Teacher notes

(Note: This lesson is copyrighted to Bob Benoit and SCORE H-SS. It may be used in any educational venue for teaching. It cannot be re-published in any form without author permission. bbenoit@bcoe.org)



The Industrial revolution, with the Agricultural Revolution, is considered one of the most important events in human history. It had both positive and negative consequences, both at the time and for the future. It has changed forever the way we produce, trade, use and view technology. It has indeed led inexorably toward global interdependence. Learning through a simulation of Parliament in England also demonstrates that change affects, and is affected by, various institutions in society. It also ties therefore to the unit "Connecting to Past Learnings: The Rise of Democratic Ideas" in grade 10.


10.3 Students analyze the effects of the Industrial Revolution in England, France, Germany, Japan, and the United States.

12.9 Students analyze the origins, characteristics, and development of different political systems across time, with emphasis on the quest for political democracy, its advances, and its obstacles.

Historical and Social Science Analysis Skills

Language Arts Standards Grade 10: Reading Comprehension: Students read and understand grade level appropriate material. They analyze the organization patterns, arguments, and positions advanced. [Students] generate relevant questions about reading that can be researched; synthesize the content and ideas from several sources dealing with a single issue; extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis, evaluation and elaboration. Writing Strategies: Students write coherent and focused texts that convey a well-defined perspective and tightly-reasoned argument. [Students] use clear research questions and coherent research methods. Listening and Speaking: Students formulate adroit judgments about oral communication. They deliver focused and coherent presentations of their own that convey clear and distinct perspectives and solid reasoning. [Students] present and advance a clear thesis statement and choose appropriate types of proofs that meet standard tests for evidence, including credibility, validity, and relevance.

Projected Length:

10-15 class periods


Day 1: (Optional) Before you tell them the name of the next unit! Have students listen to a tape of sounds such as birds, water running, jackhammers, trucks, and so forth. Perhaps show them a slide of a modern city, then Van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters" (Online at http://members.aol.com/bookspine/360.htm). Then show them a typical "Third World" diet and compare it to their own. Next, ask them to fit the items into a two category model. There must be some sounds, one picture, and one diet in each of the two categories. They will often say country-city, old-new, modern-old. Challenge them to defend their categories. Eventually, ask them to guess what made the difference between the two categories.

Day 2: Introduce correspondence and determine

Teaching Tip: This takes careful monitoring so committees aren't done and sitting uselessly. However, at any time they can have time to read more sources, write a bill, work on a written speech, or begin their news article.

Day 3-7: Students research and read sources, and start bills. (See sample bill form below)

Day 6-7: Assign students to a committee and have them begin the process of editing, passing, and rejecting. (see learning advice)

Important: As bills are passed by committees, have interesting ones duplicated for the entire class for debate in general session.

Day 7-10: Continue committee and initiate general sessions of Commons with debate.

Day 11: Give students time in committee to de-brief then conduct a discussion in preparation for their article for the London Times (which you should have previewed to them if you plan to use the activity).

Day 12-13: Was the British Parliament the mother of all parliaments?

(Optional) Using the resource page Parliaments Around the World http://www.ipu.org/english/parlweb.htm

Have trios of students investigate other Parliaments around the world. How are they similar and different to Britain? You might use the U.S. to model the type of information you expect them to discover. i.e.

Teacher Resources About Parliament

The following may be valuable to read or print as a source of teacher information. Some teachers may find some of these sites useful for students also. They describe modern British government.

Internet Resources

British Elections: Frequently Asked Questions
Government in Britain
British Monarchy
Parliaments Around the World
United Kingdom Parliament

Other Resources

Course Model for "The Modern World", grade 10
California Department of Education (17.50)
Bureau of Publications
P.O. Box 271
Sacramento, CA 95812-0271

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