1. Write on the board or overhead: What was life like during the Industrial
Revolution? Have students write and respond to this in their notes. In this
section, workers and their role in industry will be explored.
Give each student a copy of Handout 1 (to be collected
when done for re-use in other classes).
Have them read silently and then display the questions on
Overhead 1. Lead a class discussion addressing the questions. Ask the students
what the response of the families of the victims was to the verdict. For
the rest of the class, they will be given more and more
information to peel back
the layers of the story trying to be told. As new information for investigation
is given to students, they will learn more about the events that resulted
in this court case. At the end, they will be asked to
answer the question: Was
justice served? (15 - 20 minutes)
Group students into fours. Give each group the 4-part
Handout 2 and 4 copies of Handout 3.
Have the group distribute Handout 2 among themselves.
2 is made up of 1st-hand witness accounts of the incident referred to in
Handout 1. As they read the witness accounts they will fill out Handout
3. When all
group members are done reading their witness accounts have them share their
observations with each other in order to see how different or similar they
might be. As the students discuss their observations, they can answer the
questions found at the bottom of Handout 3. Answers can be written after
or on the back of the sheet. (25-30 minutes)
For the final few minutes of class, pose the question:
What do you think is being
described in this article? Have students right down
on Handout 3 and on an exit slip.
5. Write the question from the previous day that the
class ended with: What do you think is being described
in this article? Ask students to
3 ready for reference. Give each student a copy of Handout 4. Explain
that this is a primary source of the incident; like the eye-witness
accounts, it describes the incident as it is taking
When done have students answer the questions once more
from Handout 3, applying their new knowledge.
By now they know the details of the
incident. In addition
to the Handout 3 questions, have them also answer the following questions:
How long was it before the elevator became useless
as a means of escape?
b. On which floor did the fire start?
c. What floor was affected the most by the fire?
Finally, give students Handout 5 & 6. These two writings
talk about the fire after the fact. Handout 5 is a synopsis
of the situation.
This is just to make sure everyone understands all of the facts
6 is an adapted version of a lecture given by Frances Perkins who
worked for the New York Legislature Investigating Commission set
up after the fire.
When students are done with the second reading, have
them write a short one-page essay that describes
the Triangle Fire and why
Included in the essay conclusions should be answers to the following
Why were the conditions the workers found themselves
in of paramount importance in the investigation?
b. What other working conditions are mentioned by Frances
Perkins that illustrate this Age of Industry better
known as the American
c. What was the initial role of the Investigation Commission?
What was it’s
d. Was justice done to the victims of the Triangle Fire?
9. Let students work on this in class. They can finish for homework if not
enough time is left for work during class time.
finish their essays.