A research unit and project developed during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015, the following five-day lesson plan and subsequent independent student study, contains a comprehensive companion site to drive student learning and engagement. Instruction and research center around the development of technologies that shaped the American Industrial Revolution during the Antebellum Era in the Connecticut River Valley. Vivid primary source images and a coordinating PowerPoint lecture visually reinforce the industries that developed in cities such as Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts.
The combination of teacher instruction, partner work, and individual student research allows students to interpret and analyze Library of Congress primary source materials in a variety of settings. Common Core literacy standards as expressed through the written portions of the assignment make this unit an excellent interdisciplinary experience for students.