CLC Faculty Resources

Preparing butter for packaging, 1941, Land O'Lakes plant, Chicago, Illinois. Photo by John Vachon.

Faculty Toolkit

Want to participate in Lake County@Work? Here are some project ideas to get you started. There are project ideas for various disciplines, but there is a lot of cross-over and flexibility, so please don't think that you are limited to these ideas or the projects listed in your specific discipline. You are welcome to implement any of these ideas, or develop a Lake County@Work project of your own. If you have an idea for a project that you would like to be included on this site, please contact us!

We are accepting submissions from anyone affiliated with CLC, but strongly encourage faculty to integrate a Lake County@Work project into their fall 2022 and/or spring 2023 courses. We want to highlight the voices of our diverse student population!

How to Get Involved

Incorporate a project into your classroom around some of our core questions about work - and we’d love to showcase your class project!

Some questions to consider:

      1. What work did previous generations do to establish our towns and cities? What are some unique stories from Lake County business owners and entrepreneurs (especially minoritized business owners)?

      2. How is work connected to how we are perceived by others and how we see ourselves? How are our identities shaped by the work that we do?

      3. How can we create a sustainable, equitable, inclusive work environment that supports laborers as well as the local economy?

      4. How is our perception of work evolving and what should the future of work look like?

Steps to Participate

  1. Collect all projects/works to be showcased from your students. Please make sure that you gather the following information:

    • The title of the project.

    • The full name of the student and their preferred pronouns.

    • The student's email, phone number, and address.

    • Name of course, course number, and instructor name.

    • A 2-3 sentence biography, including the student's name, job title (or major), and a brief description of your background. You may include information such as where you live in Lake County, hobbies/interests, or your artistic philosophy.

    • A brief description of the project – e.g., how it was made (art form/medium), purpose/significance of project, rationale for creating the project, etc.

  2. Ask all students/participants to sign the Voices of Lake County waiver to share their work and collect all waivers. Download waiver and fill out submission form here.

  3. Reach out to to coordinate the collection of works and waivers.

Please coordinate with us prior to March 31st, 2023, or as soon as you have a plan!

Project Ideas

All Disciplines

  • Have your students create digital stories that are representative of their unique voices and lived experiences. The digital stories can be personal narratives or researched stories connected to specific historic sites, buildings, or places in Lake County. Or you could have students research the history of labor in Lake County or an iconic Lake County business, and create a digital story that highlights their research. Click here for sample digital storytelling assignments and resources.

  • Collaborate on a "Lake County@Work" blog, where each student writes about their work experiences, conducts research about the history of work in Lake County communities, or interviews Lake County community members.

  • Develop a classroom oral history project. Students can interview family members, neighbors, or community members from previous generations about labor issues, their personal connections to work, or ways that we as a society can make work more meaningful, equitable, and sustainable.


  • Some art examples may include contemporary photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier, who created an entire photography exhibition built around General Motors auto workers and their stories. This work highlighted economic decline and issues of environmental violence. Similar issues are explored in the historical Detroit mural by Diego Rivera. What kinds of questions about work arise when we hear these stories and see these representations? What questions would we have for our own communities and how might they be represented? What would a mural look like in our community today?

  • Collaborative collage – Students in a class can create a communal mural which engage with contemporary issues around labor and work.

  • Research and imagine what labor and work could be in the future. Students can take an original workplace, social space, or image, and then transform it to reflect an imagined future. Mediums can include digital photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, or digital drawings which engage with questions about the future of work in an artistic format.


  • Speech students can write a speech about a transformative work experience and perform it at the Spring Showcase.

  • Have students record a podcast that discuss their interesting work experiences, or interview interesting members of the Lake County community about their work experiences, particularly those whose voices are underrepresented (BIPOC-owned businesses, immigration stories related to work, etc.).

  • Create mini documentaries – short, 1-2 minute nonfiction narratives that explore labor and work questions relevant to Lake County populations. These could consist of narrated slideshows or videos.

  • Create "Instagram stories" with short narratives centered around a theme or topic relevant to work in Lake County.


  • Write “work” poems modeled after poets who write about labor issues, such as Philip Levine (author of "What Work Is") or Brendan Joyce (author of "Unemployment Insurance").

  • Creative writing or composition students can write short personal essays about their work experiences and read or perform them at the Spring Showcase.


  • Music composition students can create songs and/or lyrics that explore work/labor issues.


    • Write/perform 10-minute plays that explore our relationship with work or labor issues.