2b. Curriculum Outline: Unit Two – Grades 6 through 8

Unit 2, Grades 6-8

Building the County

  • The players and places – A look back at the building of a county and its part in creating a new county. An over view from the first unit.
  • The real questions – What were the most important happenings and how did they shape the county?
  • Who they were – The buying and claiming of the land and how it came to be used. The need to keep order. The Revolution. The use of new technology.
  • What they did – The division of the land. The use and control of the waterways and building of roads. Established government to keep order and do those things individuals couldn’t do themselves.
  • Learning more – Identifying things that still work the same way.  Seeing how volunteers still make a difference.

New Technology

  • The players and places – New technology changes the world and with it Salem County.
  • The real questions – What happened between 1830 and 1850 that impacted the world more than the effects of today’s technological changes?
  • Who they were – The power of steam to move things. Communication and the telegram. The ability to control the water with damns and dikes. Trains and steam boats come to Salem County.
  • What they did – Steam boats and trains get people and things from one place to another faster and cheaper. Messages across a wire, dots and dashes like getting your first phone.
  • Learning more – History of the steam engine and the telegraph. Ways to control the flow of water.

New Prosperity

  • The players and places – New prosperity comes in the form of manufacturing, merchants and services. New diversity as people comes to the county.
  • The real questions – How did a group of manufactures, merchants and services change the county? Who and where were they?
  • Who they were – The need for glass for jars, windows and more. Supplies needed for the farms, fishing fleets, hunters and trappers as well as household goods. Tanning, transportation, processing meat, fish, crops, and other services grew. Brick for houses and skills to build them. Mills and iron works populate the county.
  • What they did – Much of the forested area was cut to supply wood for the furnaces and the steam engines. Sand and clay for glass and pottery. Furniture made in Salem County. With prosperity comes the desire to own things..what they bought.
  • Learning more – What fuels the glass furnace today? Why are fewer things made in America? What is still manufactured in Salem County?


  • The players and places – The abundance of the farms and the life of a Salem County farm family.
  • The real questions – What did they grow? How much is still around? What role did each member of the family play the prosperity of the family? How could you preserve the food you raised?
  • Who they were – The farmers raised animals and the feed they fed them. The farm family also needed to eat and raised fruit, vegetables and grains. As farmers they raised more than enough for themselves they took the rest to market.
  • What they did – Working a farm today is hard work but doing it without tractors and other machines required a lot of labor and laborers and was even more dependent on the weather and land conditions. The growing role of canneries.
  • Learning more – Farmland Preservation. Crops still grown in the county. The Tomato, the potato and the pickle. The making of beer and spirits.

Living off the Land

  • The players and places – Beyond the field and barn: trappers, loggers, watermen, trades and manufacturing.
  • The real questions – How else did farmers and others make a living from the land and water?
  • Who they were – Salem County had an abundance of wild life, some of it is still here and some are gone forever. Watermen and their boats.
  • What they did – Locals hunted geese and pheasant, they trapped muskrat and fox for the pelts. They fished the creeks, rivers and bay for fish, turtles, crab, oysters and clams.
  • Learning more – Immigrants from Russia, Italy, Germany and beyond add to the community.


  • The players and places – The question of slavery and the effort to compromise becomes even more difficult as new states and territories are added.
  • The real questions – When and why were African slaves brought to America? Who else besides slaves were sent to the colonies as labor? Were there slaves in Salem County? Does being a free state mean that there are no slaves?
  • Who they were – The need for cheap labor. Indians die quickly from the white man’s diseases prove unable to fill the need. Working the farms of Salem County indentured labor instead of prison and African slaves.
  • What they did – Slave traders and people as property. Slaves and free blacks in Salem County a portrait of who they were. Convicts sent to the new world.
  • Learning more – The remarkable stories of free blacks and their contribution to Salem County.

The Underground Railroad

  • The players and places – The railroad that didn’t have trains. The Steps to freedom run through the County.
  • The real questions – What was the underground railroad and how did Salem County participate? What was the fugitive slave act?
  • Who they were – Closeness to slave states. Again with the help of water. Moving north to freedom. Bounty hunters roam the county.
  • What they did – The involvement of the Quakers and free blacks. Heroes in the effort.
  • Learning more – Following the steps 7 sites in Salem County.

Civil War

  • The players and places – Compromise fails and a country divided, goes to war.
  • The real questions – How did people in Salem County participate in the war? What effect did the war have on the county? Costs of war?
  • Who they were – The party of Lincoln strong in the county. An army is raised that includes men from the county.
  • What they did – Again the question of the Quakers and war. A Quaker woman goes to war to help. Prisoners of war on the Delaware.
  • Learning more – Pea Patch Island and Finns Point. Special heroes.

A New Century

  • The players and places – Salem County moves toward a new century. Changes for better or worse. Prosperities impact on the environment.
  • The real questions – How did the new technologies change Salem County? What resources were used to keep the prosperity moving? What is the impact on today’s Salem County?
  • Who they were – Moving from homemade or local craftsmen to manufactured goods. The need for wood and sand to make glass. Better boats, nets and other equipment meant bring in more fish, oysters and crabs.
  • What they did – The depleting of resources including the stripping of wooded areas and the over fishing and the dredging of oysters has in some areas has caused total depletion. Sturgeon and caviar as an industry on the Delaware River.
  • Learning more – The markets for Salem County products. Farming still strong. Glass makers, canneries and the purchase of land by DuPont.

Civil Rights Movements

  • The players and places – The beginnings of a new rebellion. The rights of women, blacks and children.
  • The real questions – Who could vote or hold property? Who went to school? Who could inherit? Who could work?
  • Who they were – The meaning of Freeholder. The local schools and the beginnings of public support.
  • What they did – The role of the Quaker’s in education. The beginnings of woman’s suffrage.
  • Learning more – A right given and taken away – the first New Jersey constitution.

Influencers & Change Makers

  • The players and places – Change makers
  • The real questions – Who and what affected the character of Salem County?
  • Who they were – Persons of influence and creativity. Successes and failures.
  • What they did – Geography still made a difference.
  • Learning more – Looking at people and machines.