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1668 Map of Newark Activity

OVERVIEW:
The map depicting Newark in 1668 provides an alternative method of teaching map skills and history. Students will be able to place information and the history of an early American settlement in a broader context. They will compare and contrast the world they know today with the past.

OBJECTIVES:
Students will be able to:

  • Read a map for historical information
  • Decipher a map legend and symbols
  • Expand their knowledge of a historic time

WARM-UP ACTIVITY
Students discuss the purpose of maps and how maps might be useful to understanding a community.

Guiding questions:

  • Why do we need maps?
  • How would you give directions to someone to get from your home to school? (point, tell directions, draw a map)
  • If you were having an event at your school and wanted everyone to come, how would you give them directions? (draw a map)
  • What would be useful to put on a map? (landmarks, topography, street names)
  • A map must be clear to the reader. What symbols would be useful to use to keep the map simple? (orientation - north, east, south, west; size of roads - highway, small street; type of building - school, business, place of worship, home; topography - mountain, river)
  • What symbols could you create for the above? (arrows, route signs, squares with special roofs for each type of building)

ACTIVITY #1 MAP OF YOUR AREA
Curriculum Standards

  • WP3 Use critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • VPA1.1 Increase aesthetic awareness in visual arts
  • VPA1.2 Refine perceptual, intellectual, physical skills through creating maps
  • VPA1.3 Utilize arts elements and arts media to produce artistic products
  • VPA1.6 Develop design skills for form and function of space and structures
  • LA3.1 Speak for a variety of real purposes and audiences
  • LA3.2 Listen actively in a variety of situations
  • LA3.5 View, understand, and use nontextual information
  • M4.1 Pose and solve mathematical problems in everyday experiences
  • M4.3 Connect and understand that mathematics play a role in life
  • M4.7 Develop spatial sense and use geometric properties in real life
  • M4.9 Understand and use measurement

Work with students to think of a simple map to give directions within the school building. Have them create a map from memory of a route to the lunchroom or another classroom. How would one floor be laid out? What symbols would you use to show stairs or an elevator, classrooms, water fountain or restrooms? Have the students do individual maps. Share the maps and have students explain their choices. Then walk the area together and make adjustments on the maps.

Create one map together. Select which symbols are most useful for someone who does not know the area. Discuss how one might show relative distance (long corridor, large rooms- it is not important to do exact measurements)

Or, ask students to draw a map from their memory of the nearby block or blocks around their school. Remind them to consider the issues discussed above. Compare maps. Then take a walk with the maps to observe the neighborhood. Students will discover things they remembered but will also find additional information that would be useful to add to the maps.

Create one map together of the neighborhood. Experiment with materials and try collage, or build your neighborhood from blocks or even large boxes.

Class discussion/presentation - Ask the students to look at their final map (2 or 3 dimensional) What symbols did they find useful, how did they mark roads or buildings. Were there any systems they felt were helpful to identify the area? What did they find most useful as a tool to direct people? Do they know anything more about the area they mapped than they did when they started?

ACTIVITY #2 READING THE OBJECT
Curriculum Standards

  • WP3 Use critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • VPA1.1 Increase aesthetic awareness in visual arts
  • LA3.1 Speak for a variety of real purposes and audiences
  • LA3.2 Listen actively in a variety of situations
  • LA3.5 View, understand, and use non-textual information
  • M4.7 Develop spatial sense and use geometric properties in real life
  • M4.9 Understand and use measurement
  • SS6.4 Acquire historical understanding of societal ideas and forces
  • SS6.5 Acquire historical understanding of varying cultures
  • SS6.6 Acquire historical understanding of economic forces, ideas, and institutions
  • SS6.7 Acquire geographical understanding by studying the world in spatial terms
  • SS6.9 Acquire geographical understanding through the study of the environment and society

Background information about the map:
This map shows what we know now as Newark, New Jersey in 1668. This map shows that one group of people came from the towns of Milford and New Haven and another group from Branford to settle the new town. As is described on the map, the Milford/New Haven settlers are marked in bold numbers, Branford in open-faced numbers. The settlement was divided into lots for the new owners. Other areas were created for the town's needs. By analyzing the map, students will also be introduced to life in 1668 as they are introduced to the issues of a developing town - the need for transportation, a place for animals and homes, the "industry" of timber, and common spaces such as a marketplace. (Resource for map and related information History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey. Compiled by William H. Shaw. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1884. Collection of The New Jersey Historical Society)

Guiding information and questions:

