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Classroom Activities 1 2 3 4


Activity 1

• Divide the class into small groups. Have each group use encyclopedias, biographic dictionaries, and other reference works to complete Graphic Organizer 1 with words that describe Samuel de Champlain and his accomplishments.

graphic organizer1

• Have students prepare a mock interview of Samuel de Champlain. Questions about his country of origin, his area of exploration, and the dates and significance of his journeys should be included. Help students make a class chart of the information gathered


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Activity 2

• Have students use Map A and additional resources to develop a timeline of the explorations of Samuel de Champlain.

Map A

Explorations of Samuel de Champlain

Explorations of Samuel de Champlain

http://www.exploreny400.com/images/champ_route.jpg


graphic organizer 2

• Distribute physical maps of North America and ask students to label the following locations associated with the explorations of Samuel de Champlain:


– Gulf of St. Lawrence – Port Royal
– St. Lawrence River – Bay of Fundy
– Quebec – Cape Cod
– Lachine Rapids – Martha's Vineyard
– Richelieu River – Hudson River
– Lake Champlain – Lake Oneida
– Lake Ontario – Lake Huron
– Lake Nipissing – Mattawa River

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Activity 3

Teachable moments stress that documents should be analyzed from the perspective of their original, historical and cultural contexts, but they can also be viewed from contemporary perspectives. It is important that our students develop the ability to interact and engage with a broad range of instructional materials. Please exercise discretion as you create your commemorative lessons.

• Have students analyze visual A and reading A1 or A2. Visual A is a primary source drawn by Samuel de Champlain. Reading A1 is a direct translation from Champlain's own journal; Reading A2 is a simplified version of the direct translation. The journal account depicts a July 1609 skirmish between Champlain and his Huron allies and the Iroquois on Lake Champlain. Ask students to speculate why Champlain supported the Huron in their fight against the Iroquois. Ask also what role the fur trade played and what role European technology played in the fight.

• Instruction will vary according to the reading level of your students. Better readers can analyze readings A1, A2, B1, and B2 by themselves. On the other hand, you may choose to read these documents yourself to your average and weaker readers, and then deconstruct the passages from Champlain's journal with them.

Visual A

1609 Battle of Samuel de Champlain

visual A

Journal of Samuel de Champlain
http://www.rivernen.ca/1609_mo.htm



Champlain's Description of His Battle with the Iroquois

Reading A1


"As soon as we were ashore they began to run for some 200 paces toward their enemy, who were standing firmly and had not having as yet noticed my companions, who went into the woods with some savages. Our men began to call me with loud cries: and, to give me a passage-way, they divided in two parts and put me at their head, where I marched some twenty paces in advance of the others, until I was within about thirty paces of the enemy. They at once saw me and halted, looking at me, as I at them. When I saw them making a move to shoot at us, I rested my arquebuse against my cheek and aimed directly at one of the three chiefs. With the same shot two of them fell to the ground, and one of their companions, who was wounded and afterward died. I put four balls into my arquebuse. When our men saw this shot so favorable for them, they began to make cries so loud that one could not have heard it thunder. Meanwhile, the arrows did not fail to fly from both sides. The Iroquois were much astonished that two men had been so quickly killed, although they were provided with armor woven from cotton thread and from wood, proof against their arrows. This alarmed them greatly. As I was loading again, one of my companions fired shot from the woods, which astonished them again to such a degree that, seeing their chiefs dead, they lost courage, took to flight and abandoned the field and their fort, fleeing into the depths of the woods. Pursuing them thither I killed some more of them. Our savages also killed several of them and took ten or twelve prisoners. The rest escaped with the wounded. There were fifteen or sixteen of our men wounded by arrow shots, who were soon healed."


Journal of Samuel de Champlain

From: Algonquians, Hurons and Iroquois: Champlain Explores America 1603-1616. Annie Nettleton Bourne, translator (2000), pp.102-103. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia: Brook House Press.


Reading A2


As soon as we had landed, they began to run for some 200 paces toward their enemies, who stood firmly, not having as yet noticed my companions, who went into the woods with some savages. Our men began to call me with loud cries; and then they broke into two groups in order to give me a passageway. I took my place in front, where I marched some twenty paces ahead of the rest, until I was within about thirty paces of the enemy, who at once noticed me, halted and gazed at me, as I did at them. When I saw them making a move to fire at us, I rested my musket against my cheek, and aimed directly at one of the three chiefs. In one shot, two fell to the ground; and one of their men was so wounded that he later died. The Iroquois were greatly surprised that two men had been so quickly killed, although they were wearing armor woven from cotton thread, and wood which protected them against arrows. This caused a great deal of panic among them. As I reloaded, one of my men fired shots from the woods, which startled them to such a degree that, seeing their chiefs dead, they lost courage and fled, abandoning their camp and fort, fleeing into the woods while I chased them, killing more of them still. Our savages also killed several of them, and took ten or twelve prisoners. Fifteen or sixteen were wounded on our side with arrow-shots; but they soon healed.


