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Lessons from "Living on the Edge of Empire" Workshop

"Living on the Edge of Empire: Alliance, Conflict and Captivity in Colonial New England" was a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks Workshop held in Deerfield, Massachusetts in the summers of 2013 and 2016. Presented by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, the workshop placed the 1704 Raid on Deerfield in the broader context of the history of colonial New England. The educators who participated in the workshop each produced a lesson, some of which are presented here.

landscape of 17th century Deerfield

Lessons for Grades K-5

Tracing a Captive's Journey

Lesson created by: Lori Austin, grade level: 5-6
Students will use primary resources to find the complex connections between a local historical experience and the national and global events involving the French, English and Native communities during the 18th century.

Pocumtuck and English Perspectives on Life in Early Colonial Deerfield, Massachusetts

Lesson created by: Christine Paglia Baker, grade level: 4
Students will be able to compare the perspectives of English colonists and Pocumtuck Indians living in Deerfield in the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. They will draw conclusions based on their observations of pictures and artifacts.

Idioms from Colonial Days: How Language Carries History

Lesson created by: Margaret Betts and Nancy Boyle, grade level K - 5
What is an idiom? Why does language change? Students will be able to define an idiom, explain what it means, and predict its meaning based on historical information.

Why Various Groups of Native Peoples Joined the 1704 Raid on Deerfield

Lesson created by Kathie Bredin, grade level 4
By investigating images of period-specific everyday artifacts and reading creation stories, language excerpts and maps, students will understand that there was cultural diversity amongst the Native peoples whom subsequently joined the French during the 1704 raid on Deerfield, namely the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk), Wendat (Huron), and Wôbanaki (including Pocumtuck). This understanding will provide a context to understand that there were different motivations for participation in the raid, and underscore the importance of understanding multiple perspectives of conflict in general.

A Sense of Place

Lesson created by: Nan Childs, grade level 2-3
This lesson is designed for a fieldtrip that will enhance and complement a unit on the Native people of the Connecticut River Valley in the 16th and 17th centuries. Half the group will participate in a program at a local children's museum, while the other half will do a self-guided walk/lesson that includes hands- on activities to encourage students' connections to the landscape. This lesson is site-specific to Deerfield, Massachusetts, but most of the activities can be applied to other locations.

Mary Jemison and the Seneca Nation of Indians

Lesson created by: Charlene Diaz, grade level: 3
Students will understand that primary and secondary sources help us to have access to important historical events.

Analyzing a Data Chart

Lesson created by: Genevieve Dodge, grade level: 5
Students will understand how to read and use a chart to record essential facts about what happened to the captives of the Deerfield Raid and how to make inferences about, or question, the captives' fortunes as well.

It's all about Perspective

Lesson created by: Robin Falk, grade level: 5
Students will read different people's perspectives on the Deerfield Raid of 1704 and write a two-voice poem to convey the events from each person's perspective.

An introduction to the 1704 Raid on Deerfield through Two Lenses: the English Settlers and the Pocumtucks

Lesson created by: Kim Gerould, grade level: 3
Students will understand that the Pocumtucks and the English settlers had some characteristics and needs in common, and that they also saw their worlds and needs in different ways.

The Deerfield Raid of 1704—A Tale of Two Stories

Lesson Created by: Marilyn Grandy, grade level: 4
Students will understand that the Indians were in this area long before the Europeans arrived and that the Indians and English settlers had some very different cultural beliefs that at times led to conflict.

Stephen Williams' Relationship with Native Americans

Lesson created by: Vicky Mahoney, grade level: 5
Students will understand that historians use several sources to understand the relationship between the colonists and the Native Indians.

Maps in the 17th and 18th Centuries: What we can learn about the Pocumtuck Valley

Lesson created by: Diane Moller, grade level: 4-5
Students will observe and interpret primary source maps of the 17th and 18th centuries, modern maps and images.

Toys Change with the Passage of Time

Lesson created by: Barbara Myers, grade level K
Students will understand that children from the past used different toys.

Why Settle Here?

Lesson created by: Karin Nelson, grade level 3
Students will understand that humans alter the natural world in order to meet their needs of food, shelter, and water. North America was not an untouched wilderness when the colonists from England came to establish new communities on this continent. Students will know that Native Americans and British colonists had different methods for manipulating their environments to meet their basic needs, and Native Americans and British colonists held different concepts of land ownership.

