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In the Classroom > Course Overview > Unit Overview
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Lesson 1: Overview of World Events During the Deerfield Colonial Period

Lesson Central Question:

In This Lesson:

Why Move to a New Land?

Lesson Length
Key Ideas
Activity 1

Lesson Length

1 class period (85 minutes)

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and Teacher Background

The New World was appealing to the Europeans, who envisioned the land as a place of expansion and subsequently power, as well as offering new opportunities to enhance their economy. These powers brought with them their culture, endeavoring to mold their acquired land into their own image.

Teacher Background Essay: Settlements in the New Land

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand:

the political, social, religious, and economic world and national context in which the events of Deerfield occurred.

Students will be able to:

identify and articulate differing points of view.

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In Preparation for Teaching

1. Read Teacher Background Essay:

2. Locate copies of the following paintings:

• Thomas Cole's - "Oxbow" (you can find a copy at the University of Virginia's American Studies website)
• Frederick Church - representative works
• Albert Bierstadt - representative works
• Edward Hicks - "The Peaceable Kingdom" (you can find a copy at the Albright Knox Gallery's website)

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Primary and Secondary Sources:

  1. Turner, Fredrick Jackson. "The First Official Frontier of Massachusetts Bay". from The Colonial Society of Massachusetts. 4 April 1914.
  2. Copies of the paintings mentioned above.

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Activities Materials in Context

Activity 1

  1. Direct students to locate paintings of the frontier such as artists as Thomas Cole's "The Oxbow," or the works of Frederick Church and Albert Bierstadt.
  2. Ask students to provide some adjectives that describe the feelings that these landscapes convey.
  3. In a discussion, ask students to compare these works with Edward Hicks and tell what sensibilities they see when comparing Hicks with the Hudson River School. If the Hudson River School painters describe the land to which the colonists came, what does the Hicks' landscape reveal about the English settlers?
  4. In a journal, ask students to reflect and then write on the following: Did the frontier people come because they were ones who enjoyed the risk and adventure of settling new lands OR did the experience create people who could tolerate risk and adventure. Draw on comparisons in today's world to support your position.




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Instruct the students to read Fredrick Jackson Turner's "The First Official Frontier of Massachusetts Bay". from The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 4 April 1914. From this reading, ask them to prepare a brief description of a prototype of the evolution of a frontier town from the wilderness.

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