Grade 3 – Economic Development: Saugatuck’s Development Over Time

by Lauren Francese
Westport Public Schools, Westport


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Arts, Business & Industry, Transportation
Theme
Influence of Geography on the Social, Political, and Economic Development of CT Towns and the State
Town
Westport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Westport, Progress, Transportation, Art, Lambdin
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

In what ways has one town, and Connecticut, changed and/or stayed the same over time?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • In what ways have bodies of water shaped the development of Connecticut over time?
  • What has motivated innovations in transportation throughout Connecticut’s history?
  • How does an artist tell a story?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Saugatuck in the 19th Century by Robert Lambdin - Westport Public Schools
Saugatuck in the 19th Century by Robert Lambdin – Westport Public Schools

This painting is titled, “Saugatuck in the 19th Century.” It depicts Saugatuck as part of Connecticut river commerce and manufacturing. The artist, Robert Lambdin, was a Westport resident who created the mural for the Westport Bank & Trust Company’s Saugatuck branch when it opened in 1970.

It shows the various types of transportation and methods of trade that developed throughout the 19th century. A few of the landmarks in the painting are still standing today, including the original firehouse and the swing bridge and train depot.

While the painting emphasizes the 19th century, the artist included I-95, which was a 20th-century development. However, the framing of the mural with the I-95 overpass creates an interesting dynamic within the mural as a way to think about economic progress.MuralLegendPicture

-Legend for Mural copy

This is a legend for the mural to show the locations represented.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Introduce the painting and ask students to SEE, THINK, WONDER.

  • What do they SEE in the mural?
  • What does this mural make them THINK about?
  • What does this mural make them WONDER?

SEE: Make observations about the mural.
THINK: Make connections using background knowledge.
WONDER: Ask questions about the mural.

Introduce “economics” and vocabulary terms: buyers, sellers, and trade.
WHO TRADES? (nearly everyone)
PEOPLE TRADE BECAUSE… (people trade because they expect to gain)
PEOPLE MAKE CHOICES ABOUT TRADING BASED ON… (what they want, want more, or don’t want at all)

What questions from the list of things you wondered might help us to explore the economic activity/trade in the mural? (Students can work here to identify and prioritize questions)

Who is trading in the mural? What is being traded? What different types of transportation are people using to trade?

What questions would they ask the artist to better understand the mural? How might we find clues or helpful information to learn more about the message within this mural?


 

Research the Art! What time periods are reflected in the painting? Assign students to research the following modes of transportation or industries that are represented in the painting (inquiry circles may be used here too). Have students place these innovations on a timeline in the classroom.

  • Sailing Vessel
  • Steamboat
  • Railroad
  • Horse and carriage
  • Highways
  • Bank
  • Button Making
  • Saugatuck Manufacturing
  • Doscher Plane Company
  • Wakeman Mattress and Cushion Company
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

In groups, have students create a new title for the painting and explain their rationale for the title. Then, ask students to add to the timeline of transportation (what comes next?) and make predictions about how they would change the painting to reflect their ideas about the future.

  • Why did they choose this title?
  • Why is this painting important for understanding how Westport and other Connecticut communities changed over time?
  • How will the changes they predict for the future of transportation shape the way people live in Westport and other Connecticut communities?

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 3 – Kids at Sea in the 19th Century

by Laura Krenicki
William J. Johnston Middle School, Colchester


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Transportation, Exploration & Discovery
Theme
Influence of Geography on the Social, Political, and Economic Development of CT Towns and the State
Town
Mystic, a village in the towns of Groton and Stonington, Statewide
Related Search Terms
19th Century, Life at Sea, Maud Maxon, Letter, Education, Ship, Primary Source, Everyday Life
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did maritime culture influence the people of Connecticut?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How was life in the 1870s similar or different to life in Connecticut now?
  • How has transportation improved since 1870?
  • What would it have been like for children at sea?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Maud Maxon was a little girl in Mystic, Connecticut, who went on a ship voyage with her uncle. Her mother did not go on the trip, so the letter tells her mother of her days at sea. Page one of letter. - Mystic Seaport
Maud Maxon was a little girl in Mystic, Connecticut, who went on a ship voyage with her uncle. Her mother did not go on the trip, so the letter tells her mother of her days at sea. Page one of letter. – Mystic Seaport
Page 2 of letter. - Mystic Seaport
Page 2 of letter. There are more pages available on the Mystic Seaport link. – Mystic Seaport
Page 3 of letter. - Mystic Seaport
Page 3 of letter. There are more pages available on the Mystic Seaport link. – Mystic Seaport
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Divide students into small groups and have them read the first page of the letter (if it is difficult to read, click on the Mystic Seaport link as there is a “transcription” of the text as well as an audio version at the top of the page). Have students write questions about the letter on sticky notes. Continue with the next page and see if any of the questions on the sticky notes were answered. Remove those notes. Add new notes as additional questions are raised, etc.

