Beacon Lesson Plan Library

From the Farm to the Factory

Richard Johnson
Bay District Schools


Students practice listening, reading, and writing while focusing on the early part of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. Empathy for the people of this period is shown through a series of letters that relate circumstances from the period.


The student selects and uses prereading strategies that are appropriate to the text (such as discussion, making predictions, brainstorming, generating questions, and previewing) to anticipate content, purpose, and organization of a reading selection.

The student determines the main idea and identifies relevant details, methods of development, and their effectiveness in a variety of types of written material.

The student writes fluently for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes, making appropriate choices regarding style, tone, level of detail, and organization.

The student selects and uses appropriate listening strategies according to the intended purpose (such as solving problems, interpreting and evaluating the techniques and intent of a presentation, and taking action in career-related situations).

The student knows the causes of the Industrial Revolution and its economic, political, and cultural effects on American society.


-Paper for handouts
-Computer, TV or presentation device if presenting the PowerPoint presentation via computer.
-Overhead projector and transparency film if equipment is not available to make presentation via computer.
-Diagnostic Test (see Extensions), one copy per student
-Reading Guide for Old Time Factory Life in New England, one copy per student
-Primary Source Document: Old Time Factory Life (see Associated Files), classroom set
-Listening Skills Inventory (see Associated Files), one copy per student
-Listening Skills: Teacher Notes (see Associated Files), teacher copy
-PowerPoint Presentation Teacher Guide (see Associated Files), teacher copy
-PowerPoint Presentation Listening Guide (see Associated Files), one copy per student
-From the Farm to the Factory Practice Writing Activity (see Associated Files), one copy per student
-America Gears Up Journal (see Extensions), one copy per student
-Summative 3: Project Directions (see Extensions), one copy per student
-Summative 3: Assessment Rubric (see Extensions), one copy per student


1. Duplicate all handouts found in the Associated Files.
2a. Set up equipment (TV or projector connected to computer) for the PowerPoint presentation.
2b. If computer-TV setup is not available, create transparencies from the PowerPoint presentation to be displayed on an overhead projector.
3. Review the PowerPoint Presentation Teacher Guide (see Associated Files).
4. Review Listening Skills Teacher Guide (see Associated Files).


This is lesson one of four lessons for the unit, America Gears Up.

1. If this lesson is being used with the unit, America Gears Up, then administer the whole diagnostic test (see WebLinks) a day or two prior to the beginning of this lesson. If this lesson is being used in isolation, then the first part of the diagnostic test deals with this era and can be used as a diagnostic for this lesson. Use the information gained from the diagnostic to determine the studentsí grasp of the information being presented in this lesson and subsequent lessons in this unit.

2. Give the students copies of the Reading Guide for Old Time Factory Life in New England and the Primary Source Document: Old Time Factory Life (See Associated Files). Before they start reading, have the students complete part one of the reading guide. Solicit and discuss answers to the questions in Part One.

3. Go over Part 2: During Reading section of the Reading Guide before the students start reading the article.

4. Have the students read the Primary Source Document: Old Time Factory Life and answer the questions in parts two and three of the Reading Guide for Old Time Factory Life in New England. The actual reading of the document could be accomplished in class or as homework. Have students share and compare their answers in parts two and three with another student to reinforce the information found in the article. Conduct a whole class discussion of parts two and three as a lead-in to the content of this lesson. This reading guide could be taken up and reviewed to see which students had trouble with the reading activity. Give positive and constructive feedback to students based on this analysis. This activity should perk interest and set the stage for the rest of the lesson.

5. Give the students a copy of the Listening Skills Inventory (See Associated Files). Review the inventory with the students prior to the PowerPoint presentation. Use the Listening Skills Inventory, Listening Skills: Teacher Notes, that provides short explanations of each part of the inventory in order to provide further information on the listening skills found in the inventory.

6. Present the PowerPoint Presentation: From the Farm to the Factory. Use the Teacherís Guide to Listening Skills (See Associated Files) to model the elements of the listening guide during the presentation. Have students complete the PowerPoint Presentation Listening Guide as they listen to the presentation. This listening guide also helps students organize their thoughts as they do research for the summative assessment. Questions have been incorporated into the presentation that provide listening checks on the content of the presentation. If the students seem to need further reviews, then more reviews should be added.

7. Have students pair with another student and share their answers with each other to further discussion of the important points brought out in the listening guide.

8. Have students do the From the Farm to the Factory Practice Writing Activity (See Associated Files) as practice for the first summative assessment. As the students work on this short activity, circulate around the room to informally assess their progress on this activity. Assess and provide feedback overnight on this simple activity. Identify students that have problems on this assignment and give them guidance and an opportunity to rewrite the activity prior to the summative assessment.

9. Give the students the first summative assessment for the unit. Allow a class period for them to begin work on the activity. Provide help as necessary but remember that this is a summative assessment. Give the students several days to finish the writing activity. This will allow the students time to edit, polish, and rewrite their work. The next lesson can be started while the students are completing the writing assignment.

10. Before starting the next lesson, give the students a copy of the America Gears Up Journal (see Extensions) and have them complete the section, Lesson 1: From the Factory to the Farm. Solicit answers from selected students as a way of completing the lesson and promoting interest in the next lesson of the unit.

11. If using this lesson with the America Gears Up unit, go over the Summative 3 assignment (See Extensions) alluded to in the PowerPoint presentation. Give students a copy of the project directions and rubric found in the Summative 3 document. Students look for material to complete this assignment during the next three lessons. It is good for them to begin preparing the materials for this assignment at the same time they are completing lessons 2, 3, and 4. See the assessment instructions that accompany the Summative 3 document for more information.


Formative Assessments:

1. Students are assessed on their reading skills by completing and getting feedback on the Reading Guide for the historical passage on this period in American history.

2. Students self-assess their listening skills by completing the Listening Skills Inventory Self-Assessment after the PowerPoint presentation.

3. Students practice for the summative assessment by completing and getting feedback on the From the Factory Practice Activity where they write a short first-person narrative on a historical situation from this period in history. Use the rubric found on the assignment sheet to grade and provide feedback for this formative activity. Students that have trouble with this assignment should be given an opportunity to rewrite using your feedback as a guide prior to the summative assessment.

Summative Assessment:

The summative assessment for the lesson, and the first for this unit, is a writing activity that consists of a series of first-person narratives, such as a series of letters, diary or journal entries, or interviews that explain the historical circumstances surrounding this period of American history. Have the students grade their writing based on the rubric included in the assignment sheet before turning it in. Use the rubric to grade the assignment. Write your grade next to the studentsí so that the students can compare what they gave themselves with your assessment. Further information is available in the instructions that accompany the Summative Assessment 1 document (See Extensions).


The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, ďAssociated Files.Ē This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files, (if any).

Attached Files

Primary Source Document     File Extension: pdf

Reading Guide for Primary Source     File Extension: pdf

Listening Skills Inventory     File Extension: pdf

Teacherís Guide to Listening Skills     File Extension: pdf

PowerPoint Presentation: From the Factory to the Farm     File Extension: ppt

PowerPoint Presentation Listening Guide     File Extension: pdf

Teacher Presention Guide     ile Extension: pdf

From the Farm to the Factory Practice Writing Activity     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.