Year 6

Welcome Year 6 to your Individuals and Societies Taster Lesson.

Activity One

Before we start this taster lesson it is important for you to understand what you think the subject of Individuals and Societies is.

Individuals and Societies is a subject that '...encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them, and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, geographical, social, economic and cultural factors that affect individual societies and environments." (IBO 2014).

      • But what does that really mean?
      • A blow up globe will be passed around the room and if it is passed to you please say your name and something you think you might study within I&S.

Useful Resources

I&S Department Website - Celebration and Experiences -

MYP Individuals and Societies Overview.pdf
2019-2020 Year 7 I&S Department Curriculum Overview

Global Context

Scientific and Technological Innovation

Key Concept


Debatable Question

Who was the most influential inventor during the Industrial Revolution?

Key Terminology

          • Influential
          • Inventor
          • Industrial Revolution

Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below.

Useful Links

Activity Two - Watch

The Industrial Revolution was a period of time that was full of change and new ideas for all sorts of people. New inventions allowed people to travel with ease, create new goods and find new forms of energy. We will watch the YouTube clip as a group and while we do you will complete the questions below.

      1. When was the Industrial Revolution?
      2. Where did the Industrial Revolution begin?
      3. What was life like in the Middle Ages?
      4. Why were the trees becoming scarce?
      5. What did we begin to use instead of trees for energy?
      6. What did James Watt invent?
      7. Name any other inventions that you hear in the clip?
      8. How did the Industrial Revolution change where people lived?

Industrial Revolution - Question Grid

Activity Three - Research

Thank you to Ms. Ogden and Mr. Bosson for this lesson.

To look at the scientific and technological innovations within the Industrial Revolution the group is going to be divided to work in teams of three. Each team will be given an inventor to focus on. One of the inventors created his changes close to where I grew up! Each group will be given an organiser sheet and a fact file to use. You will need to come up with clear reasons why your inventor created the most important change during the Renaissance period. To help you to do this you will describe the invention, give three reasons why the invention is important and how it helped to change the world. We will then discuss each teams findings with the whole group and vote on who was the most important inventor.

Copy of Who was the most important inventor in the Industrial Revolution

Useful Resources

1 - Richard Arkwright - The Father of the Factory

  • Born in 1732. His early jobs included hairdressing and wig making.
  • He invented a new spinning machine that could make a thick, strong thread very fast, much faster than any other machine.
  • His new spinning machine was so large that he decided to build factories to house them.
  • He opened Britain’s first steam-powered cotton factory (in Cromford Meadows, Derbyshire). Others copied him and by 1813, there were over 2000 steam driven spinning machines in Britain producing cloth worth £40 million! To some, he was “the father of the factory”.
  • Arkwright had not only invented the new spinning machine but also a new, more profitable, way of working - the factory system.
  • He opened lots of factories and employed thousands of people. Cloth could now be produced more efficiently and could therefore be sold at lower prices. As a result, British cloth was exported all over the world.
  • There were problems with these new factories though, the main ones were that the workers were paid very low wages and the working conditions were very poor.

Further Reading

Richard Arkwright - 10 facts on the Industrial Revolutionist

2 - James Watt - Mr Power

  • Born in 1736, he was an instrument maker at Glasgow University.
  • Watt decided to invent a new style of steam engine. He made it faster and more reliable and after his work, it didn’t need as much coal to run. He also improved it so that it could be used to drive machinery.
  • By 1800, Watt and Boulton’s factory in Birmingham was producing some of the finest steam engines in the world. These steam engines were eventually used to power trains, ploughs, road trucks and there were even attempts to build flying machines powered with them.
  • Watt’s new steam engine also revolutionised the workplace. Machines powered by steam could now be built to do work that had previously been done by hand.
  • As a result of Watt’s work, steam power replaced horse, water, wind and muscle power.
  • Watt’s work did have problems though because steam-powered machines were built which could do the work of men many people found themselves losing their jobs. There were many riots during the industrial revolution started by people who were made unemployed.

