About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of
Historic Places registration file for "Savannah Historic District" (with photographs). It was produced in collaboration with the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative. Judson Kratzer, Senior Archeologist at the Cultural Resource Consulting Group in Highland Park, New Jersey, wrote Savannah, Georgia: The Lasting Legacy of Colonial City Planning. Jean West, education consultant, and the Teaching with Historic Places staff edited the lesson. 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 the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson plan can be used to teach colonial history, the antebellum era and the cotton economy, and the rise of cities in the United States.
Time period: 18th to 20th centuries
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 explain why the Trustees established the colony of Georgia and the significance of Gen. James Oglethorpe's role in its founding.
2) To distinguish the egalitarian design elements of Oglethorpe's original city plan and evaluate how commercial success affected them in the 19th century.
3) To demonstrate understanding of a utopian/egalitarian design or concept and to formulate reasons why such idealized concepts may fail to fit in with political, economic, social, and cultural reality in daily life.
4) To analyze, compare, and contrast their own urban/town area with the design elements and features apparent in Savannah's city plan.
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 of the Atlantic Southeast coastline;
2) three readings about Savannah's founding and development;
3) four drawings of historic Savannah;
4) one painting of 19th-century Savannah.
Visiting the site
From I-95, exit onto I-16 east and proceed 10 miles to downtown Savannah. Information is available at the Savannah Visitors Center, in the restored Central Railroad of Georgia station at 301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, at the end of I-16. The visitors center is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and weekends 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.