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Unit 10
6 • Scientific innovations and responsibility

The Big Smoke
United kingdom Flag

How can progress lead from profit to responsibility?

Retrouvez une banque d'audios et de vidéos authentiques en lien avec cette thématique.

A View Of The Iron Bridge, William Williams, 1777.
A View Of The Iron Bridge, William Williams, 1777. Ironbridge is often lauded as the ‘birthplace of the Industrial Revolution’.

The Industrial Revolution (18-19th Century)

Get ready!

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Look at the vocabulary boxes below.
Find a title for each box.


Look at the painting above.

a. What are the most important elements of the picture?

b. Imagine what material the bridge is made of? Can you make out any of the background details? What about the people?

c. What is the atmosphere like? Does this give a positive or a negative image of the Industrial Age?

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Watch the video. Be ready to present it.
Workbook p. 79

Discuss the brainstorming questions.

Read the idiom of the week.
With the photo and the note, rephrase it in your own words and find examples.


  • relaxed / blissful (adj.)
  • bottom / top left ≠ bottom / top right (n.)
  • centre ≠ foreground ≠ background (n.)
  • left ≠ right (n.)
  • painting / engraving /ɪnˈgrεɪvɪŋ/ (n.)
  • depict /dɪˈpɪkt/ / represent (v.)

Let's learn!

Exquisite corpse

Each student selects one verb, one noun, one adjective from the vocabulary boxes below and writes each on a piece of paper.
Then, in groups of four, jumble the papers and pick three to make a sentence.

A Harmony in London Smut, George Du Maurier, 1889.
A Harmony in London Smut, George Du Maurier, 1889.

IDIOM of the week!

There is no smoke without fire

There is no smoke without fire

London had long been called the “Big Smoke”. Alex Werner, from the Museum of London explains ‘As people approached London they saw a thick smoke enveloping the city, which was largely caused by the burning of coal.’ This idiom suggests that there is always a cause to any smoke that can be spotted, or more symbolically that there is a piece of truth in anything bad that is being said.

Brainstorming question

Why was it called the “Industrial Revolution”?

Brainstorming question

How did industry change the face of British cities?

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

  • coaldfield / coal mine / pit (n.)
  • factory /ˈfæktərɪ/ (n.)
  • mineshaft / underground gallery (n.)
  • slum / tenement (n.)

  • efficient ≠ inefficient (adj.)
  • fast ≠ slow (adj.)
  • ingenious /ɪnˈdʒiːnɪəs/ (adj.)
  • revolutionary / new-fangled (adj.)
  • rich / wealthy ≠ poor (adj.)
  • successful ≠ unsuccessful (adj.)
  • unsafe / unsound (adj.)

  • farm (n. ou v.)
  • generate / create / produce (v.)
  • improve / boost / surpass (v.)
  • increase / double / skyrocket (v.)
  • make money / profit /ˈprɒfɪt/ (v.)
  • mechanise /ˈmɛkəˌnaɪz/ (v.)
  • spin / weave / bleach (v.)

  • goods (n.)
  • machine / pump (n.)
  • production / innovation (n.)
  • steam engine (n.)
  • steel / iron / lead (n.)
  • steam boat (n.)
  • urbanization (n.)
  • yarn / wool / cloth /ˈklɒθ/ (n.)

  • hand-made / machine-made (adj.)
  • large scale / mass produced (adj.)
  • locally-produced (adj.)
  • overcrowded /ˌəʊvəˈkraʊdɪd/ (adj.)
  • steam-powered /ˈstiːmˌpaʊəd/ / man-powered / horse-powered / horse-drawn (adj.)

  • industrialist / factory owner /ˈǝʊnǝ/ / entrepreneur (n.)
  • inventor (n.)
  • labourer /ˈǀεɪbǝrǝ/ (n.)
  • ruling class / landowners / peasantry /ˈpɛzǝntrɪ/ / middle class (n.)
  • worker (n.)

On your way to the task - Step 1

Create a timeline about industrial inventors.
Activity 1
Activity 2

Step 2

Write a letter about your journey in 19th century England.
Activity 3

Step 3

Honour an industrialist.
Activity 4
Activity 5

Your final project

As an inventor during the Industrial Revolution, convince people that your machine will be a good investment!
Let's go!
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