Industrial Revolution Gallery Walk Ideas

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

The Industrial Revolution was a turning point in history that will get your students talking. Use these ideas to incorporate photos and different technologies as you set up your own gallery walk.

Using a Gallery Walk

Gallery walks are a wonderful tool that can help your students deeply engage with all different kinds of materials from the Industrial Revolution. You will set up your gallery walk by putting up different artifacts around your classroom, just like an art gallery. You can let your students wander around, looking at the different artifacts and discussing with each other. This simulates the way that people really do chat while looking at art in an art gallery.

Below is a collection of different activities you can try pertaining to the Industrial Revolution. While you collect artifacts, it's especially helpful to rely on photographs of the new technology and the industrial factories. These types of photos can give your students a better idea of what life was like during these times. Use the following ideas to help your students discuss and engage with this period of history.

Technology Photos

During the Industrial Revolution, many different kinds of technologies came into prominence. But your students may not recognize many of these older kinds of technologies since they're used to much newer things. Photos can be an excellent way of really helping your students visualize the times. Display several photos around the classroom that will really help your students get a better idea of the technology that had such a huge effect on the United States.

You may consider including:

  • Steam engine
  • Spinning mule
  • Cotton gin

Discussion questions:

  • What do these technologies have in common?
  • What elements of these technologies can you see in modern technologies?
  • How do you think this made production work faster?

Varieties in Technologies

Many of the technologies were developing independently, although they ended up being very similar. It can be interesting to examine these technologies and compare and contrast them. This activity revolves around textile production and the different machines that were used.

You may consider including:

  • Spinning wheel
  • Spinning frame
  • Spinning mule
  • Power loom

Discussion questions:

  • How are these technologies similar?
  • Which one do you think is the most efficient? Why?

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