ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Working in Birmingham’s Iron Industry

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Alabama Department of Archives and Hist
System: Informal Education Partner
School: Informal Education Partner
The event this resource created for:Alabama History Education Initiative
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34024

Title:

Working in Birmingham’s Iron Industry

Overview/Annotation:

Students will use primary sources to gain a perspective of the living and working conditions in Birmingham in the late 1800s, especially as they relate to working in the iron industry. Students will explore the role of the iron industry with regard to the initial fast growth rate of Birmingham and how this growth was the result of location, transportation, and resources. 

This lesson was created as a part of the Alabama History Education Initiative, funded by a generous grant from the Malone Family Foundation in 2009.

Author Information: Kris White (Cohort 2: 2010-2011) Bear Exploration Center Elementary School Montgomery County School System Montgomery, AL

 

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 4
Alabama Studies
10 ) Analyze social and educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama.

Examples: social—implementation of the Plessey versus Ferguson "separate but not equal" court decision, birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

educational—establishment of normal schools and land-grant colleges such as Huntsville Normal School (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical [A&M] University), Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (Auburn University), Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (Tuskegee University), Lincoln Normal School (Alabama State University)

•  Explaining the development and changing role of industry, trade, and agriculture in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of Populism
•  Explaining the Jim Crow laws
•  Identifying Alabamians who made contributions in the fields of science, education, the arts, politics, and business during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: Alabama Studies (Alabama)
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Analyze social changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama including implementation of the Plessey v. Ferguson "separate but not equal" court decision, birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • Analyze educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama including the establishment of normal schools and land-grant colleges such as Huntsville Normal School (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical [A&M] University), Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (Auburn University), Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (Tuskegee University), Lincoln Normal School (Alabama State University).
  • Analyze the development and changing role of industry, trade, and agriculture in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of Populism.
  • Describe Jim Crow laws and their purpose.
  • Analyze the impact of Alabamians who made contributions in the fields of science, education, the arts, politics, and business during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • implementation
  • agriculture
  • "separate but not equal"
  • Populism
  • suffrage
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The social impact of the implementation of the Plessey v. Ferguson "separate but not equal" court decision and the birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Alabama.
  • The educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries impacted Alabama in several ways including the establishment of normal schools and land-grant colleges such as Huntsville Normal School (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical [A&M] University), Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (Auburn University), Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (Tuskegee University), Lincoln Normal School (Alabama State University).
  • The changing role of industry, trade, and agriculture in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of Populism.
  • The purposes and the effects of Jim Crow Laws.
  • Important Alabamians who made contributions in the fields of science, education, the arts, politics, and business during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Jesse Owens, Tallulah Bankhead, W.C. Handy, Helen Keller, Patti Ruffner Jacobs, and Julia Tutwiler.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify social changes in Alabama including implementation of the Plessey versus Ferguson "separate but not equal" court decision, birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • Identify educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama including the establishment of normal schools and land-grant colleges such as Huntsville Normal School (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical [A&M] University), Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (Auburn University), Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (Tuskegee University), Lincoln Normal School (Alabama State University).
  • Identify the cause and effect relationship between the development and changing role of industry, trade, and agriculture in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of Populism.
  • Interpret the Jim Crow laws.
  • Identify Alabamians who made contributions in the fields of science, education, the arts, politics, and business during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Industry and agriculture in Alabama saw many changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Social (racial) injustices occurred in Alabama during this time and these injustices impacted Alabama.
  • Many key Alabamians had an impact on the world of education.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.4.10- Recognize social and educational changes in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
SS.AAS.4.10a- Identify what Jim Crow laws were; "separate but not equal"; NAACP.
SS.AAS.4.10b- Identify Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and other Alabamians of the early twentieth century.


Local/National Standards:

National Standards for History, 1996

Standards of Historical Thinking for Grades K-4 (p. 15) Standard 1 – The student thinks chronologically.

1A – Distinguish between past, present, and future time Standard 4 – The student conducts historical research

4B – Obtain historical data

Standard 5 – The student engages in historical issues-analysis and decision-making.

5A – Identify problems and dilemmas in the past

5B – Analyze the interests and values of the various people involved

 

Standards in History for Grades K-4 (p. 29)

Topic 2, Standard 3 – The people, events, problems, and ideas that created the history of their state

3E – The student understands the ideas that were significant in the development of the state and that helped to forge its unique identity.

