Inventors of the Industrial Revolution


Inventions are something our students enjoy but rarely stop to think about.  We take new gadgets and processes for granted soon after we start to use them. Rolling back the clock to understand the Industrial Revolution and the impact of its inventors is a challenge for today’s students.

TeachersFirst offers this classroom-ready unit on Inventors of the Industrial Revolution, written by Georgia social studies teacher Bill Burton and revised in 2007, in a format well-suited for projector, interactive whiteboard, or individual student use. The unit is designed for middle and high school students, but could easily be adapted for upper elementary grades, as well.

These interactive lessons will help students grasp the background and impact of the inventors of the Industrial Revolution. The activities include a timeline and some basic facts so students build a context of historical events and every day life in the time period.

The Invention information and activities are divided into categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Textile
  • Steam and Steel
  • Transportation
  • Technology

These categories span nineteen pages of activities, followed by an interactive quiz. Some invention pages and the About page include links to outside sites (with an arrow and link icon) for further investigation. These sites open in a new window so you can visit them at any time in the course of a lesson without losing your place in the activities. 

All modules work directly from the link here, without any downloads or special software other than an up-to-date Flash Player plugin. Simply click the link below to start the activities.

Inventors of the Industrial Revolution

Permissions and Copying:
These are copyrighted materials. TeachersFirst does permit download of these files for a single teacher’s use ONLY, as a short-term convenience, such as to place a single activity within a SMART notebook or flip chart between other pages of teacher-designed activities. Note: The QUIZ will not operate from the Inventors file alone. You will also need to download this XML file and save it in the same folder with the Inventors file or plan to use the quiz portion online.

If you wish to share these interactive activities with your colleagues, simply email this page (from the button above) or share the link to this page. It is a violation of our copyright to share or copy downloaded files.

Technical Notes and Requirements:
The Inventors Interactive Activities require the Flash Player plug-in, version 8 or higher. You can download this plug-in for free. Be sure to UNCHECK the box that installs the Google Toolbar—it is not needed!

The Inventors of the Industrial Revolution Interactive file opens in a new window so you can use it full screen on an interactive whiteboard.

See Lesson Ideas and handout for these activities


Source for the sequencing of this unit:

Beers, Burton.  World History: Patterns of Civilization. Prentice-Hall. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1993.