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Exploring the minimum wage


Students conduct research on a U.S. Department of Labor webpage to learn about the minimum wage and some laws affecting workers.

Big idea

Minimum wage laws set the lowest hourly rate a person can earn doing a specific eligible job.

Essential questions

  • What is the minimum wage? 
  • What protections does the government provide for workers’ earnings?


  • Become familiar with federal minimum wage laws
  • Recognize specific wage laws that apply to young people

What students will do

  • Read a poster about the federal minimum wage and other pay issues.
  • Answer reading comprehension questions.
  • Do Internet research to determine how their state’s minimum wage compares to the federal minimum wage.

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Teacher guide

Exploring minimum wage (guide)

Student materials

Exploring minimum wage (worksheet)

Note: Please remember to consider your students’ accommodations and special needs to ensure that all students are able to participate in a meaningful way.

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