Published Date

June 1, 2017

Resource Type

For the Classroom


Labor, Public History, Social, State & Local (US)

AHA Topics

Teaching & Learning


United States

  • Invite students to read the description of a mill village and the poem “Textile Life” on the American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940 exhibit at the American Memory website from the Library of Congress. (Follow the American Life Histories link above. Then search for the exact phrase “Textile Life” and ask the search engine to match those words only.) What parts of the poem seem to apply to the experiences that the mill workers on this website described? How did mill villages differ from community to community? What would have been the best and worst aspects of living in a mill village? How might a poem about textile life written by a textile mill owner be different?
  • Ask students to look at the documents and information about life in the 19th century at the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts found on Liberty Rhetoric and the Nineteenth-Century American Woman website at the City University of New York. How did the lives of mill workers in the 20th century South compare to the lives of working women in Lowell?

Do you have other ideas for teaching using the Mill Village and Factory resources on this website? If so, please e-mail your ideas to James Leloudis. We will add selected ideas to the website in future revisions.