Trade Unions 101 / Ceardchumainn 101 – lesson plans now online!

To mark May Day, an international day to commemorate the historic struggles of workers and the gains made through the labour movement, the INTO has designed a series of engaging lesson plans called Trade Unions 101 / Ceardchumainn 101.

Five lesson plans – developed for 5th and 6th class pupils (Primary 7 / Year 8 pupils in the north) – are available in both English and Irish. These are not time-sensitive, or confined to use around May Day, and they can be used at any stage of the school year.

We invite you to guide your pupils through the backstory of our communal past, highlighting the struggle for the hard-won workers’ rights we enjoy today.

A digital pack is divided up into five lesson pages. To get started, members should consult the Trade Unions 101 – Handbook / Cheardchumainn 101 – Lámhleabhar, which are available via the new Trade Unions 101 Hub on our website.

Every lesson page includes:

  • Lesson Plan PDF booklet, which contains all the information you need.
  • PowerPoint presentation, complete with teaching footnotes.
  • Handouts and case studies to facilitate discussion, role play and group work.
  • Various resources and videos.

Included in the video resources is a message from former Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary Patricia King. In the video, Patricia gives children a warm welcome to the lessons. Speaking about the project, Patricia King said:

Trade unions work hard to make sure that all workers are treated well, that their employer pays them fairly for the work that they do and that their workplace is safe. These are essential principles to teach our young people as they mature and join the workforce.

Trade Unions 101 shows us it is never too early to learn about fairness, equality and the values upheld by trade unionism. I hope through these lessons, they will come to see the value of trade unions and that we are indeed stronger together.”

INTO General Secretary John Boyle added:

If we wish to kindle the flame of the spirit of trade unionism, it is vitally important to pass on our trade union values of equality, fairness, and justice to the younger generation in our schools. It’s never too early to kick start this learning, to begin honing negotiation skills, and practising conflict resolution in order to reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties.

Tá súil againn go rachaidh na ceachtanna i bhfeidhm ar an intinn óg go daingean agus go buan, agus go spreagfaidh na hidéil a d’fhoghlaim na leanaí mothú ceartais sna daltaí, a rachaidh chun tairbhe dóibh ar feadh a saoil oibre féin amach anseo.”

For more information, visit our Trade Unions 101 Hub.