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A Shirtwaist Disaster!

by Christina Smart Meigs, Triad Middle School

Grade 8-Language Arts

Objectives:

 

  • Research the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire using primary and secondary sources
  • Analyze artifacts
  • Synthesize and interpret a wide array of information using argument, narrative or informative writing skills.

 

Common Core Writing Standards for Literacy in History/SS:

 

  • Write informative/explanatory texts including the narration of historical events. (2 a-f)
  • Students should be able to incorporate narrative elements effectively into their analysis of individuals or events of historical importance.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing.
  • Use technology/Internet to produce and publish writing.
  • Conduct short research projects, drawing from several sources.
  • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources.

 

Materials/Resources/Links:

 

  • Computer/Internet access for teacher and students
  • Copies of Spiral questions-If copies are unavailable utilize web presentation; have students write answers on their own paper.
  • Approved district grade level rubric for narrative, argument and informational writing

 

Timeframe:

 

  • A day or two for initial introduction/research/spiral questions (dependent upon block or non-block scheduling)
  • A week to two weeks to allow time for writing workshop on chosen writing assessment.

 


 

 

What is a shirtwaist?

 

 

What was the disaster?

 

 


 

Assessment Options

 

Argument Writing:

 

  • Develop thesis: Argue that the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is still relevant today.
  • Create an argument essay to support your thesis statement.
  • Minimum 7 paragraphs (including introduction and conclusion)
  • Minimum of 3 resources—use MLA annotated bibliography format to cite sources and MLA in-text citation model.

Narrative Writing:

  • Select a main character perspective from the fire and create a historical narrative.
  • Possible main characters for your narrative (there are others):
    • Female factory worker (survivor or victim)
    • Factory owner
    • Family member of female factory worker (survivor or victim)
    • Fireman
    • City officials
    • News reporter
    • Post fire union member
  • Create a detailed historical narrative from your chosen perspective.
  • Develop characters, setting, plot, dialogue, descriptive language etc.
  • Must be historically accurate given the research you have conducted.
  • Utilize 6+1 traits
  • Minimum of 7 paragraphs

Informative Writing:

  • Develop thesis: What are you trying to explain?
  • Ideas: the Triangle Factory disaster, unionizing, life in the factory
  • Create an informative essay to support your thesis statement.
  • Minimum 7 paragraphs (including introduction and conclusion)
  • Minimum of 3 resources—use MLA annotated bibliography format to cite sources and MLA in-text citation model.

 


 

SPIRAL QUESTIONS

—Use as a whole class activity after research.

**TEACHER REFERENCE: Here is a link to a variety of already created spiral questions with links. Can modify or create your own!

 

DESCRIPTION:

 

  • Describe what you see in these photos.
  • What does the tag say?
  • Is this artifact dated?

 

INTERPRETATION:

 

  • What is the intention of the text on the tag?
  • Is this pre or post Triangle factory fire? How do you know?

 

ANALYSIS:

 

  • What political, economic or social benefit(s) did the factory owners anticipate by placing this tag in their clothing? List by P, E, S.
  • What examples do we see currently that might be similar? List example and benefits.