Stake Your Claim!

School Year: 
Second Grade

Why did people make a long arduous journey from “back east” to Rochester? Why did the first settlers settle in specific spots along the banks of the mighty Genesee? What did they need to do to create a sustainable life for their families? While the whole class will learn about the first seven settlements along the Genesee River, including how they were different from one another, each crew will focus on one settlement. The class will visit the locations of the settlements, study old maps and city directories, and work with a local historian and historic texts to piece together the history of that settlement, paying special attention to what the strength of that specific location was (bridge, mill, boat building). To simulate the interdependence of early settlers and in order to experience daily life in the early 1800’s the class will embark on a camping trip in Webster Park. Each crew will be responsible for creating specific structures that are needed for their settlement. Crews will also decide what materials they need to build their structures and barter with the storekeeper - Jebediah McCracken. Exhibition Night will take the form of a “Town Square Fair” where students will share songs and dances, games, their opinion writing, and their maps and town plans. Bonnets and kerchiefs required!