Labor Day is a federal holiday. There is usually no work or school on this day and it is the unofficial end of summer. But why is it called Labor Day?  

This is what I found in the NIE Ultimate Holiday Activity Guide, written by Terri Darr McLean and produced by KRP, Inc.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is the day we celebrate America’s working men and women and their social and economic achievements. Although some labor groups sponsor celebrations, Labor Day for most people is a day of rest and recreation. It also has become a symbol for the last day of summer.

• Students will enjoy learning about the many jobs held by America’s workers. Start by pointing them to the classified ads section of the newspaper. Have them identify as many different jobs listed as possible within a set amount of time.

• Explain to students that the American labor force is made up of four occupational groups: white-collar workers (clerical, professional and technical, sales, managers), blue-collar work-ers (operatives, craftworkers), service workers (private household, etc.), and farm, forestry, and fishing workers. Next, have students categorize the help wanted ads in the newspaper according to these occupational groups. What conclusions can they draw about jobs in their community?

Ask each student to write a classified ad for his or her “dream job.”

• Allow students to do some career matchmaking for their favorite comic strip characters. Remind them to consider the characters’ traits, likes and dislikes, and other factors that might determine their career choices. As an extension activity, have students write letters of recommendation for their characters.