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There is a good chance braided rugs sold across the country were made in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. At Colonial Mills, employees produce beautiful braided rugs. Rug-making was once done completely by hand, but new machines and technologies have sped up the process. Employees have also found other ways to update their products so they look modern and new. Though Colonial Mills has faced challenges like the recent recession, it is a thriving business today. Listen to the story to hear more about this local rug factory has survived and thrived in a changing economy.
Use with grades 6-9
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
2.2.1.Formulate research questions to investigate topics in history, identify possible answers, and use historical methods of inquiry and literacy skills to select, organize, analyze, synthesize, and interpret sources, and present findings.
Common Core State Standards
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
Listening Comprehension Questions
Assign these questions to your students or answer them together in a group.
- In what ways have new technologies changed the rug-making process?
- Can you explain how the owner knew that this would be a thriving business?
- What factors helped Colonial Mills overcome economic troubles during the recent recession?
- How has Colonial Mills modernized its product?
- Why hasn’t Colonial Mills moved outside of Rhode Island or the U.S. where production could be cheaper?
- What are some jobs or industries that used to be based in Rhode Island but have been outsourced?
- What choices would you have made to help this Rhode Island business thrive?
Use these questions to get students thinking at the beginning of class. They can use evidence from the story to support their ideas during a class discussion.
- How do you think technology is changing the textile (fabric) industry?
- Do you feel that businesses like Colonial Mills are important to local economies?
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