Investigative Question

What were the results of the Industrial Revolution? How was technology and the environment transformed by industrialization?

In addition to its historical significance, the Industrial Revolution also provides rich opportunities for students to develop their geographic and economic literacy. Students can consider What were the results of industrialization? in order to come away with a broad overview of how many aspects of life were transformed by industrialization. Britain was the first nation to industrialize. . . . The inventions and discoveries of James Watt, Eli Whitney, Henry Bessemer, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, and others resulted in advances in science and technology. Agricultural and scientific improvements allowed for a more urban and healthy population. Advances in medicine led to an increasingly institutionalized and professionalized medical establishment, which led to an increasing understanding of early germ theory. These new technologies and ways of understanding the world soon spread beyond Western Europe to the United States and Japan, so that knowledge was shared worldwide. . . .

Literacy support for “The Thames Festilence” (Source 5)

California English Language Development Standards for Grades 9 – 10

B. Interpretative

6. Read closely literary and informational texts and view multimedia to determine how meaning is conveyed explicitly and implicitly through language.

8. Analyze how writers and speakers use vocabulary and other language resources for specific purposes (to explain, persuade, entertain, etc.) depending on modality, text type, purpose, audience, topic, and content area.

Teacher Background: “The Thames Festilence” is an article published in a London newspaper in 1858. The newspaper aimed at an educated, middle-class audience that had a wide vocabulary. The author used a variety of synonyms and vivid language to create a (disgusting) mental picture of the Thames River in the heat wave of 1858. The following literacy activity helps English learners and those who read below grade level to decipher the meaning of the excerpt and also teaches them additional vocabulary.

Directions:

1. Have students read the passage silently to themselves, using the vocabulary provided, and think about the question, What is the topic of this text?

2. Divide the students into pairs, and ask them to share their ideas with their partner.

3. Introduce the literacy activity and pass out Student Handout 10.3.1, one copy to each pair of students.

4. Have students complete the handout (you can either have them do both parts at once, or separate the two.)

5. Go over Part I with students, pausing to discuss what the words mean and how they should be categorized. Allow students to suggest a different category for a word before you reveal the correct answer. Encourage them to explain why they placed the word in that category. There are several examples on the list (stenches, stinking/putrid, putrefaction, putrescence) that come from the same root. Point these out and discuss the strategy of guessing a word’s meaning by thinking of words with a common root.

6. Go over Part II with students. 

7. Have students read the passage again with their partners, focusing on the longer lists of nouns and adjectives separated by commas, or joined by and.  Ask them to try to guess the meaning of unfamiliar words in those lists by looking at familiar words in the list. 

8. Review the meaning of other unfamiliar words with the whole class.

 

Student Handout 10.3.1 “The Thames Festilence” (Source 5)

Introduction

Source 5 (“The Thames Festilence”) uses many different synonyms to describe the condition of the Thames River. The author used these words to paint a mental picture in the minds of his readers. This type of writing was common in the nineteenth century but today would be very unusual. Today we use photos and videos to send people pictures instead. 

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A gigantic flood of poison swells daily and nightly in the metropolis. The Mississippi is the Father of Waters —  the Thames is the Mother of Stenches. Putrid and noisome, our river rolls the filth of London to within a few miles of the sea; the sea drives it back in an aggravated stage of decomposition, and here the abomination floats between the Thames Tunnel and Battersea, hourly blackening, rotting, and steaming with vast escapes of contagion. Members of Parliament and mudlarks, porters on piers and passengers by steamboats, sicken under the loathsome influence; city physicians and surgeons find the numbers of their patients increased; something only a few degrees removed from cholera makes its appearance, and the Board of Works deliberates upon the necessity of “doing something.” . . . The Thames will still be our main drain — our huge receptacle of dead animals, decayed vegetables, ordure, putrescence and all else that should be carried far from the habitations of men. It will still be a body of murky, cloudy, dense, and stinking liquid. … With a hundred fountains, fed by the latrinaries, urinals and other deleterious sources playing into its bed, it will remain the great Plague of London — a perpetual nuisance and pollution. Legislators in the library of the [House of] Commons express themselves with profane emphasis when the gross vapour rises to their nostrils. . . . The summer, which blesses the land, curses the water — at least in the London valley. The slimy putrefaction of the Thames simmers in the heat, and from every bubble breaks a discharge of insufferable miasma.

Directions for Part I

To make the author’s meaning clear, sort the following word list of synonyms into four categories: words that show the problem is harmful, words that show the problem is disgusting, words that show that garbage and sewage are in the river, and words that show the problem is big.

Word List

gigantic

flood

poison

stenches

putrid

noisome

filth

aggravated

decomposition

abomination

rotting

vast

contagion

sicken

loathsome

huge

ordure

putrescence

murky

stinking

latrinaries

urinals

deleterious

plague

perpetual

gross

slimy

putrefaction

insufferable

miasma

 

Words That Show the Problem Is Harmful

Words That Show the Problem Is Disgusting

Words That Show That Garbage & Sewage Are in the River

Words That Show the Problem Is Big

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part II:  The words on your list above are nouns and adjectives, with a few verbs. Here are a few rules to tell if unfamiliar words are nouns or adjectives:

1. Nouns use the letter s on the end to mean they are plural.

2. Some common endings for adjectives are -ic, -id, -some, -ous, -y, -ble, -al, -nt, and -ful.

3. Some common endings for nouns are -ion, -nce, -ure, -sis, -ness, and -ty.

4. Two endings turn verbs into nouns and adjectives – -ing and -ed.  Words ending in -ed are usually adjectives, but words ending in -ing can be either nouns or adjectives.

