First and Second Industrial Revolutions of the United States of America

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Unit 3: Project

In this unit, you have learned about the First and Second Industrial Revolutions of the United States of America. This era saw the birth of all manner of invention thanks to bright, forward-thinking American minds. In this project, you will take a step into some of these very minds, using your imagination and what you have learned in this lesson to write a series of short pen-pal letters back and forth between a group of characters:

  • A Railroad Worker. This can be either someone who helped build the railroad, or someone who is working on a currently used railroad.
  • A Political Figure. This should be someone who supports industry.
  • A Female Inventor. This should be a female inventor from the Industrial Era.
  • A Child Laborer. This should be a child who is working in a factory during the Industrial Era.
  • A Progressive Activist. This should be someone from the Industrial Era involved in social activism and political reform.

You will pair off these characters so that you have two pairs to be pen-pals with each other. For instance, you may decide to have the Progressive Activist and Child Laborer write to each other, and the Female Inventor and Railroad Worker will write to each other.

Each pair will write at least 3 short letters back and forth for a total of at least 300 words per pair (each short letter should be 100 words).

  • The first letter can be an introductory letter, such as the Political Figure introducing themselves and what they do to the Child Laborer.
  • The second letter should be a response to the first and contain introductory points, but should also contain comparisons. So, if the Child Laborer is writing back to the Political Figure, they should include details of how their lives are similar or different.
  • The third letter should be a final comparison from the first character’s point of view. You may at any time in these letters include thoughts you think one character might have on the other’s situation, for example a Progressive Activist may feel very strongly about saving the Child Laborer from their horrible work. This is a creative writing assignment, so remember: Be creative!

If you want to include your own images with the letters, feel free to do so. If you use any images taken from the Internet, please remember to include where you found them in your Works Cited page.

In total, you should have at least 6 short letters for a total of at least 600 words (100 words for each letter). You may write more than this if you feel inspired!

For each character, you must use at least one credible outside resource other than your textbook in your research of the character to develop your knowledge of their experiences and use in your writing. This means you should have at least 2 Works Cited entries other than your textbook, not counting citations for image use. Failure to include a Works Cited page will result in your work being rejected.

Remember to write in your own words and in complete sentences.

Letter-writing resources:

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