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In the Classroom > Course Overview > Unit Overview
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Lesson 5: The Story of How Deerfield Came to Be

Lesson Central Question:

In This Lesson:

Why settle in Deerfield?

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 Native Peoples had lived in the Connecticut Valley for nearly 10,000 years, prior to the English settlement. Their culture and lifeways were markedly different from that of the English Settlers.

The Dedham Grant, which provided for the settlement of Deerfield, and the subsequent division of land among the early settlers, also provided the setting for the interactions between the English settlers and native Peoples in a relationship that was both expanding and contracting over time.

Teacher Background Essays:

1. Native American Presence in Deerfield
2. The Dedham Grant
3. Map Fragment, circa 1686
4. Deerfield As a Frontier Settlement

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand:

  • there were increasingly in this period competing political agendas, and competition for land, power and wealth in Deerfield.
  • the motivations for the settlement in Deerfield by the English.
  • that both primary source materials and interpretive materials of all types are rich sources of historical evidence.

Students will be able to:

  • 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

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In Preparation for Teaching

Read the Teacher Background Essays:
1. Native American Presence in Deerfield
2. The Dedham Grant
3. Map Fragment, circa 1686
4. Deerfield As a Frontier Settlement

Further Background Reading:
Melvoin, Richard. New England Outpost. New York: Norton, 1989

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Primary and Secondary Sources:

1. Melvoin, Richard. New England Outpost. New York: Norton, 1989. pp. 276-292.

2. From Memorial Hall Website, The Turns of the Centuries Exhibit: "Native Americans 1680-1720" and "The Land 1680-1720." sections.

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Activities Materials in Context

Activity 1

1. Invite students to share their eulogy presentation about John Pynchon.

2. Revisit the Memorial Hall website, Turns of the Centuries Exhibit section: "The Land 1680-1720" and "Native Americans 1680-1720", to learn about the culture that was to interact with the English.

3. Ask students to read the Melvoin article to find out his understanding of the "frontier."

4. After students have completed the reading, ask them to discuss and compare the "hedge" analogy of a frontier by Melvoin with that earlier ideas set forth by Fredrick Jackson Turner.

5. Instruct students to listen and take notes on a short Dedham Grant lecture.

Assignment: In a journal entry, describe the lifestyle of the Native Peoples in this area, based on the discussion and the link to the Memorial Hall site, the Turns of the Centuries Exhibit "The Land 1680-1720" and the "Native Americans 1680-1720" sections as resources. Speculate about what could lead to confrontations between these two groups.





The Turns of the Centuries Exhibit


Richard Melvoin's New England Outpost pp. 276-292.

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The John Pynchon eulogy presentation

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