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America Gears Up

Students work through a series of lessons on the Industrial Revolution in the United States in preparation for a presentation that answers the essential questions for the unit. The essential questions for this unit revolve around the idea that historical circumstances often create winners and losers and that, in some cases, a group can be both a winner and loser. Content is acquired through a variety of lessons. The lessons that make up this unit represent a wide range of learning strategies and methods. Students begin the unit by writing first-person letters that show empathy with early Americans dealing with the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society. Next, student groups use presentation skills in presenting information on Big Business industries that grew in the period after the Civil War. They continue the unit with an inquiry lesson involving the labor and social conditions of this period and see how special interest groups and public opinion can cause change in a society. Important inventions are explored in the final lesson. To conclude the unit, students conduct research and answer the essential questions in a Multiple Intelligence project suited to their individual learning styles, which is presented in an authentic setting.

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