New Bedford and the Story of Global Whaling (6)

New Bedford and the Story of Global Whaling (6)

Grade 6

The people of nineteenth century New Bedford created one of the earliest global economies. As students follow a voyage, they gain an understanding of how whaling was the foundation of the city's growth and prosperity, and brought about an exchange of people and cultures that continues to shape this region today.

Learning standards will be met as students:

  • Hypothesize on the ways location, resources, commercial needs, and sources of labor shaped the local economy
  • Identify important leaders and groups responsible for the growth of the port of New Bedford
  • Recognize the importance of maritime commerce in the development of the economy of New Bedford
  • Consider how changes in supply and demand affect the price of a product



Suggested Pre-Visit Activities

  • Review the reasons for European exploration and expansion and what explorers found.
  • Have the students list the problems early settlers might have faced. How would the students overcome these challenges?

Suggested Post-Visit Activities

  • Make a timeline. Divide the students into teams. Assign each team a different period of New Bedford history: pre-Columbian; 17th century; 18th century post-Revolution years; and the 19th century whaling years. Each team will list important events and people, as well as illustrate how they think New Bedford looked during the assigned time.
  • Divide students into teams and assign each time a different culture encountered by the whalemen during the 1800s.  (Azores, Cape Verde, Brazil, Cape Horn (Tierra del Fuego), Peru, Hawaii, Japan, Alaska)  How are the cultures similar? How do they differ? How did the whalemen communicate with these people? What would they trade?
  • Have students write letters to the Museum’s docents thanking them for the tour and mentioning things they remember from their visit.
Last Modified: August 21, 2014