The CLUW video offers the
students a break from the 19th century, but also makes a link between
some of the issues experienced by the women workers in Lowell and women workers
today. This connection is highlighted by an in-class writing exercise before showing
the video. Following a discussion of the readings, the students are asked to assume
they are a woman worker in Lowell in 1834 and to write a letter to women workers
of the future describing their present conditions, hopes, and fears for the future.
Each letter is passed to another student who then answers the letter by describing
working conditions today and what has changed as well as the role of the union
in their lives. This letter writing exercise mimics the style of the mid-term
questions. Since many of the students have been out of school for many years,
the mid-term combines questions that ask the students to write in the first person
about conditions of the past with traditional compare and contrast essay questions.