Lesson 8: "Modern" Interpretations
Activity 1: 2 hours
Activity 2: 1 hour
Activity 3: 4 hours
|Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and
- In the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, stories of the early colonial period in Deerfield and
of the attacks were re-told in a variety of media. For example,
the Allen sisters, who photographed Deerfield at the turn of the
century, posed people in costume, reenacting 17th century activities
and events. Early movies like "Ononko's Vow" were made
about the period.
- Later in the 20th century, children's
paper dolls and action figures representing people from the colonial
era were created and sold.
- There is bias inherent in these source
materials. The stories they tell are not accurate representations
of the period, but rather they are staged to express the maker's
perception of what transpired. The sources can be "read"
and analyzed to understand the point of view they represent.
For more information read:
Teacher Background Essay: Colonial Revival.
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|Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will understand:
1. that the Allen sisters' photographs were
staged representations of what the sisters thought the Native
Americans, Puritans, etc. looked like during this early colonial
2. that there can be a variety of interpretations for what photos
portray. They will further understand what the photos depict,
where, when, how they were taken, by whom and for what purpose
they were taken, and the point of view represented in them by
3. the discrepancies and/or differences between a realistic and
authentic portrayal of history and an often-accepted inaccurate
portrayal as illustrated in modern-day toys, paper dolls, photographs,
and silent film.
4. how people in 1910 interpreted the Native American and English
relationship of 1675 and 1704 through viewing the 1910 film "Ononko's
Vow", and they will also understand why the film maker may
have portrayed these people as he did.
5. that modern day interpretations also can be inaccurate and
biased. They will gain this information by analyzing the paper
doll collection, books, and 1704 action figures.
Students will be able to:
1. analyze the details of a film (setting,
plot, main characters, purpose in making, etc.) and of photographs.
2. determine if bias and/or unrealistic portrayals are depicted
in the source materials.
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|In Preparation for Teaching
1. Review teacher background readings about the
film "Ononko's Vow" ("Ononko's
Vow. A Colonial Tale" frame notes, "Ononko's
Vow" article from Kinetogram, "Ononko's
Vow" program notes)
2. Copy Allen Sisters' photographs and Photo
3. Obtain a copy of the 1910 film, "Ononko's Vow," from
the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA. by sending
an email to the Teachers
4. Review questions for directed questioning activities listed in
the "Activities" section of this lesson plan.
5. Copy "Olde Deerfield Dolls" paper
dolls with accompanying booklets, pictures
of action figures and accompanying
booklet, Allen Sister's Photo Interpretation
Sheet and Questions About Paper Dolls
and Action Figures worksheet
6. Copy final rubric.
7. Read teacher background essay on Colonial
Primary and Secondary Sources:
1. Allen sisters photos: War
Dance , Hostilities, 'Native'
Carrying Captive Eunice Williams, 'Puritans' Led Off in Captivity, The Letter of the Law.
2. 1910 Thomas A. Edison Company film (Kinetogram) "Ononko's
Vow" by Herbert S. Streeter.
3. "Ononko's Vow. A Colonial Tale,"
list of frame notes Herbert Streeter.
4. "Ononko's Vow" article from
The Kinetogram (September 15, 1910).
5. Program Notes to Accompany "Ononko's
Vow," by David R. Proper.
6. "Olde Deerfield Dolls" Paper Doll Collection and accompanying
7. Deerfield Massacre Action Toy Set
and accompanying booklet.
1. Allen Sister's Photo
2. Questions About Paper Dolls and Action
3. Student Assessment Rubric Concerning
Pocumtuck and English Perspectives During the English Occupation
4. Teacher background essay on Colonial
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||Materials in Context
Photographs and Film
A. Distribute copies of the Allen sisters'
photo of the Puritan Englishman entitled, The Letter
of the Law.
1. Instruct students to examine the
photo closely. Lead a discussion about him using the following
- What time period do you
think this man is from? How can you tell? Do you think
they had cameras in that time period?
- Can you tell from this picture
what his profession is by the way he is dressed?
- How is he dressed?
- What does his posture communicate?
- What do you imagine he is
- Do you think this picture
was posed or natural?
- Do you think this is an
accurate portrayal? Why or why not?
- What do you think people
200 years after the attack thought about Puritans?
- Why do you think the photographer
took this picture?
- If you could climb into
this picture, what might you say to or ask this man?
2. Distribute the Allen Sisters'
Photo Interpretation Sheet and the other Allen Sisters
photos. Each child should receive one photo. Ask them
to use their photo to fill out the worksheet.
3. Ask students to think about
what their photographs portray and determine whether the
depiction is biased or unbiased and true to the time period,
based on what they have learned from studying the photo
of the Puritan Englishman. Students should try to defend
their decisions based on their analyses and their knowledge.
4. Instruct students to present
their photo and findings to the class.
B. Show students the 1910 film
entitled "Ononko's Vow."
1. Discuss the film with the
class [Note: Include in your discussion the setting of
the film, the time period depicted, Native American and
English portrayals, evidence of any stereotyping, the
film creator's feelings about the Native Americans, the
purpose in making the film, and who the possible viewers
were.] List the main characters. Make an outline of the
- What time period do you think
is depicted in the film? Do you think this film was
made recently? How can you tell?
- Do you think the film was
shot inside or outside or both? How can you tell?
- Do you think the English are
portrayed accurately in this film? Why or why not? What
changes might you make?
- Do you think the Native Americans
are portrayed accurately in the film? Why or why not?
What changes might you make?
- Describe how you think the
film creator felt about the English. How did he feel
about the Native Americans?
- Do you see any evidence of
- Is the story line fair to
- Why do you think the film
was made? What message do you think it gives?
- Who do you think the audience
was intended to be?
Allen Sister's Photo:
The Letter of the Law
Other Allen Sisters photos:
Captive, Eunice Williams
'Puritans' Led Off in Captivity
Ononko's Vow film
Toys and Books
A. Place children in discussion groups.
Distribute copies of the paper doll collection with accompanying
booklets to some groups and pictures of the action toy set
with its accompanying booklet to the other groups. Also
distribute one copy of Questions About Paper Dolls &
Action Figures to each group. Explain that each group will
examine and analyze their toy and accompanying booklet for
historical accuracy, stereotyping and fairness. Instruct
one child to serve as secretary in each group to record
answers on their questions sheet. Explain that each group
will be asked to discuss their findings and defend their
B. Discuss how people today have designed
these 1704 action figures and paper doll characters and
accompanying booklets using modern interpretations of the
early colonial period. Tell students to draw upon what they
now understand about the people of the period to answer
the questions and formulate their opinions.
C. After groups have had sufficient time
to study the toys and answer the assigned questions, give
each group time to report their findings and defend their
"Olde Deerfield Dolls" Paper Doll Collection
Action Toy Set
and accompanying booklet
Questions About Paper Dolls &
Action Figures worksheet
A. Distribute the Student Assessment
B. Instruct students to write an essay
describing, comparing, and contrasting the Indian and English
perspectives during the period before and during Queen Anne's
War. Ask students to use the rubric to guide their writing.
The essays should sum up student learning for the unit.
Student Assessment Rubric
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Use students' oral presentations and the Allen
Sisters Photo Interpretation Sheet to assess the degree to which
students achieved the intended learning outcomes for this lesson.
Use the essays (with the accompanying rubric) to assess students'
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