  • Where might this town be? (In New Jersey - near the Passaic River)
  • How many lots are there?
  • Did any owner have more than one plot? (owner #1 solid number, any others?)
  • Why might someone have more than one plot? (Someone with more power, respect, or money. Robert Treat owned #1. Seen as the group organizer, the town agreed he could have more space.)
  • What did the town have besides a place for homes? (see "references" on the map)
  • What would a "Watering Place" be used for? (livestock, horses)
  • Where would these animals be kept? (meadows)
  • Find the meadows on the map. How would people get to the meadows?
  • What is a "common" fence? ("common" means belonging to a community at large such as the town common. The town, rather than an individual is responsible for its upkeep)
  • Why is a fence needed? (To keep the animals out of town)
  • Find the "Landing Place." (D) What is a landing place used for? (bring in or send out goods and to provide alternate water route for travel)
  • Is this a public or private space and how can you tell? (public - off the owned plot, accessible by a road)
  • If it had been on a private lot, what would be the advantages or disadvantages of this for the owner? (could charge a use fee, would have to provide upkeep of space)
  • What symbols are used on this map? (short lines for meadow area, closer lines for wooded hills, river, sloped area to river, numbers and letters)
  • What is "G" lot? (Mill lot)
  • What would a mill be used for? (process timber in this case)
  • Why is this lot a good place for a mill? (near roads and wooded area for direct access. On "Ford River Mill Brook" (I) to give direct access to the river to send timber away for sale)
  • Why would a mill owner want to have a land plot in the wooded hill area? (access to timber for sale)
  • How many lots are in the wooded hill area? How many currently have owners?
  • Where is "The Market Place?"
  • What would go on in a market place? Describe what you might see, hear, and smell there.
  • What are the advantages of the market place location? (open area to have room to display wares, accessible by many roads and close access to river)
  • Where is "The Burying Ground?"
  • Why would a town need a burying ground?
  • Where are burying grounds (cemeteries) located today? Why are they located there? (usually outside city limits for health and space reasons)

ACTIVITY #3 COMMUNITY APPLICATION
Curriculum standards

  • WP2 Use information and understand issues related to changing technology
  • WP3 Use critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • WP4 Demonstrate self-management skills
  • VPA1.6 Develop design skills for form and function of space and structures
  • H&PE2.2 Learn personal, interpersonal, and life skills
  • LA3.1 Speak for a variety of real purposes and audiences
  • LA3.2 Listen actively in a variety of situations
  • LA3.5 View, understand, and use nontextual information
  • M4.1 Pose and solve mathematical problems in everyday experiences
  • M4.3 Connect and understand that mathematics play a role in life
  • M4.4 Develop reasoning ability
  • M4.7 Develop spatial sense and use geometric properties in real life
  • S5.1 Identify systems of interacting components

In this activity, students are asked to apply the knowledge they have acquired from the map review and apply it to another possible situation. In the most interactive application of this activity, students take on roles in a community. This can also be done as a discussion.

Imagine that you are a community of people who established a town on the Passaic River just as was done in 1668. You worked together and divided the town into lots and shared areas. Over the years, your town begins to grow and change and your community must find ways to accommodate new needs.

Create a "town" by assigning the students roles. This activity could be done simply as a discussion, or as a more involved activity. Possible roles include - townspeople, elected officials, outside interest (such as a railroad owner). Assign characters with names and a brief biography on index cards so that they can stay within their assigned personas.

Choose one challenge listed below and have the students think of possible ramifications. Can something be moved, and if so where? Who will care about which thing (who wants a school or a trolley)? How do we resolve the fact that people have different agendas? Have the students answer these questions in their assigned roles.

Guiding questions:
What is missing from the 1668 town as seen on the map that many towns have today? (hospital, school, government building, house of worship, post office) Which of these might be built next? Why?

The mill business is booming and with more workers and their families, the town population has doubled. Where will people settle?

The "modern age" has arrived and some people want to put in a trolley. Where will it go and what will be affected?

The common fence keeps falling down. How will the town resolve the common responsibilities?

After this activity discuss with the students why and how they made the choices they did. How did they feel about working together as a group? What things became important to them?

Extension Activities:

Draw a map
Students draw a map of their route from home to school. This could include landmarks, buildings, streets, and other things they remember seeing along the way. On the way home from school, students test their maps and find what they might add or change. After careful observation on their way to school the next day, have students redraw their maps.

Build a map
Create a two or three-dimensional neighborhood map as a mural or model. Consider the types of buildings in the area, where people live, play, and work, where people travel (roads, sidewalks)and natural areas.

City of the Future
In groups or as individual assignments, students determine what issues are important in their town or community today (adding services at the train station for commuters, building a new school or stadium, changing traffic patterns, unsafe areas).

Select an issue and research it through newspapers, and interviews with people for and against the project. When the research is done students might:

  • Write a school newspaper article about the issue
  • Role play the discussion of the issue and possible outcomes
  • Start an oral history project on the issue
  • Draw or create a map presenting a possible solution to the issue

 

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