Journal of Samuel de Champlain
(simplified version)

  • Who are the enemies that Champlain describes in this passage?
  • Why did Champlain use the French word for savages to describe the Iroquois?
  • What is an arquebuse and how does it work?
  • Why did Champlain shoot the Iroquois chiefs?
  • Did this battle end the conflict between the Iroquois and other North American Indian groups?
Champlain's Description of Lake Champlain

Reading B1


"We left the next day (July 29 1609) continuing our course in the river as far as the entrance to the lake [Lake Champlain]. In this there are many pretty islands, which are low, covered with very beautiful woods and meadows, where there is a quantity of game, and animals for hunting, such as stags, fallow-deer, fawns, roebucks, bears and other animals which come from the mainland to these islands. We caught a great many of them. There are also many beavers, not only in this river, but in many other little ones which empty into it..

There are also several rivers which flow into the lake, bordered by many fine trees of the same sorts that we have in France, with a quantity of vines more beautiful than any I had seen in any other places; many chestnut trees, and I had not seen any at all before, except on the shores of the lake, where there is a great abundance of fish, of many varieties. Among other kinds there is one called by the savages Chaousarou, which is of various lengths; but the longest, as these people told me, is eight or ten feet. I saw some five feet long, which were as big as a man's thigh; with a head being as large as two fists, a snout two feet and a half long, and a double row of very sharp and dangerous teeth..

Continuing our course in this lake on the west side I saw, as I was observing the country, some very high mountains on the eastern side with snow on top of them. I inquired of the savages if these places were inhabited. They told me that they were - by the Iroquois and that in these places there were beautiful valleys and open stretches fertile in grain, such as I had eaten in this country, with a great many other fruits; and that the lake went near mountains, which were perhaps as it seemed to me, about fifteen leagues from us. I saw on the south others, no less high than the first, but without snow. The savages told me that these mountains were thickly peopled. They also said it was necessary to pass a rapid, which I saw afterward, and from there to enter another lake, three or four leagues long [Lake George].."

Source: Algonquians, Hurons and Iroquois: Champlain Explores America 1603-1616. Annie Nettleton Bourne, translator (2000), pp.100-101. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia: Brook House Press.

  • What animals and plants did Champlain see when he explored Lake Champlain?
  • How does Champlain describe the territory between Lake Champlain and Lake George?
  • Do you think this land would be a good place to settle?
Reading B2


We set out the next day (July 29, 1609), continuing our course in the river as far as the entrance to the lake (Lake Champlain). There are many pretty islands here, low, and containing very fine woods and meadows, with plenty of fowl and other animals of the chase as stags, fallow-deer, fawns, roebucks, bears and others, which come from the mainland to these islands. We caught a great many of them. There are also many beavers, not only in this river, but in many other little ones which empty into it..

There are several rivers which flow into the lake that are bordered by many fine trees of the same kinds as those we have in France, with many vines finer than any I have seen in any other place; many chestnut trees, and I had not seen any before, except on the shores of the lake, where there is a great abundance of fish of a good many varieties. Among other kinds there is one called by the savages Chaousarou, which varies in length, the largest being, as the people told me, eight or ten feet long. I saw some five feet long, which were as large as my thigh; the head being as big as my two fists, with a snout two feet and a half long, and a double row of very sharp and dangerous teeth..

Continuing our course in this lake on the west side I saw, as I was observing the country, some very high mountains on the east side with snow on top of them. I asked the savages whether this area was populated, when they told me that the Iroquois lived there, and that there were beautiful valleys in these places with plains that produced grain, such as I had eaten in this country, together with many kinds of fruit. They said also that the lake stretched near mountains, some fifteen leagues away from us. I saw, on the south others not less high than the first, but without snow. The savages told me that these mountains were thickly settled, and that it was necessary to pass a rapid, which I saw afterward, and from there to enter another lake (Lake George) three or four leagues long.

Journal of Samuel de Champlain

(simplified version)


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Activity 4

• Using the New Hampshire Public Television website "Nature Works" (http://www.nhptv.org/Natureworks/beaver.htm) and the "Natural Distribution of the North American Beaver" map and other resources, students should investigate the life cycle of beavers. Research questions might include:


  • What was the original habitat of the beaver?
  • What roles did North America's physical setting play in determining where the beaver lived and thrived?
  • Why were beavers prized by both Europeans and Native American Indians?
  • Why did the beaver gradually die out in eastern parts of North America?
  • Why didn't the species become extinct?
16th Century Natural Distribution of the North American Beaver

beaver


Trade and Conflict Timeline
table
table2
  • Why did the French, the Dutch, and the English establish trading posts in North America?
  • Why did the fur trade lead to conflict and war?

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