Learn with Hanford Mills

The New Arrivals in Town




Understand the childhood experience during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as its similarities and differences to how childhood is experienced today.


Students will listen as the teacher reads the article, “New Arrivals in Town”, and will engage in discussion as prompted by the suggested discussion questions following each paragraph.



  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Class Time: 45-60 minutes


  • Print one copy each of the article/activity, topographical map, and general pre-visit orientation outline.
  • Obtain a copy of a modern birth announcement to use in the activity.
  • Have students sit quietly at their desks or on the floor in the designated story or group area if there is one in your classroom.
  • Explain to students that this is an interactive activity, and that you will ask questions throughout the reading.
  • Read the article and discussion questions to the class.
  • You may wish to hold up a map showing central New York. Ask the students to identify mountains, rivers, lakes, etc. to determine why travel may have been rough in the pre-highway world.
    • Other questions to ask:

    • How may the weather have affected travel?
    • How does the weather continue to affect travel today?
  • Read the pre-visit orientation outline to the class.


  • Class participation (listening and speaking)

NYS Learning Standards:

  • ELA Standard 1
  • Social Standard 1
  • Social Standard 3

Vocabulary & Spelling Words

Depression -n. an economic state in which business is very bad and many people are out of work and poor. The Great Depression affected the United States and other countries from 1929 to 1939.

Grammar – n. the rules for forming the words and sentences of a language.

Physiology – n. the science that studies living things.

Transportation – n. something that carries or moves people and/or things.