I teach fifth grade. Students in this age group are just developing the ability to think critically and to understand a different point of view. However the challenge remains to make this period of time come alive and interesting. Like many who are passionate about history I am confounded by the task of engaging others.
I begin this task at the very beginning. Who came to America? When did they come? Why did they come? Who settled in Connecticut? When? Why? I will ask such questions and then set about discovering the answers with my students. We will determine who was a puritan and were all the early colonists puritans? Did all puritans have the same beliefs?To make it more relevant students will conduct their historical inquiry from a colonist's point of view. Who lived in New England and more specifically Connecticut?
The Pilgrims, a group of Puritans who had left England and separated themselves from the Church of England and had lived for awhile in Holland, landed in Provincetown and sailed across the bay to establish a settlement Plymouth in November 1620. This was a mistake the captain had missed his destination, Jamestown in Virginia, by about 500 miles. The ship the Mayflower had 101 passengers and only 35 were Pilgrims. Who were these pilgrims and why were they called separatists? How quickly did the Plymouth colony and the Massachusetts Bay colony get settled? Three hundred ships arrived between 1620 and 1640.
The quest for land and religious control and freedom forced the expansion of settlements. The colonists looked to their leaders for organization. Important questions the students and I while explore is who became the leaders? Where all the colonists members of a church or congregation. Were the religious leaders and civic leaders the same? The answer is no. However, they were equally influential on the daily life of the colonists. The church leaders were elected by the civic leaders and the civic leaders were elders in the church.
This unit will trace the immigration of families from England to Massachusetts and to Connecticut. A series of lessons will discuss the passage. How many people were on the ship? Who came and why? The Reverend John Davenport sailed on the Boat the Hector and arrived in the Fall of 1637. His group did not remain in Massachusetts we will discover why they left for Connecticut and established the New Haven colony in the spring of 1638.
A very important important part of the fifth grade curriculum is the study of the Native Americans. How did they live? What influence did they have on the colonists. When they were friendly, why and when they became unfriendly why? This unit will analyze the contract that John Davenport made with the Quinnipiac natives in New Haven.