The students will use first person accounts (primary sources) to gain information about Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River; will briefly summarize primary source information in their own words; and will plan a tour in which they will visit historic sites along the Hudson River.
1. Introduce the lesson by showing the YouTube Video (below) entitled “A Ride Down the Hudson.” After the video, discuss the importance of rivers on early and native civilizations. Make sure to discuss how native populations settled near rivers such as the Hudson. Point out the uses of the river for such things as travel, water, fishing, irrigation, bathing, drinking, cooking, etc. Brainstorming the importance of living near a river may be a good way to approach this discussion.
2. The second part of the lesson is to examine and interpret primary sources. Website #2 (below) contains journal entries from a crew member named Robert Juet as he traveled with Henry Hudson up and back down the Hudson River. The students need to read these journal entries and interpret what the crew experienced on this journey. They will then summarize each journal entry in their own words, and write their summaries on the Exploring the Hudson River Work Sheet. This activity may be done as a whole class using a projector or interactive board. It may also be done in partners or in small groups. If a computer lab is available it may be done individually. The teacher should model the first few to be sure that the students understand the process.
3. The final portion of this lesson is for the students to use the interactive map located at http://hudsonrivervalley.com/NG_TheHudson/ to plan a historical tour of the Hudson River. They will need to select five historical sites along the river and briefly explain their historical significance. These can be found by clicking the Today’s Hudson River button. The students will also need to explain why they chose each specific location. This activity may be done in partners or in small groups. If a computer lab is available it may be done individually. The teacher should model a possible site to be sure that the students understand the process.
This lesson was created around the interactive map listed as #2, below. It can be extended by creating a further lesson involving Dutch settlement. If the students click the Dutch Settlement button it provides another interactive map about places along the river in which the Dutch settled. Students could use this to conduct further research into the Hudson River Valley. They could also create a map of the Hudson River Valley using all three interactive maps.
A Ride Down the Hudson
Hudson Interactive Map
This lesson was developed by Robert McClelland, Cleveland Metropolitan School District.