Meeting of the Minds: In Character Small Group Discussion

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SWBAT come to discussion prepared to present diverse perspectives about costs and benefits of industrialization by taking on the persona of Industrial Age thinkers and writers.

Big Idea

To truly understand how perspective influences writing, students will take on the persona of Industrial Age thinkers...and discuss their ideas for how to make the process of change more fluid.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will read with them during this time.

Defining Persona

10 minutes

Today's objective/discussion format will require students to take on the persona of the Industrial thinker/writer they read about on Friday. Each student should come to the discussion with a completed SOAPSTone and P.O.V. statement for their primary or secondary source (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1a). They will need to draw on this preparation in a variety of ways to share their perspective about the Industrial Revolution.

To help them get into "character", I will ask them to work independently to define their character (W.9-10.10). I will ask them to answer the following questions on the back of their sources:

  • žWho are you and what is your “role” during the Industrial age?
  • How do you see the industrial revolution as beneficial? How do you see the industrial revolution as negative?
  • What are the main issues around the process of industrialization, both positive and negative, that may need to be addressed for the process to go smoothly?
  • If you could make a single change to the world you live in, what would it be and why?

I will have these questions posted in a presentation along with their discussion focus questions. I will post a new slide for each stage of the process.

While students are writing their individual answers, I will circulate the room to assign them to groups. I will do this randomly based on sources they read. I will make sure that each group has each of the four personae represented. These personae are:

  • James Watt
  • Henri de Saint Simone
  • The Voice of Industry
  • Frances Ann Kemble

Meeting of the Minds: Small Group Discussion

20 minutes

Once students have had a chance to define their persona, I will ask them to move into their mixed groups of Industrial thinkers/writers.

The first part of their discussion will require them to introduce their persona to their group by presenting facts and ideas from their reading (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4). I will ask the listening group members to take notes on each persona using a note-catcher that I will provide.

The second part of their discussion is where the conceptual understanding will hopefully sink in. I will ask the students to consider the costs and benefits of industrialization. I will remind them to share their perspectives as though they are the person they are representing and using specific information from their primary/secondary source documents to justify their persona's ideas (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d).

Finally, I will ask the group to come up with recommendations to political or social leaders about how to make the process of industrialization smoother. For all of these discussion points, I will ask them to record their group ideas on their note-catchers.

Wrap Up and Next Steps

15 minutes

For the final part of this activity, I will ask students to return to their assigned seats and write a brief summative response to their group discussion. I will provide a guiding question for this (on the last slide of the PowerPoint) and will give them ten minutes to write their responses.

The last few minutes of class will be spent collecting papers and, if there is time, asking a few students to share out their thoughts.