This is an assignment that can be adapted for a wide range of student reading levels. There are a total of 4 separate readings centered around the resistance workers had to the Industrial Revolution. The more in-depth and challenging assignment is 2 pages long, an intermediate-level is 1 page long, and then there are 2 half-page readings that are easier to comprehend. Each reading includes DBQs that you can assign as homework or use to discuss the readings in class.
I've taken several hours to find these primary source documents and then go through them to keep it within 4 pages so it'll be more accessible to students; be aware that it's still a challenging read. The challenge is worth it though, and this will push even your highest-achieving students to work hard!
I assess my students' ability to understand this material in a couple of ways. Firstly, I assign a set of "focus questions" that they must write out the answers for while they read (I collect these for an "effort grade" which I think of as harder than a completion grade but not as punishing as right/wrong grades... this allows me to differentiate among students of various learning levels as well).
Secondly, on the day that the reading is due, we discuss answers to the focus questions for a class period. Generally, I encourage students to voice their agreements or disagreements with the author and/or each other and we've had some very thoughtful discussion and debate as a result.
If you're looking for a short, simpler DBQ primary source about the Industrial Revolution, check out my other listing here:
KEYWORDS: History; US History; World History; World Studies; Industrial Revolution; Western Civilization; Industrialization; Primary Source; DBQ; Document Based Questions; Debate; Discussion