Everett Massacre

Grade Levels


The Everett Massacre (also known as Everett's Bloody Sunday) occurred on November 5, 1916. A group of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), also known as Wobblies, headed to Everett from Seattle on the steamships Verona and Calista to support a strike by local shingle Weavers. A group of citizens and law enforcement, in support of local businesses, met them at the pier, refusing to let them disembark. They saw the arriving Wobblies as anarchists coming to create havoc in their town and disrupt business. A single shot rang out and the rest is history, as they say. The following lesson is based on a few newspaper accounts of the event.

Lesson Objectives

Students will…
  • Understand the different perspectives of the Everett Massacre
  • Analyze primary source newspaper articles
  • Create an investigative journalism story based on the evidence from the readings


Common Core Reading Anchor Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1.  Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9.  Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Common Core Writing Anchor Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4.  Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5.  Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
College, Career, and Civic Life Framework
(See C3 Framework to adjust to the grade level of the audience of this lesson)
  • D2.His.2.6-8.  Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity
  • D2.His.3.6-8.  Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant.
  • D3.1.6-8.  Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.
  • D3.3.6-8.  Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
  • D4.2.6-8.  Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.


  1. Begin class with a Do Now.
    1. Ask Whose Story is Told, and Whose Story is Left Out?  You might use a current event story to highlight this.
    2. Alternately, you could use a visual from the Industrial Workers of the World Collection on the Washington State Library's Classics in Washington History site.
  2. Have students analyze one newspaper article at a time using the Whose Story is Told, and Whose Story is Left Out? process.
    1. This could be done as individual student work, as partner work, or as small group work.
    2. Or, the teacher may want to do a gradual release of responsibility by doing the first one with the class, asking students to work in small groups or pairs on the second, and asking individuals to analyze the third newspaper article on their own.
  3. Wrap up the lesson by asking students to make a timeline of events that happened. Then have them choose a point in time from the Everett Massacre and write a brief news article/ draw a political cartoon from an unrepresented point of view


Possible extension of this could be to compare the events of the Everett Massacre to other I.W.W. happenings of the time. The full Industrial Workers of the World Collection of primary sources will support this research.

Everett Massacre Lesson Plan with Activity Sheet.pdf
Everett Massacre Newspaper Text Set.pdf
Whose Story is Told, and Whose Story is Left Out? Activity Sheet.pdf