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In the Classroom > Course Overview > Unit Overview
Lessons: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

Lesson 1: Deerfield Matures and Finds Its Identity:
Placing Deerfield in a National Context

Lesson Central Question:

In This Lesson:

What world events occurred that impacted the small New England town of Deerfield?

Lesson Length
Key Ideas

Lesson Length

2 class period (85 minutes each)

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and Teacher Background

Growth of the Colonies
During the early 1700s the British colonies in America grew and prospered. New towns were formed to accommodate the bulging populations of established communities. Both agricultural and trade-dependent economies developed. Craftsmen emerged within the communities, their work often influenced by their English counterparts. A merchant class, bolstered by trade among the British colonies and England, flourished by bringing the goods inland. Refinement, a reflection of economic success, was exhibited in material wealth, education and improved manners. Social stratification became evident.

More diverse religious denominations were rapidly developing nationwide, while the Congregational Church remained at the center of the New England communities. The growth of wealth and refinement was reflected in the size and interior decoration of their many newly constructed churches.

Throughout the early 1700s, disagreements continued between France and England over control of the new lands in North America. France claimed much of eastern Canada and areas around the upper Ohio River Valley. The British, meanwhile, mounted numerous attacks on French-built forts, seeking to remove the "French threat" of occupation on these lands. Generals Braddock and Washington led troops into the Ohio Valley area, only to lose to the French at Forts Duquesne and Necessity. Later British defeats occurred at Fort Niagara and Crown Point. In 1757, colonials from New England, under the leadership of Generals Wolfe and Amherst, renewed their efforts to drive out the French by launching an attack against a small French Arcadian outpost at Louisburg on Cape Breton Island. The Arcadians were forced to flee into the colonies, toward the mouth of the Mississippi, and into the St. Laurence River Valley. Later attacks at Crown Point by General Amherst -- at Quebec by General Wolfe, and at Montreal by General Amherst -- effectively eliminated the French political influence from the North American continent.

Teacher Background Essay: 1704-1790 – Growth and Struggle

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand:

• that world events brought important changes that impacted Deerfield..

Students will be able to:

• use information gained from this and other periods to develop a continuum showing the growth of the Deerfield community.

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In Preparation for Teaching

1. Read Teacher Background Essay: 1704-1790 – Growth and Struggle


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Primary and Secondary Sources:

  1. Materials (print/digital resources) for learning stations related to the American history topics enumerated in the activities.
  2. Computers/Access to PowerPoint.
  3. Newsprint for development of presentation rubric as a class.

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Activities Materials in Context

Class Period 1

As a transition from the Colonial Period (1680-1720) to the Federal Period (1780-1820), the lessons will center on important national events during the interim period.

  • Divide the students into groups. Each group will explore a national event/topic and develop a PowerPoint presentation to explain their findings.
  • Packets of information will be provided in learning stations for students' use. It is expected that the students will also use relevant print materials, websites, and databases.
  • With students, develop a rubric for oral presentations, including areas of content, organization, evidence of further research, clarity of the presentation, and enthusiasm for the topic.
  • Instruct students to provide printouts of their PowerPoint presentation to their peers.


  1. Population growth expanded rapidly because of immigration and an increased birthrate.
  2. England sought to control colonial affairs. (Townshend Acts, Mercantilism)
  3. Differences among the European countries spilled over into the colonies. (French Wars, Crown Point, Ticonderoga, Louisburg)
  4. Social groupings became more complex (Divisions by ethnic group, towns and cities, social position, and wealth)
  5. Political and social ideas took root in America that placed a high value on the autonomy of the colony and individual. (MA Constitution, pre-constitution)
  6. Religious diversity grew.

Homework Assignment: Research the national topic and develop a presentation.

Class Period 2:

  1. Instruct student to pass out their PowerPoint printouts to members of the class, as well as the developed rubric.
  2. PowerPoint presentations of research.



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Completed PowerPoint presentation, referencing the developed rubric.

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