Tag Archives: #online

Smuggled Lenses: Photography and Japanese American History

This special hour-long presentation designed for high school classrooms features two Asian-American scholars discussing the work of three American photographers – Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Toyo Miyatake – during World War II. Each of them recorded the lives of Japanese American citizens who were imprisoned in concentration camps such as Manzanar in California after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The presenters explore how each photographer, one who visited Manzanar and is best known for his landscape images, one who was hired by the government to document the incarceration and then had her photographs impounded, and one who was a prisoner of Manzanar himself, documented this moment in American history from their own unique perspective, and how contemporary artists and activists have interacted with the Manzanar site in more recent years. This presentation relates to Fenimore Art Museum’s 2021 exhibition, Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams, but viewing the exhibition is not necessary for watching and understanding the video.

Ansel Adams Video for Smuggled Lenses:  https://www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/files/videos/Manzanar-HOH.mp4

The Underground Railroad in the Leatherstocking Region

The Underground Railroad played an important role in helping escaped slaves on their journey to freedom in Canada.  Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass are the two New Yorkers most often associated with the success of the Underground Railroad and Abolition Movement, but many may not know that Cooperstown, Hartwick Seminary, Oneonta, and other local communities played a role that contributed to the success of both movements.

Lesson Plan:  DL – Underground Railroad and Abolition

Power Point:  DL Underground Railroad

UGRR Analyzing a Document

UGRR KWL chart

Activity:  Underground Railroad and Abolition


Tradesman’s Tool Chest

The majority of the people living in rural upstate New York in the mid-1800s were farmers, working the land to provide for themselves and their families. Most of the rest of the population was made up of lawyers, doctors, shopkeepers, and tradesmen. Tradesmen provided a variety of goods and services to the farmers and to other members of the communities throughout much of the nineteenth century.  In this lesson, you will learn about some of the common trades and apprenticeships in the mid-1800s and how those trades relate to today’s jobs.

PowerPoint for Tradesman’s Tool Chest

Tradesman’s Tool Chest (3).pptx

4th Grade Lesson Plan and Activities

Distance Learning Tradesmans Tool Chest 4th Grade

Lesson 1 Trades Yesterday and Today  

Lesson 1 Trades Yesterday and Today answer key

Trades in Otsego County 4th Grade

Trades in Otsego County answer key 4th Grade

Apprenticeships in the mid 1800s 4th grade

7th Grade Lesson Plan and Activities

7th Grade Distance Learning Tradesman’s Tool Chest

Lesson 1 Trades Yesterday and Today

Lesson 1 Trades Yesterday and Today answer

7th grade Apprenticeships in the mid 1800s

7th Grade Trades in Otsego County



Impact of the Chenango and Erie Canals

The Erie Canal opened in 1825 to much fanfare and celebration, connecting New York City and the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes. The success of the Erie Canal led to the building of other canals.  This allowed agricultural and factory made goods, as well as people, to move cheaper and with greater speed from New York City to western New York.  Canals created different opportunities to work outside the farm and home as Hosea Dimmick decided to do in 1845.

Impact of the Erie and Chenango Canals PowerPoint

Impact of the Erie and Chenango Canals Lesson Plan

Analyzing a Broadside Activity Worksheet

 Economic Impact of Canals Activity Sheet

How Many Biscuits Can You Eat?

Today’s lesson will show you  how make delicious rolled buttermilk biscuits.  

Grab your apron, gather up your ingredients, and join our interpreters to learn how baking was done in the 1870 wood cook stove in the kitchen of Bump Tavern. 

 You can make the same yummy biscuits using your own oven at home.

To Market to Market: Time to Shop

To Market to Market: Every wonder about shopping in the mid-1800s? Where did the goods come from and what was available? General Stores were cornerstones of towns in Central New York in the mid-1800s.  In this lesson, students will learn about a typical general store, its importance to the community, and how general stores compare to supermarkets today.


PowerPoint To Market to Market

4th Grade Distance Learning Materials

4th Grade Distance Learning To Market to Market

Lesson One To Market to Market

——-Lesson One To Market to Market answer key

Lesson Two Reading a Ledger

—-Lesson Two Reading a Ledger Answer Key

Lesson Three Geography and Wholesale Goods

—–Lesson Three Geography and Wholesale Goods Answer Key

7th Grade Distance Learning Materials

Distance Learning To Market to Market (7th grade version)

Lesson One To Market to Market 7th Grade

——Lesson One To Market to Market 7th grade answer key

Dollars and Sense Bookkeeping (Grades 7 and up)

——Dollars and Sense Answer Key (Grades 7 and up)

Lesson 3 Geography and Wholesale Goods Grade 7

——Lesson 3 Geography and Wholesale Goods Grade 7Answer Key

Extra Activities 

Design your own Bandbox

Todd’s General Store Crossword Puzzle


Back to School

 School in the mid-1800s in rural New York focused on essential skills that children would need to be successful farmers and businessmen.  The school calendar revolved around the farming calendar, and attendance was not mandatory.  Students will understand what school was like in the mid-1800s and how it compares and contrasts to their school experience today.  

Six Nations

The Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, have a long history and presence in New York State.  The geography and natural resources of the Eastern Woodland region greatly influenced the Haudenosaunee culture.  Arrival of European settlers significantly changed their lifestyle, traditional beliefs, and culture that still inform the lives of the Haudenosaunee people today.

Using Fenimore Art Museum’s Native American interpretive site, Otsego, A Meeting Place, and the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art exhibit, students will have the opportunity to experience the history and culture of the Haudenosaunee.  Through readings, video segments, and presentations by museum teachers, students will discover the contributions and influence of the Haudenosaunee, both past and present.