The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century brought many changes to society, industry and agriculture. Many of these changes were beneficial and created a host of labor-saving devices, however, with the new technology came new problems as society struggled with the changing times. One major problem to emerge was that of child labor. All over the world, children were thrust into dangerous situations as they were forced into an adult world.
Common Core Standards
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
NY State Standards
New York State Standards
1-United States History—use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.
2-World History—use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.
3-Geography—use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s surface.
4-Economics—use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, how major decision-making units function in the U.S. and other national economies, and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and non-market mechanisms.
5-Civics, Citizenship and Government—use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the U.S. and other nations; the U.S. Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.
National Educational Technology Standards:
1-Creativity and Innovation
2-Communication and Collaboration
3-Research and Information Fluency
4-Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
The History Place
Children During the Industrial Revolution
Child Factory Workers
Individual Miner’s Stories
Hot Off the Press
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the students to the Industrial Revolution’s problem of child labor.
- Students will be able to describe advances in machinery during the Industrial Revolution
- The students will be able to identify reasons for the use of child laborers during the Industrial Revolution
- The students will be able to describe how child laborers lived during the Industrial Revolution
Computer Lab, Internet, WebQuest Handouts, White Board/Markers, extra pencils
The students will walk into the classroom and see a series of photographs depicting scenes of child labor on the projector screen. The photographs can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
The teacher will ask the students to share their feelings on the photographs and the impact of the modern photographs within. A class discussion on the will follow and the teacher will lead the class into the day’s topic.
The teacher will begin the lesson by having the students break into groups of four.
The students will each select one of the four roles: Factory Worker, Miner, Seafood & Farm Hand, or Newsboy. The students will then begin the WebQuest. The teacher may use the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center to conduct personal research on the Industrialization period.
Click on the following link to discover what sources concerning Industrialization are available at the center.
The students will be using the Internet to view Web sites devoted to the Child Labor. They will answer questions on the accompanying sheet after they view the primary sources, photographs, and information concerning Child Labor during the Industrial Revolution.
- Have the students start the WebQuest by reading the Introduction, Task, and Process.
-The students should explore the Web sites provided on their Role pages. The students should take notes as they conduct their research. The teacher will walk around the room keeping the students on task and trouble-shooting any potential problems.
- Once the students have had ample time to explore the different Web sites, they should complete their WebQuest sheets according to the Evaluation Rubric to receive maximum credit. The students should complete their WebQuest Information Packets for homework.
- The teacher will allow the students to meet with their groups during the next class meeting. The students will then complete their WebQuest Group Sheets.
*See Role lists for individual role Web sites
Students will be assessed based upon their participation in the classroom activity and discussion. Students will be assessed based upon the completion of the WebQuest Role
Representation Sheets and Group worksheet with an emphasis on the following criteria:
Individual Portion of the Project
-Research Notes -Role Representation Sheet -Final Analysis –
Group Portion of the Project
-Completed by all members of the group
What I like about the lesson and why?
I really like this lesson because it is interactive. The students actively learn about the types of jobs children had as child laborers in the Industrial Revolution. This mock scenario allows students to be placed into jobs that the children had. . Further, students will analyze the continued use of child laborers around the world. This lesson teaches students about the types of jobs children who were around the same age or younger as them had during the industrial revolution, the problems that came with those jobs, why children were used and how it is still going on today in other parts of the world.
Modifications and/or adaptations:
This lesson could be difficult for students with special needs without some modifications. First, the educator must determine if this lesson is appropriate for each of the students within the group. If this lesson is appropriate but requires modifications, the educator must review the lesson plan and determine which modifications and/or adaptations would work best.
- Possible material modifications:
- For students with visual difficulties, the use of large print would be conducive to their learning.
- For students with hand coordination difficulties (writing), allowing them to type their answers or speak using dictation software would be beneficial.
- Possible lesson modifications:
- For students with learning disabilities in reading – have students pair up with a scribe or “assistant” that will “write that down” for them as they act as investigators
Special accommodation(s) for at-risk, special education, gifted: Extended time allotted per individual student IEP. Gifted students may wish to further their research by viewing the following site to view primary source photographs of tenement buildings:
Technology used during this lesson:
Computer technology will be integrated by student use of internet to discover information in the web sites listed their Child Labor WebQuest roles.
Lesson Plan #3. Industrial Revolution. The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center.