Health and the Community

Author: Sara Chavarria
Editor: Stephanie Nardei

Time: 1-2 class periods

Photocopy Handout 1
Prepare Overheads 1-3


Overhead 1- Population stats.
Overhead 2 - Image
Overhead 3 - Analysis Form
Handout 1 – Analysis Form
Public Health List

In this Engage lesson the American Industrial Period (post-1960) is explored further. Previously, the bulk of study was on the workers in this period. In this cycle students will be investigating how industry affected rest of the community or city. This lesson introduces the idea of contamination and pollution at a grander scale affecting everyone living close to factories.  

Students will be able to:

  • Illustrate cause and effect of pollution to human health through the analysis of an image from the American Industrial Era.
National Social Studies Standards
Historical Thinking Standards
  • Standard 2G: Draw upon visual data, literary, and musical sources.
  • Standard 3J: Hypothesize the influence of the past.
  • Standard 5A: Identify issues and problems in the past.

United States History Standards

  • Era 6 Standard 1:How the rise of corporations, heavy industry, and mechanized farming transformed the American people.

Teacher Background
If it has not been done yet, it is recommended the instructor address the Progressive Era and Social Darwinism. This will help students comprehend the inequity that existed between the wealthy tycoons and workers.

Resource Websites
American Industrial Period
JStor on a Documentary of the American Industrial Society http://www.jstor.org/view/00028762/di951124/95p0047p/0
The American Industrial Revolution (Grades 6-12)  http://www.cfv.org/guides/3431.pdf
Industrial Revolution on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution

Progressive Era
Progressive Era on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_era
America’s Story from America’s Library http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/jb/progress
Teacher Resources on Progressive Era to New Era http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/timeline/progress/progress.html



Display Overhead 1. Ask students to discuss why the population growth has changed in the 40-year interval of this American Industrial Period.

2. Next, display the question ending the previous lesson on an overhead or the board:

  • If workers’ health are compromised by industry, what about communities where factories are located?

3. Have students offer ideas of how the factory industry may have affected local communities especially in regards to cities of this time period.  Write their ideas on the board or overhead. As students share their ideas, discuss how some might be inter-related so they fall into smaller categories. (See Public Health List for ideas.)

4. Using their textbooks or going to the library have them look for an image representing the sanitation issues they identified.

5. They will fill out Handout 1 for the image they locate in which they will analyze the image to create a cause and effect Diagram (their choice) that ends with a public health concern.

6. Before they begin their search for an image, demonstrate how to conduct the analysis using Overhead 2 (image) and Overhead 3 (Analysis form). The last two questions are left blank so they can be more creative when answering and constructing their Cause and Effect diagram.

7. When done with the forms, ask the following ponder question:

  • How serious were the health concerns raised by the sanitation issues you identified?

The diagram can be finished as homework.

Embedded Assessment
Teacher can first assess the analysis content for their image.
Second, teacher can assess students’ concept diagrams for depth and breadth.

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: March 7, 2007
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Web Master: Travis Biazo