Adapted by William Kellogg
from units prepared by Kathy Lyn H. Begor (ERA 1) Bristol Elementary School
and Sharon Parsons (ERA 4) Goshen - Lempster School, Goshen.
This unit on the interaction
of people to produce wealth and goods includes such topics as a barter
vs cash economy and native American hunting, gathering, agriculture and
trade. It combines information from lessons developed by two teachers on
the same focus question but in different eras. The teacher may pick those
parts that seem best suited for a particular class or may use them all.
FOCUS QUESTION VII:
How have people and organizations interacted to produce, distribute, and
consume wealth and take care of material needs in New Hampshire?
ERAS: I (Beginningstol623)and4(1801-1861)
From the NH History Curriculum...
1. Students should
be able to identify and describe how the economy creates ties among people.
From the teacher's lesson
2. Students should be able
to explain the needs and wants of an Abenaki family or group and/or of
a family or group in the first half of the 19th century and compare them
to the needs and wants of the students' family or household today.
3. Students should be able
to explain how each member of an Abenaki and/or of a family or group in
the first half of the 19th century cooperatively contributed towards the
needs of everyone and compare them to how the students' family or household
works cooperatively today.
TO EXPLORE (inquiry questions taken from NH History Curriculum):
1. What do I need to
survive in New Hampshire? What do I want but not need? [Note: A
teacher can vary the order of the methods or pick and choose those that
will work best with a class.]
in small groups and make a list of things that students and their families
NEED today for their survival. Discuss the lists as a class and compile
a consolidated list for the entire class on the board. Are there items
on the list that we could survive without? Identify these as WANTS, not
NEEDS, on the list by starring them. Are the items that are left essential
(absolute needs) for our survival? Ask them lo explain the difference between
a want and a need and why these items might differ from person to person
and household to household.
B. Ask students
to imagine themselves as a small animal living in the woods of New Hampshire.
Ask: "What would you need for survival? Would your needs change with the
seasons?" Discuss and compile a list. Compare this list with the first
one of students' needs. Can you find any patterns or similarities?
C. Assign as
homework the chart on Things I need/Things I want. which is attached. In
class share the homework assignments. Decide where the objects needed and
wanted are made. Are any made in the community?
D. Ask students
individually on their own to fill in a copy of the Household Job Chart,
which is attached. Have them fill in the chart listing the jobs and
responsibilities of each person living in their home. Explain how jobs
may change seasonally and be sure they all fill in the chart accordingly.
Have them take the chart
home to have those living there add items. In class have the students share
in small groups their charts and consolidate for each group the information
in like categories. (You will probably want to have this consolidation
tabulated on poster size paper to be placed around the room for study and
discussion.) Share each group's chart with the whole class and compare
E. Ask students
to think about the people who lived in the forests of New Hampshire about
500 years ago. Explore with the students the two questions, "What do you
know about these people? What do you think their needs might have been?"
(Sitting in a circle on the floor and passing a "talking stick" is an effective
strategy for organizing this type of discussion.) List ideas and
responses on the board. Compare this list to the one created about their
own needs and about the animal's needs. Keep the three lists on display
and encourage students to think about adding to the list on Native American
needs. Ask the students. " What else do we want to find out about the Abenaki
people to help us expand on the list?" (Misinformation should be taken
note of during this discussion and then
corrected as new information
presents itself or is supplied by you to address misinformation. It is
probably heller for the discussion if you do not correct it on the spot.)
or have students read the information on the Abenakis that is attached.
Then in small groups and using a variety of sources (see list below and
the bibliographies in the NH History Curriculum), have students read and
keep notes about Abenaki family life. What were their needs? What were
lheir individual responsibilities? How did each member help with the needs
of the whole group? Did these jobs change with the seasons? (and connecting
with question 2 below) What did they do when they needed something but
didn't have it? How did they keep food that they caught or grew so that
it would last all year long? Within each group fill out another Household
Job Chart (Again, you may want it lo he on poster board.) using information
from their readings and notes. Share each group's
information with the class
and compare results presented in the charts. Post the charts. At some point
you may wish to compile a class chart consolidating all the information.
Watch the movie "People of the Dawnland" (from the Our NH series on New Hampshire PBS) and ask students to watch for jobs being done
by males and females. Compare what they see in the video to the information
already recorded in their group's Household Job Chart. Add any information
not already recorded, (and connecting to questions 2 and 3 below) Were
there things shown in the movie that the Abenaki did not make themselves?
Where did they come from? (The movie introduces trade with the early settlers.)
G. Discuss as
a class the Abenakis focusing on their needs and wants and how they made
or obtained what they needed. This is a good time to be certain that any
misinformation about the Abenakis is corrected.
do/can I and others get the things I need and want? How have New Hampshire
people in the past gotten the things they needed and wanted?
