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

The Second Turn, 1780-1820
Lesson 8: Changes in Deerfield, Massachusetts Shown in Maps

Unit Central Questions: In This Lesson:

What do primary and secondary sources teach us about the characteristics of "everyday life" of individuals living in Deerfield at the four turns of the centuries?

What do these characteristics reveal about changes in the town since its beginning as an English settlement?

Lesson Length
Key Ideas
Activity 1

Activity 2

Lesson Length

Two 30-minute sessions, one homework session.

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and Teacher Background

Maps of the same area from different time periods show the ways in which the land stayed the same, and the ways Deerfield changed over the years.

For more information, read:
Teacher Background Essay: Changes in Deerfield, Massachusetts Shown on Maps

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand that:

1. Maps that were made at different times show how Deerfield changed during this period.
2. Maps were made for specific purposes, and this influences what is included or excluded on them.

Students will be able to:

1. Read and analyze historic manuscript maps.
2. Compare and contrast the two manuscript maps, noting differences in scale, symbols, and places identified.
3. Identify how Deerfield changed during this period by comparing the information on the two maps.
4. Identify areas of present-day Deerfield on the historical maps by comparing them with a modern topographical map.

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In Preparation for Teaching

1. Make copies of the two Hoyt maps, or prepare to have students work online, using the "Look Closer" feature. It is possible to use the side-by-side viewing feature for comparison purposes as well.

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Primary and Secondary Sources:

1. David Hoyt's 1794 map

2. Arthur Hoyt's 1831 "A Plan of Deerfield in the County of Franklin."

3. U.S. Geological Survey map of Greenfield. A copy of this may be ordered online from the U.S.G.S. web site.


1. Student notebooks.

2. Chalkboard and/or chart paper

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Activities Materials in Context

Activity 1
A. Analyzing a Historical Manuscript

1. Distribute individual topographical maps of Deerfield from the U.S. Geological Survey to each student (or have students retrieve them from their folders). This may also be done online by having students go to Lesson 8 to use this link.
2. Instruct students to identify the points of the compass on the map. Then have them identify the highest and lowest points in Deerfield, the Connecticut River, Deerfield River, the location of the town of Old Deerfield, and present-day bridges (note: this is a review from Lesson 1).
3. Distribute individual copies of the 1794 Hoyt map, or have students go to Lesson 8 and use the map online.
4. Instruct students to determine the points of the compass on this map, using the topographical map as a guide.
5. Ask students to note places they became familiar with in previous lessons and places that show up for the first time on the Hoyt map. What stayed the same and what changed over the years? Instruct students to make a list in their student notebooks of these places and any new symbols or names they find on the Hoyt map. Guiding questions might be: Have the riverbeds changed? Why do you think Hoyt made the mountains that big? Note the names of the ferries. Why do you think there is no detail on the east side of the Connecticut River?
6. Discuss differences students found, and have the class add them to their lists in their notebooks.

Homework Assignment

1. Distribute copies of 1831 Arthur Hoyt map to each student, or have students go to Lesson 8 and use the map online.

2. Ask students to use the 1794 map and the topographical map to orient themselves as they examine the 1831 map.

3. Instruct students to compare and contrast the two maps, noting the different scales, the part of the town pictured, and the places mentioned on the 1831 map that were not on the 1794 map. Students should take notes on this in their notebooks.

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U.S. Geological Survey map of Greenfield



1794 David Hoyt Map





social studies notebooks


1831 Arthur Hoyt map

Activity 2
B. Comparing the Two Maps

1. Hold a discussion comparing and contrasting the two maps and analyzing the growth of the town between 1794 and 1831. Instruct students to use their homework as a basis for the discussion and make a list of changes on chalkboard or chart paper.

Guiding questions:

  • What do you find on the 1831 map that was not illustrated on the 1794 map?
  • Arthur Hoyt left out some buildings on Albany road on his map. Why might he have done this?
  • Note the change in the course of the river. Discuss how this may have come about.
  • What are the problems in comparing these hand-drawn maps to modern maps? What can be gained from them?
  • Compare the information contained in a topographical map vs. a modern roadmap vs. a historical hand-drawn map.

2. After the discussion, compose a class paragraph about the growth of the town from 1794 -1830, based on the discussion. Have students copy the paragraph into their student notebooks.

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student notebooks





Use the homework assignment to assess the degree to which students have achieved the intended learning outcomes for this lesson.


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