Native American Creation Stories

Lesson created by Sarah Shapiro and Shannon Johnson, grade level 1-6
Students will begin to understand that Native American stories served different purpose; one of which was to explain how animals and the world around them came to be as they are.

Families of the 18th Century English Settlers and Native Americans in New England

Lesson created by Sally Shattuck, grade level 1
Students will understand that 18th century people in New England had needs and wants that were the same and different from ours today.

Who's Land is it Anyway?

Lesson created by Darshell Silva, grade level 4-5
Students will: understand that if you do not study an issue from multiple perspectives you will never have a complete understanding of it; be able to read historical fiction and use its ideas to facilitate understanding of an issue; and able to use primary sources to facilitate understanding of an issue.

Lessons for Grades 6-8

Raid on Deerfield: Voices of Three

Lesson created by: Dorothy Adams, Lori Girouard, Elizabeth Higgins, grade level: 5-8
Students will understand the ways in which the physical environment is stressed by human activities.

A Peace Convention

Lesson created by: Beth Adel, grade level: 7-8 Humanities
Students will be guided by the following questions: What makes a community strong? What values do our communities hold? Is it possible for different groups with different values to live in peace? What cultural groups have lived on this land?

Ethical Dilemma of the Deerfield Raid

Lesson created by: Shannon Baldino, grade level: 8
Students will look at primary and secondary documents in the hopes of coming to a conclusion about whether or not the Natives could be justified for assisting the French in the Deerfield Raid of 1704.

Women's Rights through the Centuries

Lesson created by: Aleza Beauvais, grade level: 8 ELA
Students will understand that women's rights were strongly influenced by the attitudes of specific eras in history. They will use a wide range of primary sources from over the centuries including some related to 18th century Native American captives.

English Colonies: The Western Frontier

Lesson created by: Laura Burke, grade level: 8
Students solve a "history mystery" about an artifact having to do with the 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The Williams Family

Lesson created by: Cathy Chamberlin and Becky Nadeau, grade level: 5-8
Students will understand that the Williams' were a key family involved in the 1704 Raid on Deerfield and that the fate of each member differed greatly.

Conceptions of Land

Lesson created by: Debbie Cook, Lisa Echevarria and Dori Pulizzi, grade level: 6-8
Students will be able to read, analyze and discuss primary source documents including quotes, maps and treaties.

How the Fur Trade Affected Native American and European Alliances

Lesson created by: Nancy DeCourcey, grade level: 7 Geography
Students will understand that alliances between English settlers and Native Americans in Colonial New England were influenced by the fur trade, French settlers, and other Native American tribes.

Colonial America's Test Kitchen

Lesson created by: Patrick Farmer, grade level: 5-7
In this lesson, designed to be part of a unit of everyday life in colonial America, students will experiment with combining ingredients to recreate a beverage called "switchel". Students will write out their recipes and generate a list of adjectives, similes, and metaphors to attempt to describe the taste. As a whole class, the students will identify the ingredients they used, discuss the place of those ingredients in the trans-Atlantic trade, and hypothesize about why switchel was so popular in the colonies. Finally, students will participate in a blind taste test to determine the best batch of switchel and generate a slogan or jingle to popularize it.

Clash of Cultures

Lesson created by: Margaret Lima, grade level: 8
Students will learn what factors comprise the concept of culture. Emphasis will be on early English culture as seen through colonial New England and eighteenth century Eastern America, as well as Indian cultures including Mohawk, Wampanoag, and Delaware.

The Role Deerfield Played in the French and Indian War

Lesson created by: Patrick McGravey, grade level: 8
Students will understand that who owns history is a huge are of importance when looking at historical events. It is important that students take different perspectives into consideration when looking at historical events.

Understanding Land Use during 18th Century America

Lesson created by: Susan Pomasko, grade level: 7-8
Students will understand how the various culture groups in New England transformed the environment to meet their needs.

How Does a Culture Change as a Result of Dealing and Coping with Conflict?

Lesson created by: Ronny Sanders, grade level: 6-8
Students will explore the types of conflict that took place as a result of the Pocumtucks being forced off their land and apply this to other situations in history in which people were forced off their lands.

Lessons for Grades 9-12

Deerfield, MA and the Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH

Lesson created by: Patrice Brewer, grade level: 11
Why would settlers of the 17th and 18th centuries build forts in their communities? Through the study of Deerfield, MA, a fortified town, and the Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH, students will examine what motivated people to move to the edge of the frontier, understand the difficulties experienced, describe how the French in Canada and Native Americans viewed the English settlers, research the construction of forts, discuss the reasons leading up to raids on these forts, and evaluate the outcomes of the raids.