Use these rules to select the proper synonym for the boldfaced word in each sentence. Circle the correct form of the synonym. 

1. … here the abomination floats between the Thames Tunnel and Battersea, hourly blackening, rotting, and steaming with vast escapes of contagion.

putrid          putridness

2. … our huge receptacle of dead animals, decayed vegetables, ordure, putrescence and all else that should be carried far from the habitations of men.

decomposition    decomposed

3. With a hundred fountains, fed by the latrinaries, urinals and other deleterious sources playing into its bed …

destruction      destructive

4. … from every bubble breaks a discharge of insufferable miasma.

loathsome stench   loathing stenchful

5. A gigantic flood of poison swells daily and nightly in the metropolis.

vastness expanding of contagion        vast expanse of contagion

 

Student Handout 10.3.1 “The Thames Festilence” (Source 5) Key

Part I:

Words That Show the Problem Is Harmful

Words That Show the Problem Is Disgusting

Words That Show That Garbage & Sewage Are in the River

Words That Show the Problem Is Big

poison

stenches

filth

gigantic

contagion

noisome

decomposition

flood

sicken

abomination

putrid

aggravated

deleterious

loathsome

rotting

vast

plague

murky

ordure

huge

miasma

stinking

putrescence

perpetual

 

gross

latrinaries

 

 

slimy

urinals

 

 

insufferable

putrefaction

 

 

Part II: 

1. … here the abomination floats between the Thames Tunnel and Battersea, hourly blackening, rotting, and steaming with vast escapes of contagion.

putrid           putridness

2. … our huge receptacle of dead animals, decayed vegetables, ordure, putrescence and all else that should be carried far from the habitations of men.

decomposition    decomposed

 3. With a hundred fountains, fed by the latrinaries, urinals and other deleterious sources playing into its bed …

destruction      destructive

 

4. … from every bubble breaks a discharge of insufferable miasma.

loathsome stench    loathing stenchful

5. A gigantic flood of poison swells daily and nightly in the metropolis.

vastness expanding of contagion        vast expanse of contagion

 

 

Student Handout 10.3.2 Teaching Strategy with Key

To understand our lesson question —  What were the results of the Industrial Revolution? — we can consider how ideas and responses to disease, such as cholera, changed over time. Students can analyze two primary sources to understand this change and make a claim about what specifically changed in this period. Students will compare the two posters, Sources 1 and 7, and describe change over time.

Categories for Comparison

Source 1: Broadsheet Warning about Indian Cholera,1831

Source 7: Broadsheet: Cholera and Water, 1866

Change over Time

Write a one-sentence description of the changes from the first poster to the later one.

What was the purpose of the poster?

 

The purpose of the poster was to warn the people about cholera and to suggest remedies.

The purpose of the poster is to warn the people of this neighborhood that cholera has been linked to their water supply.

The purpose of the posters changed from one that suggested remedies to people who had cholera in the first poster, to warnings that the water supply may be contaminated with cholera in the second poster.

What was the spread of cholera associated with in the poster?

 

Cholera was called Indian cholera, which makes it sound like a foreign disease. There is no real sense that the creators of the poster knew how cholera was spread; rather, they just listed symptoms and proposed remedies.

Cholera and water are clearly linked. Both words are in the heading.

In the first poster cholera was associated with India, but in the second poster cholera was linked to water.

What information does the poster give the reader about how to cure or prevent cholera?

 

The poster gives the reader detailed information on how to treat cholera once someone has it, with many home remedies.

The poster suggests that people boil their water every day, to get rid of old and standing water, and to make sure that places where people get water are clean.

By studying both posters, it is clear that British people’s understanding of cholera changed dramatically. They learned that the disease was linked to contaminated water and spread that way.

Who created the poster?

 

 

The poster was created by church representatives to share information from the state (board of health in London).

Representatives of the state, the clerk of the board, created the poster.

The responsibility for notifying the public shifted from the church to the local government.

 

After comparing the posters, consider the following questions:

What groups of people benefited from the increased knowledge about cholera and its treatment?

All people benefited, but especially those from the lower classes who could learn to treat their water and who benefited from government intervention to increase water safety and sanitation.

Who gained authority in Britain and its colonies through the knowledge of cholera and its treatment?

Doctors and other scientific personnel as well as local government authorities were able to use knowledge to craft policies and make decisions for the population.

What does studying about cholera tell us about the changes in society and the state during the period of the Industrial Revolution?

 

The study of cholera shows us how knowledge of the unseen world increased in this period through scientific research. In addition, it highlights the government’s growing power to intrude on people’s lives in order to improve living standards and productivity.