Imagery often brings a lesson to life, and this was the case for Ms. Braselmann’s eighth grade class when it came to learning about the effects of the Industrial Revolution.
Her class used poetry to create comic panels about the effects of the Industrial Revolution. This idea came about as part of Ms. Braselmann’s plan of utilizing the class’s social studies curriculum to “build cross-curricular lessons that build ELA skills while allowing students to read and experiment with various forms of writing/texts that are culturally relevant to them,”.
The lesson started with Ms. Braselmann showing her class three items that reflected the assembly line: an article about Henry Ford’s assembly line, a clip from a Charlie Chaplin film that comically depicts the assembly line, and the poem “The Assembly Line” by Chinese poet Shu Ting (from the 1970’s) which describes life as an assembly line worker in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution.
After discussing these texts and how inventions made on an assembly line continue to affect the modern and post-modern world today, students used lines from the poems to create another type of text that many of them relate to culturally: sequential art (comics).
The comic panels students produced illustrated their interpretations of the poem and the impact of working on an assembly line. Check out some of their drawings below.