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In the Classroom > Course Overview > Unit Overview
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Lesson 12: Populating Deerfield: Researching the Colonial Families

Lesson Central Question:

In This Lesson:

Who were the colonial families that populated Deerfield? What evidence can be gathered that will reveal a part of their life stories to the researcher?

Lesson Length
Key Ideas
Activity 1
Lesson Length

2 class periods (85 minutes each)

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson

There were several prominent colonial families who have left evidence of their lives. This evidence is available in the archives, collections and buildings of Deerfield. Key to the understanding of the evidence is the analysis of the information that is found. That is the work of the historian.

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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.
  • that there were increasingly in this period competing political agendas, and competition for land, power, and wealth in Deerfield.
  • that land ownership conferred power because it was a determinant of wealth, and a prerequisite for political participation.
  • that it has always been natural to live with unsolved problems.
  • that the past has a significant influence on present day lives and society.
  • that it is valuable to study the lives, actions, ideas, political experiences, and judgments of people in the past.
  • that it is important NOT to judge people in the past by today's notions and beliefs.
  • how historians approach their work, using both artifacts and documents.
  • that both primary source materials and interpretive materials of all types are rich sources of historical evidence.

Students will be able to:

  • transcribe a primary document.
  • use a variety of primary source materials, to analyze these sources, and to make logical inferences and supported conclusions.
  • make reference to previously presented material.
  • utilize technology to research information and present projects.

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In Preparation for Teaching

Students will have class time to visit three learning stations. These stations will be designed to provide rich information for:

1. their Colonial family
2. Colonial occupations
3. final development of the character to fit into the "Story of Deerfield" presentation.

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Primary and Secondary Sources:

1. Various primary sources from the Memorial Hall Web site.


1. The class created rubric from Lesson 9 for the development of the final product.

2. Computer Learning Stations and Print Learning Stations where students can access materials on the web as well as print materials in two areas:

• their families in Deerfield

• occupations or roles played in the colonial community

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Activities Materials in Context

Activity 1

1. Divide the class into groups.

2. Instruct the students to continue their search for background information to develop a character and dialogue for the class presentation.

Learning Station 1: Family Connections

At this learning station instruct students to:

  • do web research on their families
  • transcribe a primary document that could be related to their person. Attach that document to the dialogue for the character.
  • use the rubric as a guide to the final product

Learning Station 2: Occupations/Roles

At this learning station, students will be instructed to:

  • use web sites for independent research on colonial occupations and roles played in the community
  • use available print resources for their work
  • use the rubric as a guide to the final product

Learning Station 3: Creation of the Presentation
The narrator will work to place the "developed character" into the "Story of Deerfield" presentation.

Assignment: Continue to develop the characteristics and dialogue of your colonial person.


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