Lesson Plan on the Division of Labor

Teacher: Debbie Benfaida Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: 5th Date: July 21, 1999

I. Content: Concept - Division of labor increases productivity of labor.

II. Prerequisites: Students should be able to explain the role that workers and productivity played in the Industrial Revolution.

III. Instructional Objective: When requested, the student will describe how assigning specific tasks to workers so that each does a part of a total job affects the total production output of the workers. Included in the description must be reference to an example of this relationship.

IV. Instructional Procedures:

Lesson initiating activity: The lesson begins with a review of the Industrial  Revolution, and the need and desire of the people to produce goods more efficiently. The steps of a scientific experiment will be reviewed on a previously prepared overhead projector sheet.

Core activities: I will define the terms "division of labor" and "productivity of labor." I will discuss these terms with the class, and provide students with specific examples of how the division of labor results in task specialization and efficient use of time which increases the productivity of labor. Students will be asked to give examples of division of labor based on their own experiences.

The lesson will continue with students conducting a scientific experiment whose hypothesis is, "Division of labor increases productivity of labor." Students will make cornucopias for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. A sample of the desired finished product will be on display and specific requirements for the finished product will be placed on the overhead projector. Half of the students in the class will be instructed to work individually and the rest of the class will be divided into teams of approximately 7 students. Each team member will be assigned a specific task in the production of the cornucopias. Materials will be distributed to all students who will start at the same time and will be instructed to work as quickly as possible, completing as many finished products or specialized tasks as possible. The students will be allowed 15 minutes to work.

Closure activity: The total productivity of the students working individually will be compared to the total productivity of the students working in teams. The students should conclude that the division of labor allows individual proficiency in completing a specialized task which when applied to an assembly line, increases production output. To be discussed: What made the one group more efficient than the other group? Did both halves of the class produce equally attractive end products? What are the advantages/disadvantages of division of labor?

V. Materials and Equipment: The materials for this lesson include an overhead projector, construction paper, crayons, scissors, yarn, glue, and sequins.

VI. Assessment: I will give the class a written test in which the students are given directions to describe how the division of labor affects worker production. Directions will tell the students to write a specific example of this relationship (i.e. cobbler, seamstress, baker individually producing a finished product versus an assembly line where several people perform a peculiar operation in the production of a product.)

VII. Follow-up Activities: Students will be shown a movie about an assembly line/division of labor industry or will be read a story about an assembly line, preferably as seen through the eyes of an employee who performs the same task for 8 hours each day. If available, an assembly-line worker might be asked to speak to the class.

VIII. Self-Assessment: I will review the major concept of the lesson in terms of the lesson assessment. I will determine whether discrepancies exist between intended and actual outcomes.

Navigate the Site

Respond to author
Lesson Plan Menu