Teach PA History
The Moravians: What Does It Take to Build a Religious Community?
What to Know
Teaching Time
Six 40 minute sessions
Grade Level
Elementary School
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • History
Historical Period
  • Colonization and Settlement - 1601-1760
  • New Nation - 1761-1800
The Moravian Communities were unique in colonial America. Unlike the non-religious communities which usually began as economic centers with mills and waterways, this religious community focused on a setting in which to sustain their beliefs and further the mission work. Their highly organized town plan provided a degree of equality for both the women and men by establishing living arrangements according to age, gender and marital status. Bethlehem is one example of Moravian organization for community living known as the "choir" structure in a larger plan called "The General Economy." Students will analyze the differences between this religious community and other non-religious communities as they study town plan documents and excerpts from the Bethlehem Diary.


1. Describe the components of a community. 2. Analyze the differences between the Moravian Community at Bethlehem and the students' own community. 3. Design a community and keep a diary of the activities that are going on there.

Standards Alignment

  • Arts and Humanities

    9.1.5. E. Knows and demonstrates how arts can communicate experiences, stories or emotions through the production of works in the arts

  • History

    8.2.6. C. Identify how continuity and change have influenced settlement patterns (e.g. Development of towns)

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.6.4. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations giving directions and explanations.

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