Showing posts from April, 2015


I have been thinking about a "March Madness"-style tournament for our US History content for several years now. The schedule changes we've had lately helped to make a tournament a reality--I needed an activity we could complete in my classes on an as-needed basis.

We will be taking part in the Ultimate US History Tournament!

Who (or what) is the most important person, idea, or event in US History from the Declaration of Independence until the start of the US Civil War (July 4, 1776-December 31, 1860)?
Let’s find out!

Students will determine the most important person, idea, or event and justify their rankings. A class tournament bracket will decide the winner of the Ultimate US History Tournament. 
The four regions are the American Revolutionary War regional, A New Nation regional, the Growth and Change regional, and the Road to the Civil War regional.
I feel this is a really good way to review the big ideas in History this year and have fun while doing so. The students are en…

Haiku Poems about Factory Life in the Mills: Fourth Hour

These haiku are created by my Fourth Hour historians: 
Young children could work long, hot, and tiring days very poorly paid ~Ben
Conditions are bad dust and cotton fill the air suffocating kids
Very low wages little kids wanting to learn no education ~Annette

Young girls are working in cotton mills, they suffer in harsh conditions
Windows are closed shut machines are crying loudly they cry for the girls ~Shivani
A dollar a week at first seems good but later... future is ruined ~Sahaja
Sweat forms on our brows we are not educated we work for money
The air is dirty danger constantly finds us our wages are low ~Ronak
Working at the mills I think I need some water it is very hot ~Drew
Others play outside I am struggling inside my factory life ~Karma
The factory life was really hard and it was really, really hot! ~Louis
Young children work hard hot and loud environment low pay and safety ~Nate
I was happy in the firsts nine days then something happened after eight days finally I understa…

Haiku Poems about Factory Life in the Mills: Third Hour

The historians in my third hour would like to share their creations with you:

Working at the mills dirty working conditions humid like summer
Supporting family woman making small profits hopeful for success ~Mark
Poor environment the girls are risking their lives very low wages ~Aishwarya
The place is like winter everybody is confined no one can escape
Life is like summer the air is hot and humid the place reeks from lamps ~Vasanth
Very little pay working conditions were poor some girls got injured ~Luke
Very dangerous working conditions are bad get paid very low ~Ravi
Girls work very hard some died or had injuries the air was dirty
Girls were bruised and scarred dangerous work conditions working long hours ~Yousif
Working in the mills hard dangerous conditions make it out alive
Long days in the mills twelve or fourteen hours long girls work with caution ~Jenna
Kids are suffering with not much pay and high rent kids even get killed ~Matthew
Deafening noises working hard and long hours …

Haiku Poems about Factory Life in the Mills: First Hour

My 8th Grade Historians have been learning about life in Northern factories during the Industrial Revolution. The task today is to create haiku poems about factory life. This life was exciting for these children but was also very dangerous. Many girls worked in the mills because it was their only chance for independence in society and provided the opportunity to earn good money for themselves and contribute financially to their families. 
I would post these poems in the hallway but our hallways are currently being painted so this blog will be our display board for some of the the creative work my students have written today.
Working day and night risking my life for money little time to rest. ~Abby
No windows open almost like stuck in summer just trapped in, not out. ~Abby
Hot like the summer lives falling away like leaves as sad as winter. ~Oliver
Two books ain't enough boarding takes half of my pay the strikes haven't worked. ~Oliver
In summer it starts each moment stifling…

The Industrial Revolution, 21st Century History, and Character Education

The Industrial Revolution is an exciting topic to teach because of the way it relates to character education, modern history and the exciting (but also scary) concept of change.
My classes were asked to compare the Industrial Revolution's human power/factory change to today's humanpower/technology change. Several classes brought up the idea of driverless cars--there is at least one concept car in existence and we all enjoyed watching a clip of it in action. 
The opportunity to think about character came into play when we discussed the decisions of Samuel Slater. Slater was very knowledgeable in textile machinery in Great Britain. Britain was a forerunner in the Industrial Revolution and Slater was confident he could replicate these factories in America. He ignored British laws that prevented skilled workers from leaving Britain after memorizing the information he would need. Sla…