Activity 1: Autoworker’s Journal

Format: Research, group discussion, writing

Watch the split-screen video on the In Search of the Canadian Car virtual exhibition website, noting the similarities and differences between the two assembly lines. Discuss the following questions as a group:

• What are the visible similarities and differences between the two work environments?

• How are the workers’ tasks similar? How are they different?

• How are workers themselves different in each of the videos?

On your own, write two fictitious journal entries from the point of view of an auto worker. The first entry should depict a worker making the transition from hand crafting to assembly line production in the early 20th century. The second entry should reflect a current viewpoint.

Base your journal entries on information gathered from the split-screen video.

Tip: Also explore the exhibition’s timeline, particularly entries from the 1920s and the 1930s. This information will help you to create a more realistic ‘snapshot’ of a day in the life of an assembly line worker.
Canada Science and Technology Museum
20th Century
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