Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Great Britain vs. Europe

Chet Geering


Students will be able to process a variety of information on the reasons for the development of the Industrial Revolution as well as its effects on the population of Europe.


The student understands significant political developments in Europe in the 19th century.

The student understands the effects of the Industrial Revolution.


-WORLD HISTORY THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2001. (or comparable text).
-Pencil and paper for students
-Class copies of follow-up questions which will be used to determine student proficiency of the material (See attached file.)
-Access to copy machine
-Chalk or white board markers
-Chalkboard or white board


1. Read text Chapter 23 (or appropriate chapter).
2. Make class copies of questions provided.
3. Dry erase board and dry erase markers.
4. Gather all materials.
5. Copy questions for students.


1. Have students read chapter 23 in text (or comparable chapter from another text) the night before the lesson.
2. Ask students, “What is the Industrial Revolution?” (Answer: A period in history where man begins to make machines on a large scale to help in his work.)
3. Put student responses on board.
4. Have class discussion of these responses.
5. Ask students, “In what country did the Industrial Revolution begin?” (Answer: Great Britain)
6. Ask students, “Why did the Industrial Revolution begin in Great Britain?”
7. Put the student responses on the board. (These responses should include the following: good port facilities, plentiful natural resources, the country had one recognized ruler, favorable government and political climate, large population, good road system, and good railroad system.)
8. Ask students to explain why each of the reasons listed in #7 are necessary for the industrial revolution, in a question and answer format.
9. Place the correct answers for the questions from #8 on the board.
10. Ask students, “What problems, if any, did the Industrial Revolution create in Great Britain?”(Answers: Pollution and exploitation of the workforce by the industrialists.)
11. Place the answers on the board.
12. Have students take notes from the board.
13. Break the class into small groups of four or five students. Each group should have four or five members.
14. Give each group a country from the list below. (It’s okay if all of the countries are not used. List of countries:France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Switzerland.)
15. While in their groups, ask students to list why these countries were not as fast as Britain in adopting the new ways of the Industrial Revolution. Also, ask students to explain the problems that each country faced in trying to catch Great Britain in the race for industry.
16. While in their groups, ask the students to hypothesize on the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the everyday person in the country that they were given.
17. While in their groups, ask the students, “Were the problems created by the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain the same as other countries faced? Why or why not?”
18. Ask each group to give their answers and record them on the board.
19. As answers are given, allow some time for discussion between groups. This will allow different points of view to be discussed.
20. Have students take notes.
21. Pass out the list of questions, provided, as homework. (See attached file.)
22. Review the answers the following day as a class.
23. Teacher will evaluate short-answer questions.
(See assessment.)


1. Students will be graded on their answers to the series of short answer questions provided.
2. The teacher can also informally evaluate the students by encouraging class participation and discussion by as many students as possible.
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