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, (Bulletin 111, 2010) Chapter 4 Learning Expectations: Early Grades

Standard 2 – Time, Continuity, and Change, p. 70

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will be able to:

  • explain the development and changing role of the steel and iron industry in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  
  • analyze social and educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

0 to 30 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Also attached as PDF documents:

Technology Resources Needed:

  • Computer with internet access
  • Digital projector

Background/Preparation:

Background information for teacher:

  • The Sloss Story - Provides background information about Sloss, its founding, its relationship to Birmingham, and Sloss’ workers.
  • James Withers Sloss and Birmingham's "Great Iron Boom," 1871-1890 - Provides background information about the man who started Sloss Furnaces and about Birmingham being the railroad center. (Copy also attached as PDF file.)
  • The Encyclopedia of Alabama provides excellent articles about the Sloss Furnaces and Birmingham.
  • Suggested reading:

Davis, Christopher. "The Role of the Elyton Land Company in Birmingham During the Depression of 1873 to 1879." Samford University, Copyright 2001. Web. 6 Jul 2010.

 The students should be able to define and use the following vocabulary words:

  • peer – people who are equal with regard to such aspects as age, education, or social class
  • wealth – the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions
  • El Dorado – Spanish for “the golden one”
  • personification – the attribution of human characteristics to inanimate objects
  Procedures/Activities: 

Engagement/Motivation Activity:

Before:


Show the first three-and-a-half minutes of the Sloss Video: Like It Ain’t Never Passed – The video begins with an elderly gentleman reminiscing about ‘the old days’ at Sloss.

During:

Step 1- The teacher will use a document camera, computer, and projector to show the photos of making iron and of making steel and will use image-based questions (attached) to solicit observations and inferences about these photos. (Attached: Iron Industry and Sloss Images)

Step 2- The teacher will show images of workers in a pig-iron furnace (with the title of the image covered up), and of workers going to lunch. The teacher will use image-based questions to solicit observations and inferences about the photos.

Step 3- The teacher will show the photo of Sloss housing and will use image-based questions to solicit observations and inferences about this photo.

Step 4- The teacher will ask the students:
• How do these pictures help us get a better understanding of the working conditions for the people we see?
• How do we know that the production of iron was important?
• For what was iron used? (Try to tie this back to transportation.) If time permits, add the following to the class discussion:
• This was said about Birmingham by Colonel James R. Powell, the first president of Elyton Land Co., in the late 1800s: ‘This magic little city of ours has no peer in the rapidity of its growth...its permanent mountains groaning to be delivered of their wealth...the El Dorado of iron masters.’
o Discuss the meaning of this statement.
Discuss the use of personification. (Definitions of key words are provided in the background/preparation section.)

After:

Step 5- The teacher will explain the footprint activity.

Footprint activity: What was a day like in the life of an American pig-iron furnace worker in the late 1800s? Step back in time. Then use the Footprint Activity Sheet (attached) to create two footprints:

  1. On one footprint, draw five pictures that represent important or significant aspects of a person’s daily life.
  2. On the other footprint, use words to describe issues, events, and feelings that tell about this person’s life. These may be bulleted; they do not need to be written in complete sentences.
  3. The students will then complete this assessment activity and will share and display their footprints.


Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Footprint activity: What was a day like in the life of an American pig-iron furnace worker in the late 1800s? Step back in time. Then use the Footprint Activity Sheet (attached) to create two footprints:

  1. On one footprint, draw five pictures that represent important or significant aspects of a person’s daily life.
  2. On the other footprint, use words to describe issues, events, and feelings that tell about this person’s life. These may be bulleted; they do not need to be written in complete sentences.

(Scoring guidelines: Each picture is worth ten points and each word response is worth ten points. These may be displayed under the title ‘Walk a Mile in My Footsteps.’)

Acceleration:

View videos or virtual tours online and have students write a paragraph of reflection – like telling how it made them feel. Videos or virtual tours to extend lessons:

Title of Video: Virtual Tour of Sloss Furnaces

Annotation: Good background information about Sloss, its founding, its relationship to Birmingham, and Sloss’ workers.

Intervention:

Provide the student with a footprint activity sheet that shows a completed example of the assignment, including a picture and a written response.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.