April 2021

Earth Day Resources for History Teachers


Happy Earth Day! As spring begins and Earth Day comes closer, let’s look at how we can incorporate Earth Day into our history classrooms, specifically as we teach The Industrial Revolution.

In the mid-1700s, a chain of events changed the way our lives look today. Humans and society shifted from simple hand tools to more complex machines that could accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. Electricity was invented and began to spread across Europe and the United States. Steam power was used to transport goods faster and more efficiently. Coal power created factories, and people moved away from their farmland and into urban areas in search of jobs and more opportunity. The Industrial Revolution changed the world as people knew it, and the effects are still being felt today.

In the new Savvas World History Interactive (© 2022), our “Connections to Today” feature explains:

Coal powered the Industrial Revolution. It played a pivotal role in the successful growth of the economy during the later 18th and 19th centuries. Today, coal, along with oil and natural gas are the fossil fuels that provide the energy for everything from our transportation to the lights in our homes. In this Topic, you will learn how energy changes during the Industrial Revolution impacted the world. Today, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using fossil fuels? Are there other forms of energy that can be used?

Here are some of our favorite resources to bridge the past and the present.

As you introduce these resources to your students, use the following questions to start a discussion:

  • What are some of the world’s primary energy sources?
  • What are the challenges of nonrenewable energy?
  • What are the challenges of renewable energy?
  • Is renewable energy equally accessible in different parts of the world?
  • What might “resilience” mean in the context of energy?

Tell us how you connect the past and the present using #inspire social studies!

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