A. See F. and
G. above for some ideas which relate to this question.
each student pick one object from his/her homework assignment on Things
I need/Things I want and, using a piece of construction paper, cut out
a large circle. Have the students draw a picture of the item in the center
of the circle and then around the outside of the object draw the cycle
(steps) it takes to produce and distribute the object. Discuss the
pictures and discuss the complexity of the production and distribution.
Compare this with how the Abenaki made and distributed items they
C. Read aloud
Donald Hall's book Ox Cart Man. Discuss how the whole household
worked together and each person had a particular job to do. Compare this
with their own Household Job Chart. (See above.) What are the similarities
and differences between the family jobs in the Ox Cart Man and in their
homes? Discuss what each student could have contributed to the family in
the Ox Cart Man story. Discuss, if it seems appropriate in your class,
what each student could contribute to her/his household today if the household
needed help. Compare the needs of the household in the story with the needs
of the Abenakis and with the needs of their own households. Compare how
the needs are filled. (For a geography exercise you can have the class
map the journey to Portsmouth on an outline
map of New Hampshire.)
3. In what
ways did people trade and exchange what they had for what they wanted or
needed in New Hampshire history?
A. Use dictionaries
to look up what bartering means. Look up service and good(s). Establish
the differences between the two. Have everybody think of an example that
can be shared of when they may have bartered for something either a good
or a service. Share examples and discuss. Refer to the Ox Cart Man as an
illustration of how farming households in the early years of this nation
met their needs. Farming households seldom had much cash and it presented
a hardship to them.
B. Have each
student bring to class an object they would like to exchange for something
else. Review what bartering means and what is meant by a good and by a
service, both of which we usually pay for with money today. Discuss what
type of services could be given to each other at school. Discuss if the
student wants to trade his/her object for a good or a service. Give the
students a chance to show what they brought and to express what they would
like in exchange, and then give them time to try to
negotiate a trade.
Debrief by discussing the ease and difficulties they encountered. Introduce
the concept of the cash economy. What are the advantages and disadvantages
of a cash economy? of a barter economy?
C. Review and
discuss the trade portrayed in the People of the Dawnland video. View the
video if not already seen or, if appropriate for your class, show it again.
Discuss how the Abenaki traded. Compare that with how the farmer traded
and how they trade today. Bring the unit to an end with a
review of the three questions
and comparisons of needs, wants, and trade in the pre-Columbian period,
the early 19th century, and today. Pick a final assessment if that
1. Included in the Methods
are several activities that may be used for assessment.
2. Ask each student to prepare
a written, oral or pictorial response to one or more of the following:
did the Abenaki people get all of the things they needed for survival?
b. How did each
member of the Abenaki family help out?
the differences between a cash economy and bartering.
d. Explain how
people in New Hampshire either in the early 17th or early 19th centuries
worked together to produce, distribute and barter to take care of material
needs. Use the rubrics from the NH Assessment Test to evaluate the students.
Use the modified rubrics (see example attached) for students to do a self
evaluation of their written work. Have a conference to discuss their evaluation
3. This can be
done as individuals or a small group (4 students) evaluation. Have each
student bring in an item from home that reminds him or her of something
they have seen or learned in class about the Abenaki. Use these for a display
in the class. Have students draw a picture of or write brief descriptions
of each object. (Or you can take photos of each object for each student
or group of students. This is rather expensive unless you have photography
available in the school district.) Give each student (or small group) a
poster with two headings: WANTS and NEEDS. Have them attach their drawings
or descriptions under the headings. Have the students give reasons for
their placement orally or in a paper. You will need rubrics for the group
evaluation which includes evaluating participation.
4. Have students
do independent projects presenting examples of wants and needs, family
job distribution or bartering and trade. These may be from a different
time period or area of the world. The reports can be written, oral, or
pictorial, depending on the student and the project. Guidelines for
evaluation should be established
when the project is approved.
[For the Abenaki and ERA
I. See also sources in curriculum under Focus Questions 1-111. Those preceded
by an S are suitable for students.]
American Friends Service
Committee. Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes. Bath, ME: Maine Indian
the River and Through the Years for Children: Book One. Littleton, NH:
Sherwin Dodge Printers, 1985.
Galloway, Colin. The Abenaki.
New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989.
Eames-Sheavly, Marcia. The
Three Sisters. New York: Cornell University Cooperative Extension, 1993.
Knotts, Sharon. A Village
Along the Merrimack.
Public Service of New Hampshire,
AmoskeagFishways, Manchester, NH. (Teacher seminars and information booklet.)
Landau, Elaine. The Abenaki.
Danbury, CT: Grolier Publishing, 1996.
New Hampshire PBS.
Our New Hampshire: People of the Dawnland. Durham, NH. (Educational TV
[For ERA 4, see bibliographies
in NH History Curriculum.]
Hall, Donald. Ox Cart Man.
New York: Penguin Books, 1983.
NH STANDARDS: Economics
5, 6, 7, 9 (in part); History 16, 17, 18 (in part)