Integrate Banning Mill into your Classroom

This web site can be used to meet the following Social Studies, Georgia Studies QCCs:

8.30 “New South” Manufacturing
Standard: Analyzes the “New South” movement in the 1870s and 1880s and the subsequent rise of manufacturing in Georgia.

Use Banning Mill as a case study and discuss its history, as presented in the web site, as an example of industrial growth in Georgia. Ask the students to review the site, especial the “History” and “Timeline” links and discuss the following questions: Why would Northern investors want to support a mill in rural Georgia? Who was recruited to work in the mill? How did millhands differ from supervisors? Why was the mill built along a creek? Would Henry Grady have supported the cotton mill? Why was it necessary for the South to support industry after the Civil War?

8.39 Demographic Cultural Political Economic, and Social Changes
Standard: Transition from agricultural to industrial economy

For a long time Banning Mill stood at the transition between agriculture and industry. Most of Banning’s employees were previous farmers. Because of its rural location, some individuals continued to farm and work in the mill. Have students read the author’s thesis paper (or excerpts from it) entitled “From Farm to Factory, Work, Gender, and Leisure in Transition, A Case Study at Banning Mill” and discuss the changes that came with the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial one.

8.52 Information Processing
Standard: Locates ideas in multiple types of sources (e.g., non print, specified references, periodicals, newspapers, atlases, yearbooks, government publications, etc.)

Ask students to read the newspaper articles posted on the web site? How do they enhance the history of the mill? Why are non print sources helpful? Can they be used alone to create a complete history? Ask students to bring in a current newspaper article. Compare the language used in the contemporary article to one posted on the web site. How has the tone changed? Word choice? Length? Has the interest and intelligence of readers changed?

8.53 Information Processing
Standard: Takes notes and develops outlines through reading, listening, or viewing.

Ask students to review the web site, take notes, and make an outline of either one of the pages or the entire site. If the entire site, use the “History” page as a starting point and ask the class to create an outline that tells the entire story of Banning Mill. Divide the students into teams and assign each a decade or set of years. The teams should use the web site to create a chronological outline of at least five events that happened in their decade or time period. When all the teams are done, combine the outlines and compare the class’ results with the “Timeline” page. What does the class’ outline include that is on the timeline? What events are missing? Are they significant events? How does the outline help summarize the mill’s history and/or web site? Did the students learn more about Banning by taking notes, creating an outline, and sharing their results?

8.54 Information Processing
Standard: Develops and interprets charts, tables, timelines, graphs, diagrams, and other graphic aids.

Ask the students to review the photographs, charts, tables, timeline, and diagrams found in the web site. Without reading the text, what do these aids tell students about cotton factories and/or Banning Mill specifically? Are the charts, tables, graphs, etc. clear? Easy to read? What would the site be like without these aids? How do photographs help students discover the past? Are they objective sources?
Using the “Family Tree” page as an example, ask the students to create a brief history of their family using graphic aids. This can be done on the computer or on a piece of display board.

8.55 Information Processing
Standard: Distinguishes between primary and secondary sources and determines respective uses.

Students should review the web site and make two separate lists of the primary and secondary sources used. Exactly what types of primary sources were used to tell the history of Banning Mill? Does their use enhance the web site? Does it make it personal and real? Are primary sources more “honest” than secondary? Are they objective? Whose opinion do they represent?

8.59 Information Processing
Standard: Formulates questions related to topic.

Have the students review the web site and create a list of questions that they could ask former millhands or their employers. Why is it important to have prior knowledge of an event before conducting an interview?
Can all the questions be answered by viewing the web site? What do the questions assume? Are there some questions that cannot be answered by the web site?

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