Lesson Plan

Mount Tom From Farm to Forest: Exploring Changes in Land Use in New England

Pasture and Forest in Fall
Pasture and Forest in Fall

R Diamant

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Grade Level:
Seventh Grade-Sixth Grade
Subject:
Agriculture, Community, Ecology, Environment, Geography, History, Landscapes, Social Studies
Duration:
4 to 6 weeks (~15 hrs class time)
Setting:
in the park
National/State Standards:
H&SS7-8:11; H&SS7-8:8; H&SS7-8:12;
Keywords:
farming, agriculture, Agricultural history, lanscape, stewardship, Conservation, geography, place based, Sense of Place, cultural values, history, land use, sustainable, New England, Woodstock, VT

Overview

“From Farm to Forest” will serve as an introduction to a grade 7 world geography course. To best understand the role of the 5 themes of geography as these apply globally, this unit will apply these very themes locally to our historical connection of agriculture as well as our sense of place here in Woodstock Vermont. 

Objective(s)

This unit of study, "From Farm to Forest" will serve as an introduction to a grade 7 world geography course. To best understand the role of the 5 themes of geography as these apply globally, this unit will apply these very themes locally to our historical connection of agriculture as well as our sense of place here in Woodstock. Agricultural values and related culture came to shape the history and land of New England. Students will learn how our agricultural beginnings here in Woodstock, through upclose studies of the MacKenzie(now a part of the national park), King, and Billings Farms came to shape our landscape and our lives. Students will discover how on these very lands through a series of historical events, changes in technology, and understanding of sustainable land use, many of Vermont's hillside have transformed from agricultural farm to forest.

Background

 

*This unit is designed with opportunities for interdisciplinary connections. For example, in English classes students could assess the value of historical diaries in understanding our agricultural heritage, develop writing skills using sensory language, and a book talk featuring the young adolescent book, “As Long as There are Mountains” by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. In science classes, students might study soil, plant genetics, see varieties and create a school garden. Math would play a role in scaling factor as well as units of measurement, i.e. rods, acres, etc.

Materials

·GPS

·Digital Cameras

·Historical Photographs, if possible

Additional Resources

Books:
Russell, Howard S., “A Long, Deep Furrow: Three Centuries of Farming in New England.” Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1982.

 Additional Teacher Resources include:

Jan Albers, “Hands on the Land: A History of the Vermont Landscape”

Tom Wessels, “Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England”

Christopher Klyza and Stephen Trombulak, “The Story of Vermont: A Natural and Cultural History”

 Student Text: “Prentice Hall World Studies Foundations of Geography.” Pearson/Prentice Hall: Boston, 2008.

 Reports:

“Archaeological Overview and Assessment of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock, Windsor County, Vermont”  University of Vermont, Report No. 446  January, 2007

“National Register of Historic Places- The King Farm” United States Department of the Interior

“Cultural Landscape Report, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park 2009

Websites:
“Within These Walls” an interactive view of a 19th century home in Ipswich, Ma.
http://americanhistory.si.edu/house/home.asp

Map Analysis, includes a 1677 map of New England
http://www.1704.deerfieldhistory.museum/maps/foster.htm/

Historic Maps
http://historymaters.gmu.edu/mse/maps

Historical Sites and links at “American Memory”
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/chsvhome.html

Sturbridge Village: Farm Family
Understanding Daily Life on a Farm using Primary Resources
http://www.osv.org/school/lesson_plans/ShowLessons.php?LessonID=34

Landscape Change Project, Univerisity of Vermont
http://www.uvm.edu/landscape/

National Geographic “Xpeditions” website contains a variety of useful and related lesson plans