Overview of Industrialization Classroom Activities
The industrialization activities are
designed to help students understand, interpret and appreciate the
story of early industrialization in Waterloo. Specifically students
explore the concept of interdependence as applied to population
growth, transportation development and industrial expansion. This
study of Waterloo’s ag-industry becomes a case study in economic
development as students interpret artifacts including biographical
sketches, advertisements, photographs, and news clippings. These primary
sources reveal how industry, transportation and the community resources
worked together to become a mutually beneficial, self-sustaining economic
1 – Cause and Result Relationships
After exploring photos and reading background information related
to Waterloo’s early development, milling, railroading and meat
packing, students work in pairs to create a fishbone diagram illustrating
how various economic factors were connected to each other through
cause and result
relationships. Understanding the key vocabulary words, cause
and result, will be essential to completing the diagram.
2 – Profiles of Early Ag Businesses
Ask students to identify how early the businesses and industries in
Waterloo developed interdependently. Then have students read
the business profiles describing some early industries of Waterloo.
Ask individual students become “experts” on one industry
that they will profile for the class. Then with a partner, have them
complete the graphic organizer identifying the similarities and differences
between these businesses.
3 – Where Are the Women?
As students read the background information and analyze the visuals,
the following large group discussion questions will help to focus
- Why were very few businesses started or owned by women in 1900?
- Why were women not considered equal to men?
- What kinds of work did most women do in 1900?
Use the photos and discussion as the basis for a career education
research activity where students work with a partner to review current
advertisements for available jobs. In addition to investigating the
kinds of job options today, have students explore current job opportunities
for women. Then have students write a paragraph comparing employment
opportunities for women in 1900 with today’s world of work.
4 – Industrial Classification
Students will read and interpret information about selected industries
that thrived in Waterloo during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Then, students create a classification system to group the industries
by type. The activity closes with students identifying the companies
that still exist today and writing a paragraph explaining why these
companies have survived for over 100 years.
For students who won’t be able to cut and paste a copy of the
list of companies, it may be helpful to print a copy of the following
for each student prior to the lesson:
Put a star beside each company that is still in business
- The Altstadt & Langlas Baking Company
- Beck-Nauman & Watts Company
- Canfield Lumber Company
- Waterloo & Cedar Falls Rapid Transit Railway
- William Galloway Company
- Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company
- Rath Packing Company
- William A. Welty Company
- Litchfield Manufacturing Company
- The Iowa Dairy Separator Company
- Deere & Company (originally The John Deere Company)
5 – Production Prediction
Ask students to think about how industrialization increased the scale
of production and brought about manufacturing systems.
In this activity, students will read about the concepts of mass production,
specialization, and division of labor. Then they work with a partner
to complete a chart and predict which industries in 1900 would likely
have used specialization, division of labor and mass production and
which ones would not.
Next, partners will complete the Mass Production Matrix. Specifically
they identify the advantages and disadvantages of mass production
from the perspective of factory owners, factory workers, and consumers.
Finally, partners list items found in the classroom which were mass
produced and those that were made by hand. Provide an opportunity
for students to share their lists with the class as an oral presentation.
6 - Evolutions and Revolutions in Transportation
After observing photos and exploring background reading information,
students will describe how railroads helped factories and food processing
industries grow in the early 1900’s.
Then students will review the Prairie Pathways map, and write a paragraph
describing how transportation routes have changed from pioneer days
to modern times.
- Ask students to research how industrial development changed the
lives of ordinary people. How would industry of the past be compared
to information-based society of today?
- Ask students to research the role of company managers and investigate
what skills (mathematical, linguistic, critical problem solving)
are important when running a business today.
- Ask students to create a timeline for 1890 through 1920 listing
important national and international events for the time. Ask students
to hypothesize how historical events influenced industrial development.
- Have students research important American inventors for the period
1880-1920 evaluating the long-term impact of their inventions.
- Ask students to research the energy sources that powered the
factories of the industrial age. How do they compare to energy sources
- Ask students to create a diagram illustrating the economic interdependence:
raw materials are processed in factories which make various products.
A worldwide transportation network is used to distribute products
to market throughout the world. Products are purchased by consumers.
Consumers work for companies and organizations which produce goods
and/or services that are marketed throughout the world…..and
the cycle goes on.
Plan: Who Really Built America? Students examine how work affected
the American child within a rapidly growing industrial society between
1880 and 1920.
The Field Trip Guide provides things
to do before your class visits the Grout Museum and activities for
your class to do after visiting
the Grout Museum District.