Further Reading

James Watt - The Engineer

3 - Humphry Davy - The Miner's Friend

  • He became concerned about the dangers of working in coal mines.
  • By 1815, there had been many mining explosions caused by dangerous gases underground being ignited by the flames of the candles used by miners.
  • The Felling Mine Disaster in 1812 caused a great loss of life and it was clear that action was needed to improve underground lighting.
  • Davy invented the safety lamp. A lamp which used an iron gauze to enclose the flame. This prevented the dangerous gases from getting through to the flame.
  • Davy’s invention allowed mines to be built much deeper underground (where there was more of the dangerous gases) and allowed more coal to be mined. This made coal cheaper.
  • His invention also saved the lives of many miners who would have died in terrible explosions.
  • There were problems with his work though. His new safety lamp gave less light out than an open flame and it quickly deteriorated in wet conditions. As soon as the iron gauze became rusty the lamp became unsafe and gas would seep through the gauze to the flame causing explosions again. It wasn’t until 1900 until better safety lamps were invented.

Further Reading

Humphry Davy

4 - George Stephenson - The Father of the Railways

  • First job at 14 was working in a local coal mine with his father.
  • In 1821, he built the Stockton and Darlington Railway. This connected many coal mines with the River Tees meaning that coal could be moved around much more cheaply. He also built four steam trains to transport the coal from place to place. These steam trains were called Locomotion, Hope, Diligence and Black Diamond.
  • Following the success of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, Stephenson started a passenger line, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. He also built a new steam train for the line - the Rocket. It was the fastest and most powerful steam train to have been built so far.
  • The line allowed goods to be transported from the ports in Liverpool to Manchester and also allowed people to travel from place to place relatively easily.
  • During the rest of his career, Stephenson designed a built a number of railways and steam trains across the country connecting Britain’s major towns and cities. Before his work, the fastest anyone could travel was the speed of a horse. By the time he retired, people could travel from London to Newcastle in just nine hours.
  • There was a major problem with Stephenson’s steam trains though. They were not good at climbing hills. This meant that railway lines had to be built as flat as possible.

Further Reading

George Stephenson

5 - Henry Bessemmer - The Man of Steel

  • His most importer invention, however, was the ‘converter’.
  • In 1856, he was asked by the Government to come up with a cheap and quick way to turn iron into steel. They hoped that after doing that Bessemer would be able to design a steel cannon for them which could be used in war.
  • Bessemer invented a ‘converter’, a machine which turned iron into steel.
  • Good quality steel could now be produced at a lower cost. Soon all pots, pans, tools, furniture, ships, bridges, railways and machinery that had been made of iron were being made from steel instead. Bessemer made a fortune as a result.
  • Steel was much stronger and less brittle than iron. It was also lighter than iron so bigger ships could be made.
  • In 1850, Britain produced only 60,000 tons of steel a year - by 1880 it was producing over 2,000,000

Further Reading

Henry Bessemer

6 - James Brindley - The Canal Creator

  • In 1759, he was asked by the Duke of Bridgewater to find a way to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester only nine miles away. The Duke was annoyed because he had to pay tolls if he transported his coal by road
  • Brindley built Britain’s first ever canal (a man-made channel of water).
  • Suddenly there was a cheaper way to transport coal from the mines to the factories and Brindley was asked to build canals across the country.
  • His canals became vital to the success of the pottery industry in the Midlands. The pottery industry was not making as much money as it could because teapots and saucers were being smashed on the bumpy road to market. Canal barges guaranteed a much smoother ride than any road and delicate pieces of pottery could reach customers in one piece.
  • By 1830, 4000 miles of canal had been built and it was possible to travel to every major town and city in England.
  • The building of canals also provided work for thousands of people as they all had to be dug out by hand.
  • There were problems though, travel by canal was still slow. In fact, for transporting light items like the post, it was slower than going by road. Canals could also freeze up in winter and dry out in the summer. Canals also never developed a passenger service. People still travelled around the country by horse until the train was invented.

Further Reading

James Brindley

Activity Four

We are now going to look at what you have learnt throughout this lesson and what you hope to learn about in I&S when you join us for your Secondary education.

      1. Collect a copy of a hand.
      2. In three of the fingers write down three things that you have learnt today.
      3. In one of the fingers write down one thing that you have enjoyed.
      4. In the final finger or thumb write down one thing that you would like to learn about over the next five years.