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Life and work during the Industrial Era
Activity 3

Life and work during the Industrial Era

Group 1: The environment

Coalbrookdale by night, Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801.

Group 2: Living conditions

Over London by Rail, Gustave Doré, 1872.

Group 3: Working conditions

Interior of a mill, anonymous artist, 19th century.

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You are in charge of one painting.

Be ready to describe your document. Analyse its content, its construction, the focus points, colours used, etc.

How does it represent the Industrial Revolution?

Point out the elements of the document that stood out for you.

Useful vocabulary: I can see...
There is... in the foreground / background.
The perspective gives an impression of...
The colour of the... makes it look like...
The... is dark / bright / low / high, so we can imagine...

Let's talk this out!


Share your findings with your classmates and learn about the other documents.

Are these documents critical or complimentary of the era?

Your time to shine!

Voir les réponses
Select a painting representing life and work during the Industrial Era. Post it on a social network along with a 100-word text illustrating it.

Useful vocabulary: It was painted / drawn / created by... (artist) in... (year).
It represents / depicts... As you can see...
The artist chose... The message conveyed is...


  • colourful ≠ monochromatic (adj.)
  • fiery / blazing ≠ dull / dreary /ˈdrɪəri/ (adj.)
  • light / bright ≠ dark / gloomy (adj.)
  • natural ≠ mechanical (adj.)
  • orderly / neat / tidy (adj.)
  • overcrowded ≠ empty / void (adj.)
  • personifying ≠ dehumanising (adj.)
  • symmetrical (adj.)
  • billowing /ˈbɪˌləʊɪŋ/ smoke / clouds of smoke (exp.)
  • working class (n.)
  • chimney (smoke) (n.)
  • factory floor / ceiling /ˈsiːlɪŋ/ (n.)
  • machines / machinery (n.)
  • movement (n.)
  • perspective /pəˈspɛktɪv/ / contrast (n.)
  • vanishing point (n.)
  • “warm” colours ≠ “cold” colours (n.)
  • illuminate / light up (v.)

From French to English


La traduction de « on »

  • Le plus souvent, lorsque « on » ne correspond à aucune personne précise et que l’on s’intéresse à celui / celle qui subit l’action et non à celui / celle qui fait l’action, on utilise alors le passif.
  • Ex : Workers were exploited and were forced to work from dawn till dusk. → On exploitait les ouvriers et on les obligeait à travailler du lever au coucher du soleil.

  • On peut aussi utiliser :
  • – you / we
    – somebody / someone

Exercices p. 162

Let's learn!

“I spy with my little eye”


In “Coalbrookdale by night”, I spy with my little eye, something beginning with H.”
Is it a “house”? No, it isn’t.
Is it a “horse”? Yes, it is!

Over to you!

Comment on the living and working conditions of the working class

Let’s use what you have learnt in !

You are travelling around England during the 19th century. Write a letter to your family, telling them what you have witnessed on your travels.

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