I have included all materials needed for a unit on the Industrial Revolution that culminates with a 2-3 page essay, or a timed DBQ if you teach AP European History. This is a great tool to get students to work with primary sources to develop their writing skills. This expository essay has students look at 5 different primary source accounts of child labor from England during the time of the Industrial Revolution. The are challenged to present both the positive (pros) and negative (cons) side of child labor in 1842 when child labor was put on trial in the courts of England, as described in the introduction to the primary source documents. I included a link to an online Industrial Revolution lecture which I use before students go into the research and writing process. Since I teach AP European History I have modified the essay to fit the DBQ essay model required for AP, but the nice thing about this essay is that it can be modified in many different ways. It could easily become a position paper (persuasive essay) by assigning one side or the other (pro or con). I made the entire unit accessible digitally by including the link to the unit at the bottom of the essay guide (the attached word document). By going to the link you will have access to powerpoints, the APEH DBQ version, and a fill-in-the blank study guide to accompany the powerpoint lecture.
This 1-2 week unit is designed for AP European History. The summative assessment for the unit is a take home DBQ, or it can be done as an in class timed essay. The PowerPoint and study guide provide an overview of the Industrial Revolution's beginnings in England and then a look at what factors allowed its spread and which countries were unable to industrialize. The DBQ uses primary source accounts (5) of child laborers and bosses from England during the early 1800s to illustrate the debate raging at the time for and against child labor. The essay outline provided serves excellently as a review of what is required in the DBQ, but also gives the students more structure than traditionally provided to remind them that formal writing and timed writing require slightly different writing styles. To make it a complete DBQ (7 sources) incorporate part of the Tocqueville readings (provided in unit plan) or incorporate a short mini-unit on art movements during this time period and incorporate paintings into the DBQ. Another great teaching strategy for this unit after reading the child labor accounts is to use a technique called "a class divided" and have the students engage in a debate defending both sides of the argument "For and Against Child Labor." Enjoy!