• U.S. History - Colonial America and the New Nation
• U.S. History - Native Americans
After completing these activities, students will be able to:
• Give concrete examples of what life was like in Deerfield in the early 18th century
• Speculate on why an artifact might have been important to Deerfield inhabitants
• Compare and contrast their speculations with the findings of other classmates
• Observing and describing
• Interpreting written and visual information
• Comparing and contrasting
• Making inferences
• Thinking critically
• Representing ideas and information orally
• Working collaboratively
• Analyzing primary documents
• Information gathering and research
One to two class periods
In this lesson, students learn that they can use historical objects and documents as primary sources to help them gain an appreciation for people's lives during certain historical periods. Students learn how to describe what life may have been like for Native Americans and English colonists on the "frontier" of New England.
What information can an artifact reveal about life on the frontier in New England in the early 18th Century? Why might this item be important to the history of Deerfield, Massachusetts?
Preparing to Teach
- Become familiar with the early history of Deerfield by
reading: English Colonization, by Kevin
Sweeney, in the Explanations
section of the 1704 website. From the Teacher Background
Essays of the American Centuries website, read
both Native American Presence in Deerfield, Massachusetts
and Deerfield as a Frontier Settlement
in 17th Century New England.
Teaching the Lesson
- If students are using computers in class, instruct them
to complete the Student
Activity Sheet for this lesson. If they will
be using computers elsewhere, either give them the Student
Activity Sheet URL (http://1704.deerfield.history.museum/teachers/lesson11_student.jsp),
or print the Student Activity Sheet and distribute copies
- Based on the items students choose, group students by
a class-generated list of topics related to their items.
For example, topics might include Native Americans, women,
written documents, captivity, founding a town, etc.
- Once in groups, direct students to discuss what they have
found and why it may be important to the lives of the people
in 1704 Deerfield, and to Deerfield’s history. They should
also speculate about what life may have been like for colonists
and Native Americans during this time.
- Assemble the class as a whole to compare and contrast
all of the speculations students have made. Each group should
appoint a representative to present the group's findings
to the rest of the class. Record general themes on a flipchart
From the Explanations Menu on the 1704 website:
- English Colonization, by Kevin Sweeney
From In the Classroom of the American Centuries website, (www.americancenturies.mass.edu):
New England Outpost, by Richard Melvoin
This lesson was adapted from one by the same title created by Rick Rochstroh, a teacher at Mohawk Trail Regional School in Shelburne Falls, MA.