Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE ® Andrew Carnegie
Teacher Guide prepared by: our staff.
Before reading the articles, remind students that Carnegie was often called "The
King of Steel." Ask them what they know about steel and have them make a list of
products that use steel (p. 18).
After students have read the articles, either individually or in small groups, have
them develop a time line from Carnegie's birth to his death. On one side of the time line
include all important events in his life (the crossword puzzle on pages 36-37 will yield
some clues). On the other side have students research important facts/events of that
Assign students to research other important inventors and entrepreneurs of the 1800s
(e.g. Edison, Bell, McCoy, Drake, Eastman, Howe, Latimer, Remington & Sons,
Rockefeller) . Have them explain how some of these inventions affected people's lives.
Give out to students the following excerpt from an 1889 essay by Carnegie called
"Gospel of Wealth."
"In bestowing charity, the main consideration should be to help those who will
help themselves; to provide part of the means by which those who desire to improve may do
so; to give those who desire to rise the aids by which they may rise; to assist, but
rarely or never to do it all."
Challenge students to find, or invent, a proverb that illustrates the above quote. As a
special project, have them research international/national/local programs that follow
Carnegie's philosophy on charity.
Ask students to provide reasons why they agree or disagree with the following statement
in the "Gospel of Wealth" essay: "To die rich is to die disgraced", and
why or why not.
Research project: Have students research the origin of their local library: it might be
one that Carnegie funded! Another research project could be on church organs in your
communities. This can include research of local newspapers and records as well as
developing your students' interviewing skills.
See Carnegie's Heroes Fund Commission on p.40. Brainstorm with students on what the
word "hero" or "heroine" means to them. Look for local heroes in your
community - recognize them with a banner or poster.
Carnegie had very strong work ethics and definite opinions on how to succeed in life.
Students could visit http://www.clpgh.org/exhibit/carnegie.html
and comment on the article "How to Succeed in Life" from the Pittsburgh Bulletin, 10
December 1903, reprinted from the New York Tribune.
Math: Carnegie earned $25/week in 1850. How much would that be today,
adjusted for inflation? The answer is $25 in 1850 would be worth $1.31 in 1998. But the
equivalent amount of $25 in 1850 dollars would be $478.49 in 1998 dollars. Students can
check it out by visiting http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl/cgi, or going into Yahoo,
Business Economy, Inflation Calculator.