2a. Curriculum Outline: Unit One – Grades 4 through 6

Unit 1, Grades 4-6

Native Americans

  • The players and places – Native American settlers Lenape (Delaware) & Nanticoke
  • The real questions – Who were they? How did they live? Where are they now?
  • Profiles – Part of the Algonquin nation. Farming, fishing and hunting. Salem County place names taken from Indian words.
  • What they did – Tribal nations were models for representative democracy. Growing crops, gathering wild herbs and fruit, nets to fish and hunting & trapping for meat and skins. Words in use today come from Algonquin words like toboggan, hickory, chipmunk and caucus. Place names like Alloway.
  • Learning more – Remnants of the tribe remain and hold an annual powwow at the fairgrounds. Additional information Thomas Penn and the Walking Purchase and the Indian Removal Act.

Swedes & Finns

  • The players and places – Swedes & Finns short history
  • The real questions – Who were they? How did they interact with the Indians?
  • Profiles – Smaller colonies from Sweden that settled on the Delaware River. Finland was a province of Sweden. Most of the Swedish colonists were Finns. They lived peacefully with the Indians. Place names the Swedes left behind.
  • What they did – Others who were creating colonies further north were Dutch, English and French. Sharing: Swedish Colonists taught the Indians how to build log cabins and make splint baskets and in return the Indians taught them how to grow corn and net fish. Many of the cultural traits the Swedes and natives shared were woven into the fabric of American history.
  • Learning more – A replica of a Swedish cabin is open on Market Street in Salem. A Swedish farm house & museum in Pennsville. A cabin at Hancock’s Bridge shows what life was like.

The Dutch

  • The players and places – The Dutch
  • The real questions – Who were they?
  • Profiles – Established colonies in New York but soon had confrontations with the English.
  • What they did – They took over the Swedish colony in 1655 also building forts but were defeated by the English in 1664.
  • Learning more – Web search for history of New Amsterdam.

The English

  • The players and places – The English.
  • The real questions – Who were they? What was The Provence of West Jersey?
  • Profiles – King George’s gift to his brother ignores any other claims and divides up what would become New Jersey.
  • What they did – In 1673 sailed from England, arriving on the shore of Salem County in June 1675. A treaty with the Indians gives him “rights to the soil” in what is now Salem and Cumberland Counties.
  • Learning more – Sailing ships long and hazardous journey. Not until 1737 was there a way to compute longitude. How did that affect sea travel?

Fenwick’s Colony

  • The players and places – Fenwick’s Colony
  • The real questions – What made up the colony? What was unique about the area?
  • Profiles – Establishment of the Town of New Salem. The use of the waterways for transporting people and crops.
  • What they did – In 1676 a survey was commissioned to allow for home sites, towns and roadways. . a county map was begun.
  • Learning more – The use of animal paths and waterways to get around the territory.

The Colony

  • The players and places – The colony takes shape.
  • The real questions – Who owned the land? How was it divided? What’s in a name? How did people earn money?
  • Profiles – The disputes over who owned the land or had the right to grant or sell it to settlers. The drawing of boundary lines for counties and towns.
  • What they did – Markets, fairs, trades.
  • Learning more – Natives, Swedes, Finns and English… the mapping of cities, townships, home sites, farms and waterways. A list of name origins.
  • Learning more – The recording of deeds and the development of parcels and home sites for sale. The making of surveys.


  • The players and places – The Blessings of so much water. The Development of a port.
  • The real questions – What were the advantages of the waterways and how were they used?
  • Profiles – Water as roads. Fishing and trapping, as power, feeding crops, animals and people. Boats to navigate them.
  • What they did – Mills, boats and marsh grazing. Hunting and fishing to feed the families and for sale.
  • Learning more – The making of beer and cider. Early boats and ships. Transportation.

Making of Government

  • The players and places – The making of government filling the need for order and safety. Local and regional.
  • The real questions – What kind of government was necessary? Why does government need taxes?
  • Profiles – Laws, enforcement and courts. Coming together as a community for the protection of all. Covering the costs.
  • What they did – Freeholders, sheriff, judges, fire brigades, militia and more.
  • Learning more – Identifying livestock. The strength of volunteers. Crime and punishment samples of same.


  • The players and places – The place for faith
  • The real questions – How did the settlers worship and where? Did they always get along?
  • Profiles – The settlers brought their faith with them, coming together to build churches and meeting houses.
  • What they did – Earliest groups. Lutheran, Episcopal, Quaker, Baptist, AME.
  • Learning more – Churches that are still here. The right not to fight for the Quakers.


  • The players and places – A disagreement with a King and a rebellion begins.
  • The real questions – What was the tea party? Was the revolution fought in Salem County? Why were farmers encouraged to raise more sheep?
  • Profiles – Salem county sends aid to Boston and supplies to the rebel troops. Not everyone in the county wanted a new country friends and family divided the Whigs and the Tories. Dependence of wool from England.
  • What they did – The colonies respond to the suffering in Boston. The colonies declare independence and the citizens of Salem County are divided. Franklin’s father and son divided by loyalties.
  • Learning more – Taxation without representation.

The Revolution

  • The players and places – The fighting in Salem County
  • The real questions – Were there battles fought in the county? Who was involved and what was the outcome?
  • Profiles – The British came by water and land, determined to seize what they needed and destroy the rest.
  • What they did – The leaders on both sides and how and where they fought. What was the militia and how it worked.
  • Learning more – Hancock’s bridge and the battle of Quinton. Feeding the troops. Volunteers hold the line.

A New Country

  • The players and places – Being part of new country
  • The real questions – What changes did the revolution bring? How does the government compare to today?
  • Profiles – From a declaration of independence to a constitution, county and municipal government, but not all issues were settled.
  • What they did – The tasks of government and who represented south Jersey. The priority of order. The writers set up a procedure to amend the constitution.
  • Learning more – Questions of race and gender. Who were citizens, could own land and who could vote. Meetings in Philadelphia.

Salem County Grows

  • The players and places – Salem County continues to grow.
  • The real questions – What things helped Salem County grow and become more prosperous?
  • Profiles – Building an infrastructure, roads bridges and dikes. New markets and new products. New technology
  • What they did – Learning to control the water. The power of steam. New and faster ways to get products to market.
  • Learning more – On land nothing moved faster than a horse, on the water no faster than wind or oars.

Colonial Life

  • The players and places – Not everything was rosy, the hazards of colonial life. Using up the land.
  • The real questions – What were the dangers? What did the people do? What happens when you run out of resources?
  • Profiles – Mother nature and farming. Disease and medicine. Land that no longer will grow a crop. Moving west to establish Salem Cities across the country.
  • What they did – The precarious life of a farmer. Illness spreads. A look at cemeteries for history. Robert G. Johnson and the farm loan fund. The finding of marl.
  • Learning more – Today farming is hard work and risky. Looking at the harvesting of crops and health hazards in the county.

Change Makers

  • The players and places – Change makers
  • The real questions – Who and what affected the character of Salem County? What impact does that have for today?
  • Profiles – Persons of influence and their creativity.
  • What they did – The effects of geography, resources and climate.
  • Learning more – Look at the agricultural community of today – what crops are still growing?