Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Growth of a Revolution - The Industrial Revolution

Richard Johnson
Bay District Schools


This is lesson one in the unit, Industrial Tool Time. Students follow a newspaper theme and create headlines for important events of the Agriculture Revolution and illustrations for the newspaper showing how the new inventions led to other inventions.


The student identifies and understands themes in history that cross scientific, economic, and cultural boundaries.

The student understands the effects of the Industrial Revolution.


-Industrial Times Pre-test (if using as part of the Industrial Times Unit) (See Extensions)
-PowerPoint transparencies for the presentation Before the Revolution and Beyond or TV/computer with presentation capabilities.
-Historical Theme Diagram as a poster or a transparency (see Associated Files)
-Headlines from the Agricultural Revolution student activity sheet (see Associated Files) for every student
-Inventions of the Industrial Revolution Diagram student activity sheet (see Associated Files)
-Historical Themes diagram transparency (see Associated Files)
-Historical Theme Information Sheet
-11 x 17 paper for the Inventions of the Industrial Revolution Diagram activity
-Miscellaneous crayons, colored pencils, straight edges, etc. for the drawing activity
-Industrial Times press badges (see Associated Files)
-Several sheets of card stock paper for the press badges see (Associated Files) (earned by the students for successfully completing the Industrial Times reporter apprentice class)
-Computers with Internet access (if having students view informational Web site on historical themes in day three of this lesson)


1. Make the poster or transparency of the historical themes.
2. Set up computer/TV system if using to present the PowerPoint presentations.
3. Create transparencies for PowerPoint presentation if not presenting on computer/TV.
4. Print the PowerPoint Notes file(see Extensions) to use as a reference while presenting the presentation, Before the Revolution and Beyond.
5. Locate resources for the lesson activities. Use the Unit Resources attachment for the Industrial Times unit as a guide (see Extensions).
6. Reproduce handouts for student activities(see Associated Files).
7. Create press passes (see Associated Files).


Period 1

1. Give Industrial Times Pretest (see Extensions) a day or two prior to starting the Growth of a Revolution lesson.
2. Review the pretest to determine the extent that the students understand about the Industrial Revolution. Return the Pretest on the first day of the lesson. Indicate to the students that were successful (missed three or less items) on the pretest that they might be called upon to assist with the activities during this lesson.

Period 1 (continued)

3. Have the PowerPoint presentation, Why (see Extensions), scrolling if using the computer/TV set up. This provides students with graphics that perk their interest while they are waiting for class to start.
4. Present the PowerPoint presentation, Before the Revolution and Beyond (see Extensions), establishing the unit theme and engaging students using the questions and activities embedded in the presentation. See the PowerPoint Notes attachment (see Extensions) for the guiding questions and additional information.
5. Give students the Headlines from the Agricultural Revolution student activity sheet (see Associated Files). Discuss the directions and model how to do the first headline. (This activity could be taken home for homework if time is limited)

Period 2

6. Solicit answers from students from the Headlines from the Agricultural Revolution student activity sheet and discuss the headlines.
7. Have the students infer from the activity conditions that needed to be addressed due to the Agricultural Revolution. Have them write these down on their activity sheets. Solicit answers from the students and write the answers on the board. The results should include answers like the following: a) increase in population, b) need for more products due to increase in population, and c) movement of people from rural to urban environment.
8. Introduce the student to the resources on the inventions of the Industrial Revolution that are needed to complete the next activity. Use the Unit Resources attachment as a guide to the types of resources available (see Extensions). These resources might include a textbook, Web site, or library book. The students will need these resources to know where to find information on important inventions of the early part of the Industrial Revolution.
9. Give the students the Inventions of the Industrial Revolution Diagram student activity sheet (see Associated Files) and paper for their drawings. Discuss the directions, assessment criteria (rubric), and possible ways to complete the diagram. Show the sample diagram from the associated file document as an example.

Period 3
10. Allow class time for the students to work on the activity. The students should be encouraged to use a computer drawing program, such as PowerPoint, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, etc. to create these diagrams if they are available to the students.
11. Prior to the end of the period, show the diagram of historical themes as a poster or as a transparency (see Associated Files) and either have students review these themes using the Historical Themes Information Sheet (see Associated Files) or by accessing the information from the Web site, Geographical and Historical Themes (see Web links below). When the students have reviewed the themes, have them write in the space provided on their activity sheet the theme that they think best fits this period of the Industrial Revolution and a short explanation of why they chose it. Students should complete the assignment as homework if not completed during class.

Period 4

12. Reinforce the content of the drawings by allowing student volunteers to show their drawings and explain them. This will reinforce the idea that there are different ways to make these drawings. Their explanations should explain how the Industrial Revolution evolved in Great Britain and why. These ideas will be reinforced at the end of this period in step 15.
13. Next, solicit students’ input concerning which theme best corresponds with this part of the Industrial Revolution by asking selected students their choice and reasoning. Write the choices on the board. Once the students have exhausted their choices of themes, have a show of hands for each of the choices to help determine which “best” fits. Answers, at this point, should revolve around the following themes: Technology in History or Economics in History.
14. At the end of the discussion of historical themes ask: Why did the Industrial Revolution start in Great Britain? Write answers on the board. Answers should include: a) increase in population due to improvements in agriculture, b) movement of people from the country to the city due to the enclosure movement provided a work force, and c) natural resources (coal, iron ore, rivers, etc.). Prompt students towards these answers if not forthcoming.
15. Students grade and turn in their diagrams with the activity sheet.
16. Review the headline and drawing activities and provide feedback on the students’ understanding of the new technologies that contributed to the Industrial Revolution.
17. Give students, who have successfully completed both of the activities, the press card that allows them to be employed by the Industrial Times


Students are formatively assessed on the two activities, Headlines from the Agricultural Revolution and Inventions of the Industrial Revolution Diagram. Each activity has an activity sheet that provides the criteria for assessing the activity. The results of each activity, when assessed by the criteria, will establish the students’ understanding of the content of the activity. Check each activity by the criteria and return the results to each student. The marked activity sheet should serve as feedback to the student. Students who earn satisfactory evaluations on both activities receive a “press card” establishing them as reporters for the Industrial Times.


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 unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

Resource for the invention activity and historical themes.
Inventors of the Industrial Revolution

Resource for the invention activity and historical themes.
Geographical and Historical Themes

Attached Files

This file contains the handouts and activity sheets necessary to accomplish this lesson.     File Size: 774144 bytes (0.756 mb)      File Extension: pdf

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