Assembly Line Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

This lesson plan helps you teach your students about the Industrial Age concept of the assembly line. Students will learn about the history, examine advantages, and participate in an experiment to learn about the assembly line.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the history of the assembly line
  • name advantages of assembly lines
  • list modern assembly line methods
  • calculate time saved by using assembly line practices


45 minutes


  • Construction paper
  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stopwatch or other timing device

Key Vocabulary

  • Mass production
  • Eli Whitney
  • Reduced cost
  • Increased production and better uniformity
  • Interchangeable parts
  • Just-in-time

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.10

By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


  • Connect students to learning and activate prior knowledge by asking them to consider how they could most quickly assemble paper clown faces in a given time period: alone or working in a team of 6. Share and discuss ideas.
  • Tell students they will be learning about the history and development of the assembly line. Share our lesson Assembly Lines: History & Types using technology or printing copies of transcripts for students.
  • Read the sections 'History of the Assembly Line' and 'The Ford Model T Assembly Line.' Define mass production.
  • Ask:
    • How did products get made before the assembly line was invented?
    • What implications did the invention of the assembly line have for individuals? Societies?
  • Read the section 'Advantages of the Assembly Line.'
  • Discuss:
    • Explain how assembly lines lessened the impact of cost on manufacturers and consumers.
    • Why is better uniformity an advantage to manufacturing?
    • How are interchangeable parts an advantage for manufacturing?
  • Read the section 'Modern Assembly Line Methods.'
  • Discuss:
    • What is meant by the phrase 'a highly refined process?'
    • Why are advanced materials and a supply infrastructure required for modern assembly lines?
    • How do just-in-time practices reduce cost?

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