The Industrial Revolution

A Complete Unit Plan for World History in Middle School or High School

The 18th unit in my complete World History curriculum is on the Industrial Revolution Era. This fantastic unit covers its beginning, its effects on society, and the developments and inventions from this period that changed the world forever.

This is a fantastic unit for your middle school or high school social studies classroom. There's a wide variety of engaging activities for every day in the unit so your students are always on task and focused on learning the important concepts you need them to understand.

You can download the complete unit plan here with fantastic lesson plans and resources for every day or you can join Students of History with a subscription and access everything you need online.


The unit starts off with a fantastic lesson on the beginning of industrialization. You have several options here to select from based on what would be best for your students. The first is an incredible  3D PowerPoint and guided notes set. Simple red/cyan 3D glasses can be used to make every image pop out and enthrall your students for a memorable lesson.

Another option is a hand-on  interactive cube and PowerPoint. in which students create the "building blocks of industrialization". Here, they learn why it began in England and what "industrialization" meant for society. There are then several options for activities, including a fantastic Horsepower Activity that gets your students up and moving to learn about how horsepower is calculated. 

You might also want to give students the complete unit guide packet here on Day 1 also. This can be worked on throughout the unit so that students understand all the key concepts.  

Next, students will learn about important inventions of this period. There is an excellent inventions activity that can be completed individually or in pairs at student desks. Next, students break up into cooperative learning groups for an Inventions Infomercial Project.  There's also a few videos here for students and fantastic digital notebook options to complete online. 

In the next lesson, students analyze the Industrial Revolution's effects on society. An interactive 4 corners activity gets students warmed up before you have several video options to help students understand the positive and negative effects of industrialization. There are several great resources to help students here, including a fascinating Child Labor primary source and both digital and paper interactive notebook activities.

The unit then moves on to economic systems in the next lesson. After a warm up, there are several video clips you can select from on communism and socialism. Then, there is a wonderful activity using John Lennon's song "Imagine" to understand the differences between communism, socialism, and capitalism. Finally, students comparing economic systems with a chart and worksheet or with the digital notebook activity

Last but not least, the unit concludes with a lesson on Tokugawa Japan. After going through the PowerPoint and guided notes (with "flipped classroom" video and Google Slides options also included), students review primary and secondary source reading activities on Tokugawa Japan.

The unit concludes with several review games and activities before moving on to the editable unit test. The test can be done on paper or with the digital Google Forms version for easy grading. 

You can download the entire Industrial Revolution Unit Plan here and have all these resources saved to your desktop. You can also subscribe to the World History curriculum to access everything online. Subscriptions grant you immediate access to EVERY World History - that’s 24 complete units of engaging resources and lessons. 

You can read more about the differences between TpT purchases and subscriptions here if you’re not sure which option is better for you.

Thanks so much for checking it out!

World History Units