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This unit is designed to teach fifth-graders in New Haven about the look of New Haven in 1750, how the colonists interacted with one another, and how the town grew from a beginning plan. Everyday life during the colonial period is difficult for today’s children to understand or embrace. Much of colonial history is still taught through political and military events and significant leaders. Resources that inform students about daily colonial life have not been made available to them, or those that have been presented are not interesting to the children.
This unit offers a window into the past of New Haven so that the students will be able to learn, understand, and appreciate the rich history and culture of the city through a focused exploration of New Haven circa 1750. This unit contains three distinct but related aspects. We begin with the Wadsworth Map of 1748. The map serves as a springboard to the introduction of the “Marketplace,” which later became known as the “Green” and where the meetinghouse was located. The third focal point are the homes surrounding the town center and their inhabitants in the mid-18th century. These three perspectives can provide the fifth-graders with a real connection to life in colonial New Haven. This unit can be modified to teach sixth, seventh and eighth-graders, as well. Students of any age can grasp the concepts within this unit with appropriate age and learning modifications.
(Recommended for Social Studies, grades 5-8)