Colonial Maps of Upstate New York
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Students can complete the questions on Consider the Source, or by completing these worksheets.
Individual Focus Questions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aNGwPAA0jRlp8Ds6pDJuNw9E7ab-XCDnskXczZz6wi8/edit?usp=sharing
Small Group: Focus and Discussion:
Title: Colonial Maps of Upstate New York
Historical Context: Settlements throughout history always have revolved aorund one thing. Water. Waterways have allowed for transportation, food and many other necessities mandatory for a town's success. As setttlements continued to arise, maps of New York State were continuously changing to show the new settlements and loss of indigenous lands.
Overview: Analyzing three maps of Upstate New York from 1700, 1757, and 1772, students will draw conclusions about what settlers of European descent knew and valued about the land bordered by the Hudson River to the East, Lake Erie to the West, and Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to the North.
Goal: Students will inspect maps of Upstate New York created during the Colonial Period to determine what early European settlers understood about the region.
Objectives: Students will understand how European settlers depicted the territory of Upstate New York in the colonial period and what they viewed as important geographic features.
Investigative (Compelling) Question: What do primary source maps say about the values and interests of the people who created them?
One 30-45 minute class period.
5-15 minutes for students to inspect the three primary source maps.
10-15 minutes to discuss in small groups what they noticed in the maps and what that suggests about the interests and values of the people/societies that created them.
5 minutes to think and discuss about what is not depicted on the maps that would be useful or of interest to people learning about the region in the 21st century.
8-10 minute class discussion focusing on what students learned from the maps about what was understood and important to European Americans about Upstate New York in the colonial period.
2-5 minutes for students to write a written response (ticket out of class) to the questions: What would be included in maps of this region during the 21st century that was not included in the maps you looked at? What does this say about how American society has changed in the centuries since the Colonial Period?
Recommended Grade Range
9-12, but could be used/adjusted to be used with lower grade levels.
Subject: Social Studies
11.1 COLONIAL FOUNDATIONS (1607– 1763): European colonization in North America prompted cultural contact and exchange between diverse peoples; cultural differences and misunderstandings at times led to conflict. A variety of factors contributed to the development of regional differences, including social and racial hierarchies, in colonial America. (Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Themes: MOV, TCC, GEO, GOV, ECO, EXCH)
11.1 b A number of factors influenced colonial economic development, social structures,and labor systems, causing variation by region.
~Students will examine the impacts of geographic factors on patterns of settlement and the development of colonial economic systems.
Credits: Robert F. Pickup
-Individual Student: Focus Questions
-Small Group: Focus and Discussion Questions
-Individual Student: Ticket Out of Class
-Roemer Map, 1700
-Map of the Present War in North America, 1757
-Map showing “Communication Between Albany and Oswego,” 1772
Description of Procedure:
First, have individual students look at the Roemer Map, 1700, and write down a few important observations.
Next, have them look at the Map of the Present War in North America, 1757.
Initially, challenge them to see if they can find the portions that both maps have in common. Then, have them make a note of similarities and differences between the two maps.
Finally, have them look at the Map showing “Communication Between Albany and Oswego,” 1772. Ask them to locate the territory depicted in this map in the first two maps, and comment on the similarities and differences of the 1772 map.
Now organize the students into small groups of 3 or 4. See if they agree on where the three maps overlap and intersect. Ask them what features on the maps enabled them to figure out the areas that they share. Were there some aspects of the maps that made this more challenging?
Continuing in small groups, have them discuss the similarities and differences that they noted individually. Then pose the questions: What do the similarities say about people of European descent and their understanding of this area of New York? What would account for the differences?
Give the small groups a few minutes to discuss what is not on the maps that would be useful or of interest to people in the 21st century.
Now facilitate a full class discussion focusing on what students learned from the maps about what was important to European Americans about Upstate New York in the Colonial Period?
To end the class, ask students individually to write and turn in (ticket out of class) a written response to the questions:
What would be included in maps of this region during the 21st century that was not included in the maps you looked at?
What does this say about how American society has changed in the centuries since the Colonial Period?
After having looked at the three primary source maps of Upstate New York in the Colonial Era, have students look at the secondary source Map of the New York Frontier in the Revolution created in 1912. What differences do students notice about the map created in the 20th century and those created in the 18th century? What similarities are still evident despite the large difference in time between when the maps were created? What accounts for these differences and similarities?
Evaluation: Teachers can evaluate students’ learning in a number of ways:
- Students can be required to hand in their notes on the similarities and differences of the three maps. (steps 1, 2, & 3 in the procedure section).
- Teachers can focus on the small group and class discussion parts of the lesson to determine if students are understanding the material.
-Teachers can collect and grade the ticket out of class described in step 7.