• U.S. History - Colonial America and the New Nation
• U.S. History- Native Americans
Upper elementary & middle school
After completing these activities, students will be able to:
• Describe what occurred during each attack
• Identify examples of biased reporting
• Explain why the reports do not agree on factual information, such as numbers killed, etc.
• Provide examples of different points of view
• Explain the connotations surrounding the term massacre
• Primary document analysis
• Observing and describing
• Interpreting written information
• Comparing and contrasting
• Making inferences
• Thinking critically
• Expressing opinions
One to two class periods
In this lesson, students study reports written through time about these two attacks, focusing on the consequences of the attacks and evidence of bias in the reports. They will analyze report sources and begin to understand the concept of bias and point of view in written historical records.
When is it right to label an attack a massacre?
1. Go to the Assault on Peskeompskut (also known as the Falls Fight) scene on the 1704 website. Read about this attack and the Bloody Brook attack (discussed on the English tab). Be sure to read the Overview tab, the English tab, and the Wobanaki tab.
2. Go to the American Centuries website (www.americancenturies.mass.edu) to access the curriculum titled: The Lessons of 1704 - Lesson #4, Problems and Events Leading Up to the Attack on 1704. Print all of the readings and worksheets for Activity 2:
Bloody Brook Massacre
• The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, pgs. 99-101
• The History of Deerfield, Vol. I, pgs. 100-103
• Soldiers in King Philip's War
• The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, pgs. 104-106
• The History of Deerfield, Vol. I, pgs. 155-157
• Soldiers in King Philip's War, pg. 37
• The History of Philip's War
• Battle Summary Sheets - Falls Fight,
pgs. 1 & 2
• Battle Summary Sheets - Bloody Brook, pgs. 1 &
Teaching the Lesson
1. Direct students to go to the 1704 website and examine
on Peskeompskut (also known as the Falls Fight)
scene and read about this attack. They should then read about
the Bloody Brook Massacre on the English
tab. Finally, they should also read the Overview
tab and the Wobanaki tab.
2. Divide students into small groups and assign half the groups to study the Bloody Brook Massacre, and the other half to study the Falls Fight. Distribute the readings listed above to the appropriate groups.
3. Tell students they will be gathering information about the two attacks in small groups, using primary and secondary sources. Explain that the groups should divide up the readings so that each student has at least one. Each student should skim his/her readings and highlight information about:
• How the battles were carried out (who did what and when)
• What the results of the battles were (e.g. how many
people died or were wounded)
• The language used to describe the attacks and the attackers
4. Distribute the appropriate Battle Summary Worksheet for each student to complete.
5. Hold a class discussion to review findings. During the
discussion, help students understand the connotation of words
like "fight" and "massacre." Also, note
that there are discrepancies in the numbers of attackers,
those who died, etc. This issue is addressed in the 1704
Teachers' Guide lesson Numbers
That Don't Add Up. Ask:
a. Why are there discrepancies in the numbers of attackers,
those who died, etc.?
b. In the Bloody Brook Massacre, how are the victims viewed?
c. In the Falls Fight, how are the victims viewed?
d. Compare the words that describe the victims and attackers
in each case. Which show more negative language? Why?
e. The attack at Bloody Brook has been known over the years
as a "massacre," and the attack at the "Falls"
has been known as a "fight." Which attack had
more victims? Which attack resulted in more deaths? In each
attack, did either victim group fight back?
f. In a dictionary, look up the definitions for "fight"
g. Should either attack be called a "massacre"?
Why or why not?
Suggested answers to the Student Activity Sheet.
From the Explanations Menu
of this website:
Owns History?, by Barry O'Connell
New England Outpost, by Richard Melvoin
This lesson was adapted from one by Charlene Galenski and Kathy Klaes, teachers at Deerfield Elementary School in Deerfield, MA.