A Shirtwaist Disaster!

Fashion 2 Fiber logo

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.
     

Shirtwaist imageCommon 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?

Intro (whole group): Turn and talk (with partner or group depending)—What is a shirtwaist? How is it used? Why was it a disaster? In what year was it used? Sketch it.

What was the disaster?Shirtwaist image

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Research—(This is a start, search for additional reputable sources after you have exhausted my short list.)

Post Fire Events and Consequences
 

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. You can modify them 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.
 
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