The Story of New Netherland
• SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARD I – HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES AND NEW YORK: Students will
use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras,
themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.
• NYC ELA E1c. Read and comprehend informational materials.
• NYC ELA E2a. Produce a report of information.
• NYC ELA E2b. Produce a response to literature.
• NYC ELA E5a. Respond to non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive and critical
• Students will understand the development and historical impact of New Netherland on the
history of New York and the United States.
• Students will complete one of four projects based on the information provided in the
presentation, as well as information researched in textbooks, trade books, reference materials
and the Internet.
• How do communities affect their surroundings?
• Who were the Dutch?
• How did the colony begin?
• Why did it begin?
• What did New Netherland look like?
• What was the government in New Netherland?
• Who came to New Netherland?
• How did colonists make a living?
• What was life like for a colonist?
• How did the Dutch get along with Native Americans?
• What was slavery like in New Netherland?
• Why did New Netherland fail?
• What was the legacy of the Dutch?
PowerPoint presentation on New Netherland, accompanying worksheets, computer and LCD projector,
supplementary texts/objects as needed.
This project can, and should, be broken up into individual lessons based on the unit questions. To begin,
the teacher can have the students close their eyes and imagine their neighborhood without the houses,
streets, cars, etc. Explain how New York was not always like this, and that different groups of people
came to this area and left their mark on our community.
Use the PowerPoint presentation and use the slide(s) that cover one particular unit question. NOTE:
DO NOT use the entire presentation at once UNLESS it is a cumulative review at the end of the unit.
Discuss with the students the pictures and how they relate to the text presented in each slide.
If using slides with specific artifacts (the Schaghen letter, slave ships, etc.), take the time to parse the
different aspects of the artifact with the students i.e. type, handwriting, materials, age, condition, etc.
Independent Activity/Group Activity:
At certain intervals, certain slides utilize worksheets that can be completed individually or in groups.
These worksheets utilize the information from the mini lesson to further enhance understanding
through graphic organizers, roleplay, art projects, creative writing, etc.
If the slides used do not have accompanying worksheets, teachers can feel free to adapt the activities in
the worksheets to meet the needs of their particular mini-lesson, or create their own.
Students will share their findings and discuss any lingering questions towards the end of their lesson. If
time is constricted, have students summarize their findings and document any questions in their
notebooks to be answered in the next lesson.
The culminating project is a choice of four activities, differentiated by difficulty as well as by type:
• Create an advertisement/brochure to persuade possible colonists to settle in New Netherland.
• Write a journal entry as a colonist/native/slave/religious minority in New Netherland.
• Create dioramas depicting scenes from the history of New Netherland.
• Write a report on a significant person in the history of New Netherland (Minuit, Kieft,
Each of these projects will require either whole-class or group conferencing in the format and
conventions of each type of work, as well as anchors or exemplars of different levels of understanding.
In the middle of the unit, have students begin to think about their choice of project. Then have them
periodically analyze how the information learned from each lesson will aid them in completing their