Explore the questions and see if some are answerable with the letter itself. If not, have students research what life at sea would have been like, and even more so for children. Also consider the routes one would need to take in the 19th century to go from Mystic, Connecticut, to San Francisco, California.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students may create their own letters as though they were aboard a ship, and use examples/terms from the Artifact Resource Sets found on the Mystic Seaport website. For example: “although it is often very dark in the bunks where we sleep, the DECK LIGHTS set in the upper deck allows for some light to the lower deck.”
  • Create a map of the sea routes one would take to travel from Mystic, Connecticut, to San Francisco, California, in the 19th century. Would there be a faster sea route now?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 8 – The Iron Industry of Northwest Connecticut

by Rosemary Davis
Sharon Historical Society, Sharon


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Business & Industry, Invention & Technology
Theme
The Impact of Geography on History
Town
Salisbury, Sharon, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Geography, Industrialization, Iron, Furnace, Ore, Pig Iron
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Would there have been a thriving iron industry in Connecticut without the geological and geographical advantages of the northwest corner?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why was the geography of the northwest corner critical to the success of Connecticut’s iron industry?
  • Why did Connecticut’s iron industry fail?
  • What might have happened to the development of the northwest corner of Connecticut had the men that owned the iron furnaces decided to become steel producers?
  • How did the geographical location of Connecticut’s iron industry affect the development of transportation routes into and out of the state?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Men working as molders in Sharon Valley. Note the unusual variety of tools used for the compacting of special sand for casting the iron. Note: the children are not just visiting they are part of the work force. - Sharon Historical Society
Men working as molders in Sharon Valley. Note the unusual variety of tools used for the compacting of special sand for casting the iron. Note: the children are not just visiting they are part of the work force. – Sharon Historical Society
The Sharon Valley Iron Company furnace in 1875. Note the stacks of pig iron in the foreground and beyond the tree to the left. To the upper right stand the charcoal sheds. At the same level is the elongated casting shed running into the main building to the top of the thirty-four-foot-high blast furnace.  Above the unseen furnace is the top house extending sixty-eight feet above ground.  To the far left is the blast house with an overshot waterwheel powering pumping tubs through the visible pipe to the top house to heat the blast. The casting shed, center front, contains the sand beds where the white-hot iron formed into pigs and cooled. - Salisbury Association
The Sharon Valley Iron Company furnace in 1875. Note the stacks of pig iron in the foreground and beyond the tree to the left. To the upper right stand the charcoal sheds. At the same level is the elongated casting shed running into the main building to the top of the thirty-four foot high blast furnace. Above the unseen furnace is the top house extending sixty-eight feet above ground. To the far left is the blast house with an overshot waterwheel powering pumping tubs through the visible pipe to the top house to heat the blast. The casting shed, center front, contains the sand beds where the white-hot iron formed into pigs and cooled. – Salisbury Association
Account Book, Coal, Sharon Valley Iron Co., 1887-1892. - Sharon Historical Society
Account Book, Coal, Sharon Valley Iron Co., 1887-1892. – Sharon Historical Society
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using the above primary and secondary source materials, the book, Echoes of Iron in Connecticut’s Northwest Corner, and accompanying video, “Visions of Iron,” students will plot out the geographical locations of materials critical to the success of Connecticut’s iron industry: rivers, forests for the production of charcoal, lime deposits, and iron ore deposits. Once the data has been plotted, students will develop hypotheses as to why the iron industry failed, and what actions could have been taken to foster its long-term success. Using these arguments, students will determine how the character of the northwest corner may have been changed as a result.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Plan a mock town meeting on one of the following topics: the possibility of building more iron furnaces across the region; the conversion of cold blast furnaces to hot blast furnaces; bringing major railroad lines closer to the furnace locations; etc.
  • Using online resources develop an interactive map.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