Negotiating the Common Pot: Conflict and Common Ground in Colonial New England

Lesson created by: Shaw Bridges, Dennis Hagen-Smith, Angela Larke, Jason Smith, grade level: 9-12
Students role-play treaty negotiations to better understand the early social and economic relationships between the different nations and colonies of North America, including the Abenaki, Huron, Mohawk, Pocumtuck, French, and English.

Should We Give Peace a Chance?

Lesson created by: John Burns, grade level: 9-12
Students will understand how cultural frontiers create both competition and opportunities for cooperation that affect the development and identity of the societies that are meeting.

A Tale of Two Villages: Examining Social, Economic and Political Life in New England and Iroquois Villages

Lesson created by: Martin Case and Travis Weissler, grade level: 10-12
Students will understand the different social, political and economic features of Iroquois villages and of Puritan villages. Students will compare and contrast daily life in these settlements by examining social and political structures as well as economic characteristics.

The 1704 Raid on Deerfield and Captivity

Lesson created by: Gail Carter, grade level: 10-12
Students will engage in art analysis, readings, skits, artistic expression and a puzzle to learn about both the Deerfield Raid in particular and the general concept of captivity involving Europeans in the 1600s and 1700s in particular.

An Examination of English and Native Relations in New England During the Late 17th and Early 18th Centuries

Lesson created by: James Costello, grade level: 10-12
By analyzing several documents, students will understand that relations between English settlers and Native Americans ebbed and flowed between cooperation and conflict.

Captivity Stories

Lesson created by: Kathy Dempsey Zimmerman, grade level: 11-12
Students will understand that there are many sides to every story, that the history of relations between the whites and the American Indians is complicated, that stereotyping is dangerous, that in order to move forward in achieving peace and justice in the world we must learn the truth of what happened in history.

Using the Deerfield Raid of 1704 to Teach Literature

Lesson created by: Melba Divens, grade level: 10-12
Students will understand the complicated issues surrounding the Deerfield Raid and its significance to Native American Migration in the Northeast.

Grey Lock and Theyanoguin: Case Studies in Native Diaspora, Cultural Adaptation and Persistence After King Philip's War

Lesson created by: James Duggan, grade level: 10-12
Students will understand that diverse native peoples survived, persisted, crossed cultural boundaries, and adapted to changing times and circumstances in various ways.

Raid on Deerfield: Exploring Factors that Influenced the Participants

Lesson created by: Dennis Edmondson, Marla James and Caitlyn Remmes, grade level: 10-12
Students will be able to identify and explain the varying perspectives of the English, French and Native Americans in relation to religion, settlement, economics and land ownership.

Comparing French and English Relations with Indians

Lesson created by: John Hannon, grade level: 10-11
Students will understand that French relations with Native Americans differed from those of English in terms of numbers of immigrants, purpose of settlement and the level of cooperation compared to conflict.

Building Historical Perspective Using Visuals as Primary Sources

Lesson created by: Donna Heidemann and David Klippert, grade level: 9-12
Students will examine two individuals' experiences, both of whom lived in multicultural Deerfield, Massachusetts, during 1704. Using primary sources, students will work to develop "authentic" historical narratives. They will explore how language is a framer of meaning, how identity is formed and what role it plays in the interpretation of events, the role of the historian in examining and reporting on "hard history", and how we search for and value the experience of others.

The Raid on Deerfield and its role in US Military History

Lesson created by: Patrick Hickey, grade level: 10-12
Students will understand that perspectives on what constitutes a legitimate military action may vary from people to people.

Slavery in the American Colonies in the First Half of the 1700s

Lesson created by: Keith Ireland, grade lever: 9-10
Students will be able to identify both the similarities and differences in the slave systems between the Northern colonies and the Southern colonies.

Reaching a Place of Understanding, Or Not...

Lesson created by: Erik Johnson, grade level: 9-12
Students will investigate the 17th-18th century frontier in the Northeast as a shared space, containing a multitude of cultures including the French, English, Abenaki, Huron and Iroquois, each having unique objectives and traditions. Students will accurately construct and defend a political course of action consistent with imperial or tribal interests with regard to intercolonial conflicts.

