Ideas and information for teachers interested in using this web site for teaching history and social studies.
The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association's museum and library collections provide a rich resource for students of all ages. The material below has been developed by Massachusetts teacher teams and PVMA staff to provide access to the PVMA collections in alignment with the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework. For more information about the curricula authors see Curriculum Credits.
is a collection of short lessons for the classroom based
on objects and documents from the Online Collection.
Each lesson is made by a teacher using this web site.
You can see and use these lessons and even make
one of your own!
"Living on the Edge of Empire: Alliance, Conflict and Captivity in Colonial New England" was a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks Workshop held in Deerfield, Massachusetts in the summer of 2013. Presented by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, the workshop placed the 1704 Raid on Deerfield in the broader context of the history of colonial New England. The educators who participated in the workshop each produced a lesson, some of which are presented here. The workshop website is at: http://edge-empire.deerfield-ma.org/
These lessons are designed to serve as examples of different ways you can teach about the slavery of Africans and African Americans in New England in the 18th century. Students use both primary and secondary sources as they examine different aspects of New England slavery, with the goal of incorporating names, faces, and personal experiences into their study of this topic.
A new online collection by and for teachers of resources
for teaching historical themes and topics identified in the
Massachusetts Kindergarten—Grade 12 standards for history
and social studies. Resources include books, websites, articles,
primary sources, museums and historic sites. Look for a resource
or help grow this new feature by recommending your own "best
Please note: this feature has recently suffered a significant loss of data; as a result some grade levels have few resources. Please bear with us as we work to repopulate the database with new resources. Also, please be assured that the cause of the data loss has been addressed and any newly added resources will be safe.
By bringing high-quality reproductions of notable American art into public and private schools, libraries, and communities, "Picturing America" gives participants the opportunity to learn about our nation's history and culture in a fresh and engaging way. The program uses art as a catalyst for the study of America—the cultural, political, and historical threads woven into our nation's fabric over time. These lessons were created from 2011-2013 by teachers who participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities "Picturing America" grant awarded to the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association and the PVMA's Deerfield Teachers' Center staff.
Fifteen lessons for upper elementary students that encourage them to explore the evolution of social history in Deerfield at the turn of three centuries. The unit is inquiry-based, focused on teaching students how to "read" an array of primary and secondary source materials.
Eight lessons for upper elementary students, "The Lessons of 1704" unit takes advantage of students' developmental readiness to explore the famous attack on Deerfield in 1704. By examining the culture of the English, French, and Native Americans involved in the conflict and studying the events that led up to the attack, students come to understand both why the attack happened and what the outcomes of the attack were.
For middle school classes, "Research and Investigation Project (RIP): A Grave Undertaking" unit is an exploration of the lives of individuals who lived in Deerfield from 1780-1880. Throughout their investigations of the past, students analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources and material culture to draw inferences about their research subjects, Deerfield's history, and the history of the country during this 100-year period.
Learning to Look - this activity is drawn from the curricula "Everyday Life in Early New England" but is offered here without the accompanying lesson context. "Learning to Look" asks students to closely examine and interpret objects from the past. For more activities for kids, see our Activity page.
Discovering the 18th Century Craftsman -
"Agreeable to His Genius: John Partridge Bull" (1731 -1813) - this activity asks students to closely examine the account book of an 18th Century blacksmith as well as other primary documents and try to understand his life and place in his community. This activity is designed for high school students.