The Industrial Revolution
A.  The Industrial Revolution

B. This lesson should take 45 minutes.

C.  6th grade: 2.01 Identify key physical characteristics such as landforms, water forms,and climate, and evaluate their influence on the development of cultures in    selected South American and European regions.

  3.01 Identify ways in which people of selected areas in South America and Europe have used, altered, and adapted to their environments in order to meet their needs, and evaluate the impact of their actions on the development of cultures and regions.

  3.02 Describe the environmental impact of regional activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and industrialization and evaluate their significance to the global community.

  3.03 Examine the development and use of tools and technologies and assess their influence on the human ability to use, modify, or adapt to their environment.

D.  The students need to know some background information about the Industrial Revolution, the Industrial Age, and the factory system.  To gain this knowledge, I would have the students read the short sections in their Social Studies book about the Industrial Revolution and answer a few questions at the end of the chapter the night before I would do this activity.

E. 1.  To build interest in this lesson, I would go over the questions at the end of the Industrial Revolution chapter, and I would guide them towards beginning to think about the conditions that the unskilled children and women faced when working at the factories.

2.  After finishing the questions, I would pass out a sheet of plain white paper and tell them to draw the best picture they can draw with their pencil in seven minutes.  I would not tell them why they are drawing this picture, just that they have seven minutes.  After the seven minutes is up, I would put them into three separate groups and tell them to decide whose picture is the best, still not telling them why they are choosing.  After they choose what they think is the best picture, I then put on my mean factory owner personality.  I become mean and demanding, and tell the groups that they must reproduce many hand copied replications of the image they have selected as the best.  For these replications, I would give the students some of that old computer paper that is connected together with perforations and the holed margins that need to be torn off.  I would add that they must tear all of the sheets of paper apart and get rid of the edges of the paper.  Throughout this I would put as much pressure on them as possible, telling them that their job is depending on their production and constantly telling them to work faster.  Throughout the time the students are working, I would make the classroom environment match that of the factories, by doing things such as turning off the lights and closing the blinds, representing the lack of light that most factories had. 

3.  To conclude this activity, I would have the three groups bring what they have produced to me and see how many replications they have made.  I would discuss with them some of the terrible conditions and pressure that the factory workers had to face everyday, and how they felt when facing similar conditions.  We would discuss how each group went about dividing up work and what they decided on was the best way to mass produce the picture, and if they thought there was any other better ways to have more production. 

F.  To follow up with this activity, I would have the students write a letter to me, the factory owner, telling me how they felt about their working conditions and the pressure I put on them.  I would try to schedule time in the computer lab the next day and have the students search the internet to try and find pictures and artists conceptions of what factories looked like and what some of the people who worked their looked like.

G.  I should be able to assess the students through observation, discussion, and their letters. During the time as factories workers, I could see if they understood about assembly lines from their prior reading and how assembly lines should make work go smoother.  During the discussion after the activity,  I would be able to see how the students thought about the factory system and how beneficial they thought it was to the times.  Finally, in their letter, I would be able to see the students knowledge on what they have learned about the conditions that faced the factory workers during the Industrial Revolution.

H.  For this lesson, the only materials that are needed are some plain white paper, and a stack of the old perforated computer paper.
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