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In this lesson, you’ll learn about how industrialization helped spark a revolution in living standards over the past 200 years.

Centers of Progress: Manchester (Lesson Plan)

By Sean Kinnard @SeanKinnard1

You can find a PDF of this lesson plan here.

Lesson Overview

Featured article: Centers of Progress, Pt. 22: Manchester (Industrialization) by Chelsea

“As the quintessential industrial city, there is no doubt that Manchester earned its nickname,
‘the workshop of the world,’” writes Chelsea Follett in the 22nd article in the series about
cities that have shaped our world.

In this lesson, you’ll learn about the city of Manchester, England, the first center of textile
production in Great Britain as well as how industrialization there helped spark a revolution in
living standards over the past 200 years.


What do you know about the Industrial Revolution?

Use this graphic organizer to make a K/W/L chart. Fill the left column with everything you
know about the Industrial Revolution. In the middle column, write what you want to know and
any questions you may have. Leave the right column empty for now.

Next, watch this video to learn more.

Afterward, add what you learned about the Industrial Revolution to the right column on your
K/W/L chart. What are three things you learned about the Industrial Revolution that you didn’t
know before? You may also add questions to the middle column: Now that you have some more
information, what other questions do you have about the Industrial Revolution?

Questions for reading, writing, and discussion

Read the article, then answer the following questions:

  • Recognize cause and effect. According to the article, what was the pivotal moment of theIndustrial Revolution—the key innovation that allowed the spinning and weaving of textiles at a much greater speed?
  • Use prior knowledge. Why did so many British workers leave the countryside to seek factory work in cities like Manchester despite the difficult industrial working conditions?
  • Describe change over time. How had Manchester evolved by 1850? Cite at least three pieces of evidence from the article that show the transformation of the city between from 1760-1850.
  • Evaluate a source. Compare the points of view of two of the primary sources cited in the article: the description of Manchester by British civil servant Johann May, and the depiction of urban living conditions by communist writer Friedrich Engels. How did each writer’s perspective shape their choice of subject matter and their descriptions of what they saw in Manchester?
  • Study the hockey-stick chart. In your opinion, what have been some of the greatest benefits that we enjoy now compared to those living in pre-industrial societies? Give evidence from the chart and the article to support your argument.
  • The author, Chelsea Follett writes, “Ironically, Marx and Engels’ goals of shorter work-days and higher incomes have been achieved within a market economy.” How have industrialized societies been able to achieve these goals? And why did Communist governments fail to do so?
  • What else have you learned about the Industrial Revolution that you can add to the right column of your K/W/L chart?

Extension Activity/Homework

Go to YouTube. Search for an appropriate video about one of the key themes or terms in the
article. For example, Manchester, spinning jenny, water frame, spinning mule, or hockeystick chart. Copy the share link.

Go to Edpuzzle . Sign up for an account if you don’t have one. Paste the video’s share link in
the “Search content…” field. Click Edit > Questions. Insert at least three questions during the
video. The questions may be multiple-choice or open-ended. Then insert at least one note as
well. Click Finish.

Share your EdPuzzle video with your teacher and classmates by clicking “Share preview.”
Note: In a future lesson or for additional homework/extension activity, you may wish to have
partners share their Edpuzzle videos and/or assign student Edpuzzle videos to the class.

Sean Kinnard is a high school teacher in Virginia. He teaches psychology and history.


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Centers of Progress, Pt. 30: Tokyo (Technology)


Centers of Progress, Pt. 29: Berlin (Fall of Communism)


Centers of Progress, Pt. 28: New York (Finance)


Centers of Progress, Pt. 27: Hong Kong (Non-Interventionism)