Place and Point of View for Colonial New England

Lesson created by: Joy Kinley, grade level: 10-12
Students will understand that there are multiple perspectives in history and that there is no one correct way of explaining things.

English and Indian Views on Land Ownership

Lesson created by: Aly Lakhaney, grade level: 11 U.S. History
Students will understand that the English and Indians in New England viewed and used the land differently and that these different views led to conflict.

Who "Owns" History?

Lesson created by: Tina Lussier, Dot Verheyen-Cudjoe, Nancy Henderson, grade level: 9-12
Students will identify and explain the multiple perspectives of the various groups involved in the "Raid on Deerfield."

Literacy for All - Teaching Colonial New England in the Content Areas

Lesson created by: Cheryl Morrow, grade level: 10
This collection of short lessons provides a blueprint for a school-wide approach to bringing the history of colonial New England into multiple content areas, with a spirit of embracing cross-curricula opportunities for engagement. Teachers distribute select readings to students along with writing prompts.

The Chains that Bind

Lesson created by: Gregg Moul, grade level: 9-12
In what ways were northerners tied intricately to slavery? This lesson reinforces the concept of mercantilism and how integral a part African enslavement played in this socio-economic system. Students will understand that the institution of slavery touched almost everyone, northerner and southerner alike.

Degrees of Freedom

Lesson created by: Gregg Moul, grade level: 9-12
To what extent did New England colonial governments address the issue of African and Indian enslavement? How did they differentiate between enslavement and indentured servitude? Students will become aware of the extent of slavery in northern states and the critical role it played in the economic development of the region. This is a companion lesson to my other submission, "The Chains that Bind". Together they help unite the colonies in a mutual mercantilist acceptance of slavery and the slave trade.

Settlement Motivations and Patterns of Interaction between English, French and Indians in Colonial New England

Lesson created by Daniel Melega, grade level: 9-12
Students will understand that the interplay between European settlers and Native peoples was far more complicated than the general geo-political histories which are emphasized in high school texts would suggest.

Social Identity Theory

Lesson created by: Hope Myers, grade level: 10-12
Students will understand that the fundamentals of Social Identity Theory through an eighteenth century case study on British Colonial Women in Colonial New England.

New England and the Atlantic Slave Trade

Lesson created by: Joan O'Brien, grade level: 11-12
Students will understand that colonial New Englanders played a varied and active role in the African slave trade.

Native, French and English Peoples in Colonial America

Lesson created by: John Peterson, grade level: 11
Students will understand how specific practices and material culture patterns define a culture, and how changes in them indicate the nature of contact and exchange between cultures.

Not a Fate Worse than Death: Examining Captivity Stories

Lesson created by: Nancy Ponzetti, grade level: 11-12 AP
Students will use the stories of Eunice K. Williams and Mary Jemison to assess the validity of Professor Calloway's claim "that Indian captivity was not always the fate worse than death."

Captive Voices: a Comparison of Captivity Narratives

Lesson created by: Logan Porter, grade level: 11
Students will identify and comprehend the events and activities of the captivity of Mary Rowlandson and John Williams. They will become informed of the conflict between the Native Indians and the colonists settling in the area and the capture of such colonists by the Native Indians.

What's in a Deed? How Differing Views of Land Use Impacted Native American and English Colonists' Relationships

Lesson created by: Stephanie Recore, grade level: 9-12
What are key similarities and differences between Native American/English property transfer deeds and English/English property transfer deeds? Why are there differences between these deeds? How could these differences affect the relationship between colonists and Native Americans?

Slavery in New England

Lesson created by: Annie Rehm, grade level: 11 AP English
Students will be able to recognize (both concrete and abstract) details in several documents dating from the late 17th and 18th centuries concerning slavery in New England. Because the very nature of slavery can be difficult to understand, this activity will help to show that the practice of slavery is one that operate(s/d) on both concrete and abstract levels.

Examining the 1704 Raid on Deerfield from Multiple Perspectives

Lesson created by: David St. Jean, John Hackett, grade level: 9
Students will divide into four teams, each responsible for becoming an expert on their person. They will answer the following questions: This person is part of a larger group. How did this group find its way to North America? What is this person's role in the community? How was this person involved in the raid on Deerfield? What happened to this person after the raid?

Multiple Perspectives on Colonial History

Lesson created by: Peter Vamosy, grade level: 9-10
Students will ask their own questions about Colonial American history, research valid sources of evidence and examine the answers from multiple perspectives to learn about Colonial America.

 

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