Analyzing Textual Evidence: Working Conditions in the Mills | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA 2012 G7:M2A:U1:L8

Analyzing Textual Evidence: Working Conditions in the Mills

You are here:

Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text. (RL.7.1)
  • I can analyze the interaction of literary elements of a story or drama. (RL.7.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite specific textual evidence to explain what working conditions were like in the mills and how they affected Lyddie.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Checking for Understanding entry task
  • Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence note-catcher


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Entry Task: Checking for Understanding (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Understanding Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence Note-catcher (20 minutes)

B. Adding to Working Conditions Anchor Chart (10 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reviewing Homework (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Read Chapters 11 and 12 of Lyddie and complete Reader's Notes for Chapters 11 and 12.

  • In this lesson, students synthesize what they have learned about working conditions in the mills, and they practice using specific textual evidence to support their claims. They use their understanding of the textile industry in the 1800s to generate questions about workers in the garment industry today.
  • Students revisit the quotes about working conditions they discussed in Lessons 6 and 7 as they complete the Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence note-catcher. After spending several lessons talking about what specific quotes tell them about working conditions, they should be well-prepared to capture their understanding in writing. This note-catcher gives students additional practice in the type of thinking required for the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment and also will be an important resource when they are writing their argument essays later in the unit.
  • For this lesson, use the information you gained from Lesson 7 (the Working Conditions anchor chart--student version and the Chapter 10 of Lyddie Text-Dependent Questions) to guide your decisions about which supports the whole class or individual students will need to be successful.
  • The entry task time is somewhat abbreviated to be sure that students have enough time to work on the note-catcher and watch the video clips.
  • Review: Lyddie Reader's Notes, Chapters 11-13, Teacher's Editions; Lyddie, Chapters 11 and 12; Mid-Unit 1 Assessment (look this over to be sure you do not discuss or "give away" assessment items when reading Chapter 12 with students).


anticipation (79), grasp (79), honorable discharge (81), blacklisted (81), engage (81), proficient (81)


  • Checking for Understanding, Chapter 11 entry task (one per student)
  • Lyddie (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence note-catcher (one per student)
  • Working Conditions anchor chart, student version (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Working Conditions anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Mill Times or similar video resource (from Lesson 5; also explained in unit overview)
  • Lyddie Reader's Notes Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 (two separate supporting materials; one each per student)
  • Lyddie Reader's Notes Chapter 12 and Chapter 13, Teacher's Edition (two separate supporting materials; for Teacher Reference)



A. Entry Task: Checking for Understanding (5 minutes)

  • Distribute Checking for Understanding, Chapter 11entry task to students as they enter.
  • Direct students to complete the entry task individually. As they do so, circulate to check the Lyddie Reader's Notes, Chapter 11 for completion.
  • When students are done, call on several to share their answers to the Checking for Understanding entry task. Prompt them: "How did your Reader's Notes help you answer that question?"
  • Post the correct definitions of the words in the Reader's Dictionary and prompt students to correct their Reader's Notes as necessary.
  • Remind students that today they will continue to work on the learning target: "I can cite specific textual evidence to explain what working conditions were like in the mills and how they affected Lyddie." They will revisit the quotes they used in Lessons 6 and 7 to understand Lyddie's working conditions.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Understanding Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence Note-catcher (20 minutes)

  • Tell students that for the last two lessons, they have been working in pairs to analyze specific passages from the text to understand how Lyddie's working conditions affect her. Now they will begin to capture their thinking on a note-catcher. Completing this note-catcher will help them prepare for the assessment in Lesson 9 and also make sure they have a collection of textual evidence to use when they write their essays.
  • Distribute and display Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence Note-catcher. Model the work with the first row on the chart, which is already filled out as an example. Point out to students that this chart simply provides them with a place to hold their thinking from the past several days. For this quote, they have already reread it closely to figure out its meaning and topic, and they have placed it into a category on the Working Conditions anchor chart.
  • Clarify the difference between the Explanation and Analysis columns. The Explanation column is rooted in the text, and the Analysis column includes students' own inferences about how a particular working condition might affect workers.
  • Direct students to work with their seat partners to complete Rows 2 and 3 of the note-catcher. Remind them that they need to carefully reread the quote and discuss what it means, use the Working Conditions anchor chart, and both explain and analyze the quote.
  • Refocus whole class and cold call several pairs to share out. Make an effort to call on students with strong work and script their answers so that there is an additional record of what type of thinking you want the class to be doing.
  • Finally, tell students that before the assessment tomorrow, they need some individual practice. Direct them to complete the rest of the chart independently, referring back to the exemplars of strong thinking.

Note: Some students will not complete all rows in the time allotted. This is okay, as long as all students complete at least one row. Be sure to leave time for Work Time B and Closing.

  • During this time, consider working with a small group whose work in previous lessons suggests they may need extra support with this skill.

B. Adding to Working Conditions Anchor Chart (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that they have been learning about the life of a mill worker through reading Lyddie and analyzing passages. Now they will add to their thinking by watching a short video clip about life and work in the mills. Provide a focus question to guide students' viewing: "What does the video confirm, add to or change about your understanding of working conditions in the mills?"
  • Show video clips from Mill Times or another resource.
    19:15-20:35 (mechanized loom explanation)
    44:41-45:15(unfair treatment of mill workers, strikes) 
    50:20-50:45 (children working)
  • Direct students to work with their seat partners to add to the Working Conditions anchor chart, student version (from Lessons 6 and 7). They should use their Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence notecatcher and the video to prompt their thinking. Also encourage them to add questions to the chart.
  • Call on pairs to share their ideas and add to the class Working Conditions anchor chart. Ask: "What in the text or the movie makes you say that?" Celebrate thoughtful questions and tell students you are looking forward to exploring these questions with them in Unit 3.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Homework (10 minutes)

  • Remind students that tomorrow they will take the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, which will ask them to select and analyze textual evidence that shows Lyddie's working conditions. The assessment will draw on Chapters 12 and 13, which they are reading for homework.
  • Ask:

*     "What should you do when you are reading Chapters 12 and 13 for homework to make sure you are prepared for the mid-unit assessment?"

  • Listen for students to say: reread, make sure you know vocabulary, pay special attention to passages about working conditions.
  • Direct students to begin reading Chapter 12 and completing their Reader's Notes for that chapter.
  • Collect the Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence note-catcher as students leave and provide brief feedback on the rows they completed individually in class.
  • Consider reading the first part of Chapter 12 aloud to any of your least proficient readers. If you do this, however, do not explain the text, since students will work with it for their assessment in Lesson 9.


  • Read Chapters 12 and 13 of Lyddie and complete the Reader's Notes for Chapters 12 and 13.

Note: Before Lesson 9, provide brief feedback on the Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence Note-catcher. A few minutes are provided at the beginning of Lesson 9 to return these so that students can see your feedback before they take the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment. Consider providing feedback on one row only; consider selecting one example of strong work to share as an exemplar.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up