Industrial Revolution Sales Pitch Guide

Sales Pitch Assignment

Have your students perform a sales pitch, similar to the show Shark Tank, about a topic from the First Industrial Revolution. Review examples from Shark Tank of strong sales pitches and those that could be improved upon (Season 1, ep 2 pitch for Crooked Jaw).


As part of the assignment, have students research their topic using the research guide.


One component of the sales pitch should be a projection. Unlike a true projection, students will have the advantage of hindsight. Therefore, they should find historical data about their topic that they can turn into a projection to strengthen their sales pitch. For example, they can find out the how much time was needed to transport goods before and after the Erie Canal. The projection handout is for students to document where they found their data from.

Investment Scoresheet

Similar to Shark Tank, have five “investors” score each presentation using the score sheet. Tally up the total investments and keep a leaderboard. Rotate the investors throughout the class.

Model Sales Pitch

Use the PowerPoint to provide an example sales pitch for the class about the Cotton Gin. Here is the pitch I use:

Hi folks, my name is Eli Whitney and I’m here to show you the cotton gin! That’s right, the cotton gin! We have a problem here in America, (click ppt) cotton production is too difficult. You see, within the cotton boll there are tiny seeds, which have always needed to be picked out by hand. This is a labor intensive process that takes a lot of time, and as you know, time is money. But that is a problem of the past because I have (click ppt) the solution. (click ppt) The cotton gin! (click ppt) I will teach you how to use it in four easy steps. (click ppt) Step 1: Put the unclean cotton into the hopper. (click ppt) Step 2: Turn the crank. Now, when the crank is turned, so will the cylinder, which will pull the cotton through the grate and towards the brushes. This process will quickly and easily remove the seeds from the cotton. (click ppt) Step 3: Collect your clean cotton. And Step 4, you’re gonna love this one. (click ppt) Count your money! I project that thanks to my invention, cotton production in the United States will increase from 5 million pounds this year all the way up to 170 million pounds by the year 1820. So, my only question for you is, who is ready to make cotton king?

Graphic Organizer

After the presentations, review the graphic organizer on the different inventions and innovations of the First Industrial Revolution.