 10, No 2

TeachingFreedomMother Jones Episode

This lesson plan focuses on analyzing the ways that Mother Jones sought to produce results as an agitator. This has a brief timeline, glossary, quiz, image browser and additional resources that go along with the teaching plan linked above.

 5) Mother Jones materials from the Belleville Labor and Industry Museum.

This site also has lessons on coal miners. Thanks to Pat Schmeder for alerting us to these lessons.

Mother Jones Documents
Mother Jones Lesson


High School

1) Voices of Democracy U.S. Oratory Project

In depth lesson plan oriented to common core standards.  Would also be great for a speech class or English/Humanities Class. Using the speech in front of the Charleston, West Virginia State Capitol in 1912, this lesson plan allows students to engage in debate about whether Mother Jones’ speeches were “motherly” in their approach to agitation.

2) Working Where the Sun Never Shines

In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to analyze photographs, newspaper articles, petition letters, and legislation that discussed the poor working conditions faced by miners in western Pennsylvania. They will also analyze the works of key individuals who were instrumental in forming labor unions and legislation to identify the measures that were taken to provide safety and fair wages for the miner.

2) Leigh Campbell-Hale High School Lesson Plan for using Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman DVD

Campbell-Hale High School Lesson Plan DVD