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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 First Turn, 1680-1720
Lesson 4: The Homes, Possessions, and Way of Life of the Puritans at the First Turn

Part 1: Background: The Relationships between the Puritans, Native American, and the French
Part 2: The Common and the Meetinghouse: Exploring the Outside Environment
Part 3: The Meetinghouse Interior
Part 4: Artifact Exploration
Part 5: Artifact Exploration, continued: Artifacts in Memorial Hall Museum
Part 6: The Wells-Thorn House

Please note: This is a multi-part lesson, so it is divided into two sections, each comprising three parts. Clicking on the part name above will take you to the appropriate section.

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
Parts 1, 2, and 3
Parts 4, 5, and 6

Lesson Length

Part One: One 45-minute class period, and homework time

Part Two: One 45 minute class period, homework time, and 20 minutes of follow-up time the next day.

Part Three: One 60 minute class period, homework time, 45 minutes class follow-up time, and assignment time for rewrite of journal entry

Part Four: One 45-minute class period

Part Five: One 60 minute class period, homework time, one 60 minute follow-up period (including making the bulletin board and putting illustrations on the timeline).

Part Six: One 45-minute class period, homework time, and one 30-minute follow-up time.

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Key Content Ideas Taught in this Lesson and Teacher Background

Typical of the English in New England, the community of Deerfield was united by religious beliefs and practices. The selectmen ran the business of the town in the same meetinghouse in which the Church met. The building was used for both religious and secular purposes. The residents of Deerfield built modest homes and owned basic household goods, clothing, and tools. The roles of men and women were different. Men cleared land, built, farmed, worked as blacksmiths, carpenters, and tavern keepers. Men sixteen to sixty were required to be trained for the militia. Women worked in and near the house, cooking, sewing, washing, tending the kitchen garden, and rearing the children. Both men and women were concerned with elemental survival on the frontier. Fear of attack drove the townspeople to enclose the center of the village in a stout wooden stockade. By 1698 there was a school. Daily life was influenced by ever-present concerns for security from attacks by Native Americans and the French.


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Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will:

1. Understand how religion was the foundation of daily life for the English settlers.
2. Understand that the English settlers depended on agriculture for survival.
3. Understand that while many basic needs of the community were met by the community itself, nearly everyone supplemented their farming income through selling or bartering specialized skills (e.g. blacksmithing, carpentry, hunting, joinery, sewing, weaving, shoemaking, etc.). Goods and supplies were also coming in from Europe via Boston and the Connecticut coast, and then up the Connecticut River to Middletown, Connecticut and further north.
4. Gain knowledge of the daily life, activities, and experiences of various family members, and they will understand how the roles and responsibilities of men, women, and children were differentiated.
5. Understand that the village of Deerfield was on the frontier of English settlement, that the town was directly involved in the conflicts between the English, French, and Native Americans which were happening at the time, and that Deerfield was the site of an attack in 1704, during which some of the residents were captured by Native Americans allied with the French, and taken on foot to Canada.
6. Understand that architecture and artifacts can teach lessons about daily life.

Students will be able to:

1. Read and extract information from background reading materials.
2. Read primary source materials (documents) from the period.
3. Read, analyze, and interpret a home and artifacts of the 1680-1720 period.
4. Observe and draw artifacts.
5. Create interpretive labels based on information extrapolated from artifact research.


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Because this is a multi-part lesson, the materials needed for teaching are each listed with the corresponding activity. In addition, there is teacher background information provided for some of the activities to help the teacher understand the context for the lesson. The primary source materials listed are provided with the unit, and copies of photographs may be downloaded from the website.

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Use the social studies notebooks, artifact drawings and labels, and the final version of the diary entry to assess the degree to which students have achieved the intended learning outcomes.


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