Age group: 
Creative Arts

Classroom unit


During the eighteenth century there was an Industrial Revolution - the work normally done by muscle power was increasingly done by machines.

There were several countries in which this Industrial Revolution might have occurred - Belgium, France, Germany, the United States, even China.

But it only started in one country, Britain, and it developed in that country ahead of the rest.

In this unit students develop a set of hypotheses about what was needed for the Industrial Revolution to occur in the country it did. They can then research these factors further to understand why each factor existed in that country in the way it did.

The IP concept covered within this unit is patents.

Learning objectives

By the end of this unit students will be better able to:

  • identify a range of factors or causes that made the Industrial Revolutions possible
  • understand how these factors contributed to the Industrial Revolution
  • be well placed to carry out focused further research on some of these factors

Curriculum Area: History — Industrial Revolution Depth Study

Year/s: Ages 12-16 (Secondary)


Teacher prep time: 5 minutes

Materials required: Online, smart board or hard copies of Worksheets 1-5


1. Hand out and explain the task on Worksheet 1 Your Task. Students will develop some hypotheses that they can test as they work through the remainder of the unit.

2. Students can work in pairs on the 10 questions on Worksheet 2 Create your society, or the teacher can read out the questions and control the pace of responses to them. The greatest value of the activity is in allowing some discussion of each questions, as it is this discussion that will raise the issues and complexities associated with the Industrial Revolution - and encourage the next step, further research. All students need Worksheet 3 Patents, the summary of what patents are.

3. Once students have completed their questions the teacher can read out the answers (Worksheet 5 What actually happened?), and allocate points.

4. Discuss the results with students - are there any factors here that surprise them? How many of these did they anticipate through their hypotheses on Worksheet 1?

5. Students are now in a position to undertake further research, with a clear focus for that research (Worksheet 4 Further research). Most research on the Industrial Revolution is about the inventions, but it is clear that there could be research in a number of different areas raised in these 10 'hypotheses'.

worksheet_1-_your_task.pdf PDF in PDF format [198.33 KB]198.33 KB
worksheet_2-_create_your_society.pdf PDF in PDF format [260.38 KB]260.38 KB
worksheet_3-_patents.pdf PDF in PDF format [164.17 KB]164.17 KB
worksheet_4-_further_research.pdf PDF in PDF format [185.88 KB]185.88 KB
worksheet_5-_what_actually_happened.pdf PDF in PDF format [247.78 KB]247.78 KB
Last updated: 
Saturday, November 23, 2013