The Momentum of the Nine Hour Movement
By: Renee Allen
Renee Allen is a multi-hyphenate Jamaican-born, Toronto-based, writer-educator, with a passion for working with children and youth. She is deeply committed to work that interrogates and addresses interlocking systems of oppression. Her writing appears in Zora, THIS magazine and PREE. Renee is also a recent graduate of the Masters of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with a book collection that keeps outgrowing her bookcase.
Overarching Critical Inquiry Question
What are the ripple effects of a labour movement?
Overarching Critical Task
Learners will be invited to explore labour movements across Canada through storymapping, making connections to the building blocks of the Nine Hour Movement, e.g., the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Strike, the LGBT Purge from the Canadian public service, etc.
Lesson Critical Inquiry Question
What sequence of events in the Nine Hour Movement was instrumental to modern labour movements?
Lesson Critical Inquiry Task
Start by using dominoes (or Jenga) to create the building blocks of the Nine Hour Movement, including key stakeholders and necessary conditions. Based on those building blocks, use storymapping to make connections to labour movements across Canada that stemmed from the Nine Hour Movement’s foundation.
What Is Storymapping?
Storymapping involves telling a story through maps or other multimedia like text, images, and videos. Before creating a storymap, it’s essential to have a strong narrative that connects the different elements. For major historical events presented through storymapping, students are able to understand their significance through interacting with maps and imagery. The Esri GIS platform allows students to create shareable stories with a range of customizable themes where the creative possibilities are endless.
Central Ideas/Learning Goals
- Determine how individuals contribute to collective action, which creates larger labour movements.
- Explore the sequence of events, including stakeholders and necessary conditions to determine how they acted as a conduit for the Nine Hour Movement.
- Examine modern labour movements and their connection to the momentum of the Nine Hour Movement.
- Effective communication
- Ability to critically assess events
- Historical context
In this lesson, learners will determine how the Nine Hour Movement created the foundation for modern labour movements. Students will use dominoes (or Jenga) to represent how one action or actor can set off a sequence of events that create a labour movement. Working individually or in small groups, students will:
- Identify one key player or issue (low wages, poor working conditions, long hours, etc.) that contributed to the Nine Hour Movement
- Understand how key events built the foundation for modern labour movements
- Use storymapping to make connections between modern labour movements and the Nine Hour Movement
- Co-create evaluation criteria, based on shared principles and goals
Materials and Preparation Required
- Teaching Tool: An Introduction to Labour
- Dominoes or Jenga pieces
- Storymapping in the Classroom
Launching the Learning
Learners will explore what’s needed to set off a domino effect, considering the positioning each domino needs so they can all be knocked down.
Students will draw parallels between the dominoes and key actors/material conditions necessary for the Nine Hour Movement.
Building Important Background Knowledge
- Use Teaching Tool: An Introduction to Labour to create a foundation of understanding about the Nine Hour Movement.
- Ask learners to consider key players and conditions necessary for the Nine Hour Movement. Students can use physical materials like post-its and graphic organizers or virtual mind-mapping tools like Google Jamboard.
- Explore Storymapping in the Classroom along with learners. Provide them with ample time to explore the storymapping examples on the Defining Moments Canada website, including a digital tour of the Nine Hour Movement route and All for 9 & 9 for All.
- Ask students to identify a modern labour movement they’re interested in exploring. They might choose one from the Strike! Strike! Strike lesson plan or the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Strike, LGBT Purge from the Canadian public service, etc.
Set the Task
Invite students to work independently or collaboratively in small groups or as a class to storymap their chosen labour movement. Before students begin the storymapping process, they should determine the narrative they’d like to create, considering the following:
- What narrative they are portraying
- Who is a part of the story
- Who is on the margins or left out of the narrative
- How can they amplify diverse perspectives
- How can they use language to convey powerful messages
As part of the brainstorming process, students can consider some of their favourite books, shows, movies, etc. and break down the plot points, reflecting on what might’ve gone into that creative process.
Potential Entry Point:
The class could be split up like a production company where each person is responsible for a different role that brings the story map to life. Potential roles include researchers, fact-checkers, and art and production teams. The entire group will be responsible for contributing to the narrative that the story map will follow. Researchers could be responsible for gathering information about a modern labour movement as well as its connections to the Nine Hour Movement. Fact-checkers could review and assess the credibility of the information before it’s integrated into the story map. The art and production teams will work together to choose visual elements and use the StoryMaps platform to create the final product.
Co-create Success Criteria for Storymapping
Collaborate with students to create a list of criteria they can use to evaluate the effectiveness of their story maps. Evaluation might be structured in creative formats including:
- Students could be assigned to evaluate and provide constructive criticism of each other’s work through media formats like audio, video, magazine-style reviews, etc
- Students could present their story maps to another group or class, who complete a feedback form, using Google forms or another accessible format
- Students use a platform, like Padlet, to provide real-time feedback while engaging with their peers’ work
Success Criteria might consider:
- Storymap follows a clear and thoughtful layout (for example, there’s a clear connection between the different elements, including maps, images, videos, and text)
- The intended narrative is clearly communicated throughout the story map (for example, each feature of the story map highlights the sequence of events that led to the modern labour movement)
- Clear connections are made between the momentum of the Nine Hour Movement and the modern labour movement
- The audience effectively engages with the content, based on critical and intentional feedback (for example, other students are able to share their thoughts and ideas about each story map, clearly communicating what they’ve learned)