Why would one want to undertake the task of teaching a unit on Geology and Industrial Growth in Connecticut when computermania has invaded the schools? A very good question, indeed! One that sixth grade Social Studies teachers have been asking themselves for years. We, who are charged with teaching Connecticut History, must find new and innovative ways to ensure that our students are getting an exposure to the many interesting facts that dot our state’s history. In trying to locate books that are suitable to use in the classroom that detail geologic history, industrial growth and natural resources to a particular state, we find ourselves scratching our head in frustration, for they are very rare.
It is for this reason that I have embarked on this journey through the geologic forces and early industrial growth of our state so we can share with our students the rich history that surrounds us. The unit that follows has a major goal of providing teachers with a general overview of the basic geologic history of the Earth. The major emphasis and impetus for the unit will be the detailing of the Earth’s geologic history while in subsequent sections (which will be brief but should be expanded and used on their own) discussing Connecticut’s geologic features, industrial growth in the Town of Farmington (Unionville), Collinsville and the iron industry.
This unit is intended primarily for grade six students in Social Studies, but can be interspersed with other disciplines such as Science, Math, Art, etc. The unit used, as is, will last approximately six weeks, and can be taught in lieu of the stated curriculum or as a supplement to it.
You will find, after examining the curriculum and texts available, that the areas covered in the unit are sparsely mentioned. With this information and unit, the teacher will be able to fill in the gaps in geology and greatly expand the industrial growth sections, through the study of the Town of Farmington. The unit can be used as a whole, with each section’s topics that can be covered as a distinct mini unit in conjunction with the curriculum used or in parts as is needed to fill in gaps.
It must be kept in mind that all of the sections other than the basic geology one, is just a guide and further research should be done to fill in the full information you would want to provide for your class. (see bibliography)
When the unit is completed, the children will have a background in the geologic forces and history of the Earth and Connecticut spanning its formation, making of the continent and finally the shaping of Connecticut. Also, in illustrating one particular city, the children can gain a sense of a city in Connecticut far removed from New Haven and learn about its geologic, industrial, and commercial history.
It is our task to challenge and stimulate the children into exploring and examining the varied aspects of Connecticut History. It is for this reason that field trips, films, filmstrips and lectures are an intricate part of this unit and can be used as a highly successful motivational tool.
(Use Winchester School Library)