About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Central Bethlehem Historic District," and other source material. It was written by Diane LaBelle, Director, The Banana Factory. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in units on the American colonial period and the role of religious groups and missionaries in the country's expansion. It also could be used in a World History course in a unit on the Reformation. The lesson provides a useful contrast to the Puritan settlements in New England and the Quaker and other religious settlements in Pennsylvania. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will help students understand why Moravians immigrated to the New World and how the communities they established embodied their religious beliefs.
Time period: Mid-to-late 18th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To investigate the early history of the Moravians.
2) To explain why the Moravians founded the community of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
3) To examine the life ways of the Moravian community in the 18th century in the New World.
4) To compare and contrast the types of structures in 18th-century Bethlehem with those located in their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) a map of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and other Moravian settlements in the mid-Atlantic region;
2) three readings on the history of the Moravian community and the development of Bethlehem;
3) a drawing of Bethlehem in 1766;
4) four photographs of surviving buildings in Bethlehem;
5) floor plans of Bethlehem's Single Brethren House.
Visiting the site
Visitors to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania can tour the town's historic district. For more information, contact the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, 66 West Church Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018, or visit the museum's Web site. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1-4 p.m.