Chicago Review Press has a new book out this month in their wonderful collection of American history titles: The Industrial Revolution for Kids: The People and Technology That Changed the World, with 21 Activities by Cheryl Mullenbach.
The Industrial Revolution was a time of sweeping changes. New technologies led to booming industries and resulted in vast modifications to the lives of many people, particularly the children. Readers will learn about not just the big names of the period, like inventor Thomas Edison and Photographer Jacob Riis, but also some people who are not household names, such as Lucy Larcom, who worked in a mill as a child. What were their lives like? How were their lives different from ours and also from their ancestors? Mullenbach pulls from the stories of real children to make history relevant to the young reader.
If you are familiar with the books in the Chicago Review Press For Kids series, you know they stand out because of the hands-on activities sprinkled throughout the text. Even at the middle school age and above, hand-on learning is so important for retention and in-depth understanding. For example, one of the activities is to design a living quarters for a family living in a tenement with the dimensions 10 feet by 10 feet. It is one thing to read about the small space, it is another to try to actually make it work. Although not provided, the project could bring about further research into what types of furniture a tenement family might have owned. It is easy to image how any of the projects might inspire a young reader to jump into a more in depth investigation into different aspects of the era.
The Industrial Revolution for Kids is a versatile book that would be useful as a resource for a school report or research project, as a homeschool text for a unit on American History, or as a way for adults to quickly browse and brush up on history. See how history can be made relevant and interesting with this unique, hands-on learning approach.
One suggested activity in the book is to investigate the science of cycling. This video shows how advances in technology that started during the Industrial Revolution continue to improve the bicycling experience.
For more, try The Science of Cycling at the Exploratorium.
Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Series: For Kids series
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (August 1, 2014)
Interested in learning more about this series? Check my review of World War I for Kids.
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Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the Nonfiction Monday blog.