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In the Classroom > Unit Overview
Lessons: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Lesson 7: Deerfield Families

Unit Central Question:

In This Lesson:

How did the cultural characteristics, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and economic conditions of the French, English, and Indians contribute to the growth of inter-group hostilities, fighting, and attacks in the late 17th and early 18th centuries?

Lesson Length
Key Ideas
Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 3
Activity 4
Lesson Length

Activity 1: 3 hours
Activity 2: 2 hours
Activity 3: 45 minutes
Activity 4: 2 hours

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and Teacher Background
  • The personal papers of some of the families involved in the 1704 attack depict their experiences and reveal their reactions.
  • By researching these papers (of the Nims, Williams, Sheldon, and Stebbins families), we can achieve a more detailed and in-depth understanding of the attack and its aftermath.

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand:

1. that the attack of 1704 had personal consequences which changed the lives of Deerfield families.
2. what the interior of a house in the early 1700's looked like and some aspects of daily life.
3. that first hand accounts are a useful (but not always accurate) source of information about an event.

Students will be able to:

1. use primary and secondary sources to research specific statistical information about the Sheldon, Williams, Nims, and Stebbins families.
2. use primary and secondary sources to explore the personal experiences of the Williams, Sheldon, Nims, and Stebbins families.
3. do independent research in groups.
4. give well-organized and properly delivered oral presentations about their research to the class.
5. write cinquain poetry, prose, or a ballad. They will be able to use these to interpret their findings and express their feelings.

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In Preparation for Teaching

1. Copy worksheets and research materials about the Nims, Stebbins, Williams, and Sheldon families.
2. Organize field experiences.

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Primary and Secondary Sources:

1. Historical family readings and resource materials, organized by family: Nims, Stebbins, Williams, and Sheldon.


1. Writing Cinquain Poetry Worksheet
2. Captive Information Worksheet

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Activities Materials in Context

Activity 1
Research Groups/Oral Presentation

A. Divide students into four research groups and distribute materials. Each group will research the experiences of one family during and after the attack of 1704. Each student should have his/her own copies of the materials. Distribute a Captive Information Worksheet to each student.

B. Instruct students to use the readings to gather facts about their families and their experiences during and after the attack of 1704 and record these on their worksheets.

C. Have students prepare and deliver presentations about "their" families to the class.

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Captive Information Worksheet


Activity 2
Field Trip Experiences, part 1

A. Bring students to the Indian House Memorial Children's Museum to hear a first person portrayal of the captive experiences of Eunice Williams and experience what life was like in the early 18th century.

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Activity 3
Creative Writing

A. Distribute the cinquain poetry instructions sheets. Teach students how to write cinquain poetry.

B. Ask students to write a cinquain poem to reflect the ideas and feelings that the Deerfield families might have experienced.

C. Have students share their poetry with their classmates.

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Writing Cinquain Poetry Worksheet

Activity 4
Field Trip Experiences, part 2

A. Bring students to the Memorial Room in Memorial Hall Museum, where they will participate in an activity that will help them to piece together the 1704 attack story.



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Use the presentations and poetry to assess the degree to which students achieved the intended learning outcomes for this lesson.

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