Lessons, An Overview
I have attempted to clarify the history of the New Haven Colony that I had often obfuscated. In doing this I discovered a degree of determination that amazed me. The themes in the material have been centered upon an individual or groups ability to control their own destiny. This necessitated the ability to make decisions, make alternative plans if necessary and to take risks. It seems as though any learning situation should include activities that would enhance these skills. There are few areas in our elementary curriculum that are designed to integrate these skills. Each one of us that teaches a pilgrim unit could incorporate in their presentation some aspect of what is presented in this unit. I offer the following ideas.
Lesson 1 A Game
I have found the making of a game a unique activity that allows for the review of material covered in class. Indeed it also develops a group’s ability to work together and make decisions. Any game includes the chance of winning and the risk of losing. Learning to deal with successes and failures among friends in a comfortable, supervised situation increases the value of this type of approach. The students determine the information to be included, the physical format of the game, the movement of the pieces and the rules to be followed. This degree of involvement increases the chance that everyone will abide by the rules.
Objective The students will create a game using the information from the unit.
Procedure I have suggested that the material in this unit may be incorporated into larger units that deal with the Pilgrim or Colonial period. If this has been the case then there is more information on which to base the game’s development. To get started we must ask, What does a game need? Answers might include:
1) Something to move.
2) Somewhere to go, a start and a finish.
3) Something good or bad happening to you as you move. These are the three main concepts to build upon.
To some extent the unit may become interdisciplinary if you allow the students to make their own objects to move. This is an enjoyable extension of the game and can go in many directions. Clay, clothespin dolls, individual constructions or just hand drawn figures on heavy construction paper folder on the bottom or weighted to stand up may be used as a marker. The marker could represent a person or item from the colonial period.
Statements two and three are more closely related and may lead to interesting discussions. One approach might be to place a piece of ditto paper on a desk or at one end of the chalkboard marked start and another some twenty feet from the other marked finish on another desk or at the other end of the chalkboard and ask, What are we going to put in between? You may place twenty-five spaces between the start and end sheet. Filling these spaces is a matter of reviewing the lesson that has been taught and using that information to devise a series of consequences for landing on the spaces as move about toward the finish. For instance: Helped father take food up West Rock for the Judges. go ahead 3 spaces, Sat in Center Church of four hours on Sunday listening to Reverend Davenport. go ahead 2 spaces, or Fell asleep during Sunday services. go back 2 spaces, or Scared dad’s horse and caused the wagon with the corn for the gristmill to tip over. go back 3 spaces. Now if your group is young you may have to help. These consequences must be arranged in an order that allows for reasonable progress to be made toward the finish. If you go back three you should not land on another space that indicates, go ahead three. There is also a need for blank spaces, these spaces may be illustrated in some period fashion by the students. This game planning can be done by the upper elementary students. In addition, some decision must be made on how these markers are to be moved. Experience has shown that a die numbered with two ones, two twos and two threes allows for a game of this type to proceed at a good pace. The larger sheets of paper can be put on 3x5 cards, numbered and become an activity center game.
With upper elementary students who may have been introduced to “Monopoly” or other more complex board games let their knowledge continue the development of the game. Be ready for the following:
1) The game may become circular in nature, there is no end point you just pass the starting point—GO. In our case, you might pass Center Church or Judge’s Cave. This also might necessitate collecting something when you pass this point. The children might chose wampum or shillings.
2) You may find that no longer are the consequences ones in which you lose or advance your piece on the board, now you might gain or lose your wampum.
3) Students may introduce good and bad luck cards, in a pile called CHANCE. Your oyster boat ran aground and you lost your cargo. Lose one turn. or Hired to help Eli Whitney received a 5 shilling bonus.
4) Short cuts may be introduced, if you land on a certain space you may go across the board and get past home faster.
5) Most difficult of all is the question, How do you win now? When is the game over? Is it your accumulated wealth after so many trips around the board? or is it the first person to get so much of an item? This type of activity truly make the students problem solve. Please, avoid a situation that eliminates players.
Lesson 2 Cottage crafts/Assembly line
Nearly all of New Haven’s industry for the first two hundred years was cottage industry. Most everything that was needed in the community was supplied by individuals working in their homes. Eli Whitney was the innovator who introduced the concepts of the assembly line and interchangeable parts. This is a simple lesson that suggests two approaches to demonstrate the differences between a single individual’s effort and the results when everyone is assigned a task and contributes to a group product.
Objective The students will be able to explain the differences between cottage crafts and assembly line production and have an example of an item produced in group each way.
Procedure We might begin this lesson asking the students to suggest what items they think the settlers might not have been able to bring from England with them. They should be reminded of the limited space available on one of the surly ships. The class could be asked what are the large cumbersome things in our homes today, that we use all the time that the settlers used also? It is interesting to see which students can bridge that time gap and have appropriate responses. In this case we are looking for a table to be mentioned.
Markers, oak-tag paper, glue, tape and scissors is all that is is needed. If a child is given half of an eight and a half by eleven sheet and told to construct a table using his imagination or perhaps to design a table for a diorama that is going to highlight the colonial period we would probably get as many different tables as there are children in the classroom. The length of time it takes for the class to do this project should be noted. This individuality reflects the same type of situation that existed when things were constructed one at a time.
Now to make many more tables in much less time we incorporate the assembly line method of production. The project is divided into five stations:
1) the pattern cutting station
2) the leg folding station
3) the table top painting station
4) the leg painting station
5) the put it together station
If a class of twenty-five were divided into five groups of five, we would be all set. There would be five station one workers each could be given ten to fifteen patterns to cut out. As each pattern is cut out it is passed to the next station. The students should stop after approximately the same amount of time it took for the individual table construction. This same type of activity could be developed around making cards for a holiday, for their parents. Individual and mass produced cards could be created.
leg tabs—fold and glue tabs
It may be of interest to ask the students which product they prefer. They might parallel what happens when a leg needs replacement on a group assembled table and when one is required on a individually produced table.