The title of this unit refers to a little-known massacre in colonial Pennsylvania. Over the course of three lessons, students will attempt to understand how a vigilante group justified its role in murdering twenty Native Americans. The primary source evidence will allow students to analyze questions related to claims about colonization, peace and war, race and ethnicity, masculinity and civility, the use of violence as a political weapon, and religious association. Most of the primary sources referenced here are available in Digital Paxton.
Ultimately, students will demonstrate what they have learned through an analysis of the various primary source materials by writing a response to essential questions posed for the unit, participating in whole-class and small-group discussions, and engaging in a news conference simulation.
- Analyze both primary and secondary source documents using close-reading strategies
- Interpret, analyze, and demonstrate understanding of visual materials
- Draw logical inferences and summarize the essential message of a work of art
- Compose summaries of the major points in written primary sources
- Compare and contrast the viewpoints and perspectives of different writers
- To what extent did fear of Native Americans develop into racial hatred in colonial Pennsylvania?
- To what extent can the rhetoric of fear incite a population to violence?
- To what extent did fear and racism shape colonial perceptions of neighboring Native Americans?
- How did the living conditions on the frontier contribute to confrontation and conflict between Native Americans and colonists?
- To what extent did the actions of the Paxton Boys disrupt or destroy William Penn's Peaceable Kingdom?
Number of Class Periods: 4
Grade Level: Grades 7-12
Common Core Standards
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.6: Evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on . . . topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.6: Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.