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‘Were mills and factories the only basis for the Industrial Revolution in Manchester?’

A complete scheme of work and supporting lesson resources looking at the Industrial Revolution. The enquiry challenges students to address the statement: 'Mills and factories were the only basis for the Industrial Revolution in Manchester'. Though this resource pack is based on Manchester, the materials could be modified to any location with an industrial past. 

Photo of houses on Thomas Street Manchester, showing cellars below ground, shops on the ground floor, living space on the first floor and workshops on the top floor.
Houses on Thomas Street Manchester, showing cellars below ground, shops on the ground floor, living space on the first floor and workshops on the top floor.

Teaching ideas

This resource pack is designed to help students investigate how accurate traditional interpretations of the Industrial Revolution are. The lessons focus on houses in a street called Thomas Street, in an area now known as the Northern Quarter of Manchester, about half a mile from Piccadilly Railway Station. After completing all six lessons students then try to answer the over-arching enquiry question: 'Mills and Factories were the only basis for the Industrial Revolution in Manchester’. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Learning aims and outcomes

  • To support the teaching of History and Citizenship at KS3
  • To investigate aspects of local history and how they relate to a broader historical concept
  • To understanding methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used to make historical claims, and how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • To create reasoned and evidentially supported judgements

Prior knowledge

Students do not need any prior knowledge of the Industrial Revolution in order carry out this study.  It may, however, be helpful if students have prior knowledge of:

  • The main focus and means of production in England before the Industrial Revolution
  • The growth of populations and migration to towns during the Industrial Revolution

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