Translate page with Google

Lesson Plan February 23, 2017

What Happens to Communities When Industries Leave?


See the Educator Notes for Common Core standards


  1. When you want to learn about a current event or topic, how do you do that? Where do you get your news and how do you learn more about a topic if you want to know more about it?
  2. How is this information presented to you? Is it long-form written stories, illustrations, interactive graphics, etc.? A combination?
  3. Think about the news you consume. Do you prefer one type of medium to others? Why?

Reading and Discussion:

  1. Read Debbie Price's stories "In Upstate New York, Leather's Long Shadow" and "In Appalachia's Foothills, a Leaner Textile Industry Rises," and view Larry Price's photos for both. Make sure you view the interactive versions of the stories on UnDark.
  2. While you are viewing the story think about
    1. Why did the Prices' choose to use both photographs and the written word to tell their story?
    2. How do they compliment each other?
    3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using both?
  3. As a class, discuss
    1. How did the industries discussed in the stories impact the town's economy, environment, and public health?
    2. What factors led to the decline of the tannery, glove, and textile industries in the late 20th C?
    3. How did some American companies in these industries survive? What role does specialization and technology play?
    4. What happened to the local areas during the period of decline?
    5. How are Gloversville and Catawba County adjusting now?
    6. What are the pros and cons of creating health and water regulations?
    7. What are the pros and cons of automation in the textile industry?
    8. Do you think getting rid of regulations would bring the leather industry back to New York? Do you think the people of Gloversville would accept the consequences of unregulated industries?
    9. Do you think getting rid of automation would bring more textile jobs to Catawba County? Does large-scale garment manufacturing need to return for the county to be sucessful?

Narrative Timeline:

  1. As a class, use the story (both text and photos) to create a timeline of the tannery and glove industries in Gloversville and the textile industry in Catawba County.
    1. Use a chalkboard, a whiteboard, a piece of butcher paper, or an online document to create your timeline.
    2. Use quotes or images from the Prices' story to create the timeline. Explain why you chose to use an image or text in a certain place.

Creating Your Own Timeline:

  1. Choose a current event that interests you.
  2. Do research to find reliable sources that explain the historical context of the current event? Make sure you have at least two different types of media to use in your timeline.
  3. Create a timeline for your current event using the sources. Make sure you cite which source you used at each point of the timeline.
  4. Present your timeline to the class and answer any questions about the content of your timeline or how you constructed it.

Please help us understand your needs better by filling out this brief survey!

Will you use this lesson plan in a class you teach?
By sharing your email address, you are opting in to receive updates from the Pulitzer Center Education team.



yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change
navy halftone illustration of a boy carrying two heavy buckets


Water and Sanitation

Water and Sanitation