The Cotton Economy

The Industrial Revolution brought significant change to those living in Tennessee and the greater United States. The growing of cotton and Eli Whitney’s introduction of the cotton gin were responsible for much of the economic growth in antebellum Tennessee. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
4.57
Analyze and describe the factors of the Industrial Revolution occurring in the United States and on Tennessee, including:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
GLE 0401.3.2
Write in a variety of modes and genres (e.g., narration, description, personal expression, imaginative writing, response to literature, response to subject...
GLE 0401.4.1
Conduct research to access and present information.
SPI 0401.8.2
Identify characters, setting, and plot in a passage.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.KID.3
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific...
TSS.ELA.4.RL.KID.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in a text, such as a character's thoughts, words, or...
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade 4 standards for reading.
 
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Learning objectives: 

The goal of this lesson is to look closely at a cotton boll and connect the impact of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin invention to the  industrial Revolution. In this lesson, students will become active learners as they view a primary source, examine cotton bolls and read a non-fiction passage. A reading comprehension assessment is also included. 

Essential and guiding questions: 
  • Identify lesson vocabulary
    • cotton boll-the seed-bearing part of the cotton plant in which the cotton fibers are formed
    • fiber- a fine, threadlike piece, produced by the cotton plant
    • cotton gin- a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds
  • Who invented the cotton gin?
  • How would you describe cotton bolls?
  • What facts would you select to support the cotton gin as an important invention?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason why the cotton gin was necessary?
  • Can you explain how the cotton gin affected the process of making cloth?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying

Helpful Hints

Materials Needed: