About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site," the National Park Service visitor's guide to Hopewell Furnace, and the National Park Service handbook on Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. It was written by Rita G. Koman, an educational consultant. The lesson was edited by Fay Metcalf, Marilyn Harper, and the Teaching with Historic Places Staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in American history, social studies, and geography courses in units on the growth of the American economy during the early National period.
Time period: Early National
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To describe how natural resources influenced the location and development of the early American iron-making industry.
2) To identify the steps in making iron and iron products at Hopewell Furnace.
3) To trace the effects of national events on Hopewell Furnace and its owners.
4) To describe how work helped determine social status within the Hopewell community.
5) To compare and contrast the early economic development of their own community with that of the Hopewell Furnace community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) two maps showing Hopewell Furnace and the surrounding area;
2) three readings about iron-making and the Hopewell Furnace community;
3) four photographs of the charcoal-making process, the historic site today, and some Hopewell Furnace products;
4) two illustrations of the iron-making process and of the restored Hopewell Furnace Historic Site.
Visiting the site
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, is open daily except New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. During summer months activities depicting early American trades and crafts are presented. Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is located about six miles south of Birdsboro on Pennsylvania Highway 345. For additional information, contact Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520, or visit the park's Web page.