by Laura Krenicki
William J. Johnston Middle School, Colchester
This activity is built around different maps of Hartford:
The Map of Pioneer Hartford
Hartford Settlement, 1636
D1: Potential Compelling Question
D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
- How were local landmarks and neighborhoods named?
- Why were specific individuals in your community honored through monuments or memorials, and how did they affect the history of your town, state, and country?
- What historical events occurred in your town/city?
D2: TOOL KIT
Things you will need to teach this lesson:
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
Have students notice how the map is oriented.
- Which way is north?
- How can they tell?
- Which way does the Connecticut River flow?
The founding of Hartford was dependent on the Connecticut River.
- Why was the river so important then?
- How is it important to Hartford now?
For further consideration:
- How important is scale on a map?
- If they were to use this Pioneer Map of Hartford, how close would things seem?
- How might this be misleading if students were going to walk from Soldier’s Field to West Field?
- How did these places get their names?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
Have students create a personal map from their house to your school. Have students ask their families to see how their community has changed over time.
As a class discussion, consider these questions:
- What things would you think are important to include in your map?
- What details or landmarks would you include in your map and what would you leave off?
Place to GO
FoundersofHartford.org – Consider the compelling question and the three additional questions above. How would the Colonial Map help you to answer those questions? The Founders of Hartford website helps to identify some of the monuments in Hartford using a modern map, and provides the historical background for those honored.
Things To DO
Maps like this can tell a lot about how things were in the past. If you were working for the State Archaeologist, how could maps like this help in learning about Connecticut history? Using the map, where might you search for artifacts with clues to our past? To learn more, check out the Connecticut Archaeology Center located at UConn.
For further research, and ways to help protect the Connecticut River from pollution, you may be interested in ConnecticutRiver.us.
Websites to VISIT
For more maps to explore take a look at the University of Connecticut’s – Historical Map Collection: Connecticut.