This unit is intended to help students better understand the history of New Haven through engagement with historical primary sources in conjunction with specific New Haven locations explored on foot. Because much of what we see in New Haven can also be seen elsewhere in terms of manipulation of the landscape for economic and social gain, use of water as energy source, transportation, and dumping of waste, students also are being trained to transfer knowledge and skills to the wider national and global context. By working with students to develop and refine their observational and research skills, I hope to encourage them to access the landscapes around them as rich resources for the exploration of the past. If we can learn to observe and interrogate the physical world around us, we gain much in terms of depth of experience of a place. Through this teaching unit, I hope to instill deeper connections to the places we call home and a personal investment in what happens to them moving forward.
(Developed for People and Place, and Social Studies, grades 9-12; recommended for Geography, History, and Environmental Humanities, grades 9-12, and Civics, grades 11-12)