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In the Classroom > Course Overview > Unit Overview
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Lesson 5: Debating the Future of Deerfield: The Colonial Revival

Lesson Central Question:

In This Lesson:

How does Deerfield respond to change and economic decline?

Lesson Length
Key Ideas

Lesson Length

1 class period (85 minutes)

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and Teacher Background

Deerfield recreates its past to save the community.

Teacher Background Essay: Reasons for the Revival

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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand:

  • The Colonial Revival Movement flourished during this period.
  • Industry and technology reshaped the life in Deerfield and the Connecticut River Valley.
  • The expansion of communication and transportation impacted the daily lives of the people of Deerfield and the Connecticut River Valley.

Students will be able to:

  • Make inferences from their readings and articulate causality.
  • Present learned information to their peers.
  • Locate historical information on a website to support their presentations.
  • Create artifacts to archive, such as a newspaper, an album, or scrapbook from their writings, drawings, and projects.

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In Preparation for Teaching

1. Read Teacher Background Essay: Reasons for the Revival

Further Background Reading:
Flynt, Suzanne. The Allen Sisters. Deerfield, MA: Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, 2002.

Howe, Margery. Deerfield Embroidery. Deerfield, MA: Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Society, 1976.

Kaplan, Wendy. The Art That is Life: The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920. Boston: Little, 1998.

Arts & Crafts website

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Primary and Secondary Sources:

Search the Digital Collection on the American Centuries Website using the following keywords:
  • Deerfield Industries
  • Colonial Revival
  • Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework
  • Arts and Crafts Movement
  • Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

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Activities Materials in Context


  1. Invite students to read the essay. Discuss the movement together as it emerged internationally, nationally, then locally.
  2. Break the class into four groups and assign each group one of the following organizations, formed in Deerfield between 1880-1920.
  3. Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
    Deerfield Industries
    Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework
    Allen Sisters Photography

  4. Use the Digital Collections to research each group's assigned organization.
  5. Read the exhibit section related to this period.
  6. From the primary source documents, read and determine the ideological principles under which the organization was founded.
  7. From the objects (or rooms) the group created and images of its members, interpret how their work reflected their ideological principles.
  8. Present to the class one or several objects, photographs, or images of a room that your research subject made. Lead the class in a discussion of how to "read" the objects. Remember to incorporate your knowledge of the Progressive Era and national and regional immigration.



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