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Week 08: Employment

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 45: Proclamation and Celebration ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 43: Kangaroo Island ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 40 - Finally! The harbour is found ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 37: Building a Home ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 36: Family Life ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 35: Pastimes ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 34 - a tempest ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 26: Whose story? ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 25 - The demon drink ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 22: In Good Time ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 20 - infectious disease ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 18 - the port of Rio ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 16: Crossing the Line ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 16 - towards Australia ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 15 - high drama on the John Pirie ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 08: Employment ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 06 : Weathering the Storm ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 05: Ship Shape ]



Emigrants at dinnerEigrants at dinner. The Illustrated London News 1844

The time at which these ships set sail is at the end of a period known as the industrial revolution. The changes in agriculture, farming, mining, transportation and advances in technology had a big impact on the lives of people living in England during this time.  Last week we started looking at the skills and trades of people who were onboard these first colonising vessels, but what was life like for these people before departing England? Where they from poor, working or upper class families? Why did they make the decision to leave England to start a new life in South Australia?

This week we read that two ‘fresh’ sailors and a cook joined the crew of the John Pirie. The passengers and crew onboard would each have had different experiences and stories and to tell. How would a person’s past experiences influence their actions and impact on the journey to South Australia?

Inquiry Questions:

•   What skills and experience would the new cook and sailors joining the ship have had?
•   How did the industrial revolution impact on the lives of people in England in 1836?
•   What conditions did the children of the working class endure in this era?

Research Topics:

•    During the industrial revolution, children (some as young as four years of age) worked in textile factories, cotton mills, down coal mines, and as chimney sweeps. Many employers took advantage of these young workers, who would work long hours and receive little pay. Research the conditions these child workers endured. What did the government do to enforce changes to the working conditions for English children in the 19th century?
•    How have jobs changed since 1836?
•    What causes changes in lifestyle and work?

Historical Skills:

Chronology, terms and concepts 
  • What does the term ‘industrial revolution’ refer to?
  • Develop a timeline to show the significant changes in the conditions for English workers during the 19th Century.
Historical questions and research
  • Research the child labor laws passed by the British Parliament passed, including the Cotton Factories Regulation Act (1819), the Regulation of Child Labor Law (1833) and the Ten Hours Bill (1847).
  • How have occupations changed since 1836 and what caused these changes?
  • How have the lives of children changed since the industrial revolution?
Analysis and use of sources
  • Develop critical literacy skills when accessing information from a variety of online sources. Compare and reference websites, to ensure accuracy of information. 
Perspectives and interpretations
  • Use a PMI (positives, minuses, interesting) to examine the points of view of the employers and workers in England in 1836. Why did employers use children in factories? What views and rights did parents have with their children working? Did the children work at their own free will? What strategies did employers use to make greater profits in their factories?
Explanation and communication
  • Articulate an understanding of the industrial revolution in England and the impact it has had on people in the past and in the present.
  • Use historical information to recreate an accurate diary entry that represents the life of a child worker in 1836.

Activity Suggestions:

1.      Develop a newspaper advertisement for the cook and sailor positions onboard the John Pirie. Your advertisement should include a title, description of the job, the skills and understandings applicants require and contact information. Think about the font style and format that would have been used in this era.

2.      What was the industrial revolution? Use the Urban Game to map out and develop an understanding of the changes that occurred in England during this time.

3.      How would you go as a Victorian entrepreneur or a town chancellor advisor during the industrial revolution? These online tasks can be played using an interactive whiteboard, generating discussion and debate in order to make whole class decisions. 

4.      Find images that represent the industrial revolution period. Use these to create your own visual image (painting, photo, collage or drawing) to show what the industrial revolution was like.

5.      Research the work performed by children during the early 19th century. Use a Venn Diagram to compare the life of a child living in 1836 to your own life.

6.      Imagine you are a child living in the early 19th century. Write a journal piece that reflects the ‘day in the life of a child worker.’ Identify the location of your work, the type of work performed, food eaten, pay, conditions, any accidents that may have occurred and the hours worked. Outside of work, what would your life have been like at home?

What if?

What if the industrial revolution did not occur? What would our lives be like today?

What do you think?

The industrial revolution has been the most significant event in human history.

Stay Tuned

Join us next week to explore the concept of maritime archaeology. The crew of the John Pirie sights an interesting object in the water. What do they sight and what actions are taken by the people onboard?


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Emigrants at dinner. The Illustrated London News 1844

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