New England Colonies
Massachusetts (post Plymouth Colony), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut
This link is a terrific Colonial Unit lesson plan and stands alone for someone wanting to really dig into the colonies. Lesson 3 (and then 4 for the next two New England colonies) has an abundance of wonderful activity ideas. If I had the time and inclination I would have done it pretty much as written adding a few videos and links I found. As it was I have cut out much of it because we spent so long on the Wampanoag and Plymouth Colony.
We will begin with this video. I’m going to have to emphasize certain points with the boys but I think I’ll include this video series anyway because they are quite good at pointing out the differences in the various colonies and their individual history.
To stress important points I made a small storybook using information from the Colonial America lesson plans also linked above together with this site which has great pictures and information about life specifically in each part of the colonies. I used copy and pastes of the photos (pop ups) with captions and my own additional information and images from google searches for our little booklet.
Activity we used:
I think I will make the first homes using the ideas from this plan to make “mud” homes as these were apparently much like the thatched huts the Puritans created and I had no idea. I found the information and images on this site. The resources and lesson plans from that link look really good for older kids I thought.
Some alternative activity ideas:
New England Primer with berry ink and quill on coffee or tea stained paper.
Instruction Link and quill pen link and idea link. Note: When I do this in a later unit (Revolutionary War likely) I probably won't make a quill pen. I plan to use a straw cut to a tip or maybe a toothpick instead.
Wax for sealing a letter.
Make dipped candles. There are lots of instructions online.
We’ll map the colonies and maybe play the penny game mentioned in the Colonial Unit lesson plan link.
New Amsterdam/New Netherlands (Later New York), Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
We’ll watch this video (again, I’ll need to reemphasize the main points).
I’m reading the story in American Pioneers and Patriots book about the Dutch New Amsterdam Colony. I really like this book, especially for this unit and for westward expansion later.
I’ve created a story about the middle colonies using some materials from this site and the things I wanted to stress. I particularly wanted to stress the Quakers, William Penn, and the founding of the Pennsylvania Colony as well as the transfer of power between countries in these colonies. We’ll look at this artwork and discuss the message it sends and message sent to Quakers from many countries.
These were known as the Bread colonies so we’ll make bread and butter today as our activity. This emphasizes both the animals the settlers brought across the ocean and the land being suited for this type of farming/production.
We will also make a windmill to reinforce the original dutch colonization as well as the diversity in these colonies compared to the others.
Map the colonies.
Virginia (originally Jamestown settlement which we’ve already covered and I’ll review briefly at this point—see lesson with model and my story), the Carolinas, and Georgia
Again, I’m using these materials and other information to put together a storybook about the Southern Colonies.
I’m touching some on the slave trade in this unit. Note: Interactive 3-D Maps has a slave trade mapping exercise and an exercise for the Roanoke Virgina and Jamestown Virginia settlements.
“Tour” a plantation online—the pictures are clickable for a larger view or sometimes an inside view of a structure.
Make soap. I’m going to do this safe/kid friendly and easy form of soap making.
But we’ll talk about how they would have done it long ago in a much more involved process.
You could make a hornbook here though I’m saving it for a future pioneers lesson. Link and link and link all with different patterns, pictures, or instructions.
Map the colonies.
We’ll read the story about the French settlements in American Pioneers and Patriots book.
Unfortunately, my video links no longer work for the most part. This book makes an excellent base for the lesson all on it’s own. A person could also just talk about this.
I had some neat videos that I can't seem to either link (links reroute to main page now) or find on the site again. I'm going to list the links that no longer work—in case they can be found again by someone. I can't find them. I tried. I suspect they aren't gone because some still pop up with google searches for example but I can't figure out how to search within the site and now the links directly to the site (mine or google) just re-route to the main page.
This is (was...it won't link in anymore) a video of French Explorers and the Fur Trade. I'll leave the whole text of the link as it will simply link to the main page now.
There are (were...) quite a few informative videos about French explorers—a series. http://videos.howstuffworks.com/search.php?media=video&terms=French+explorers
And this one covers (covered...) the cities founded by the French explorers. http://videos.howstuffworks.com/history/american-pioneer-videos-playlist.htm#video-5696
Talk about relationships with Native Americans and the fur trade. This is a picture of a beaver fur hat.
We’ll make canoes. This emphasizes the use of waterway transportation and relationships with the Native Americans including trade.
Mock bartering for fur trade—use canoes and add river they sailed on along with supplies and furs. I plan to use much of the materials here for this lesson even though it wasn’t intended for this time in history.
We will map England Colonies, French Claims, and the Spanish Claims.
This video is a nice way to sum up the colonies and adds in French and post French/Indian War information.
Next topics in history for us are the French and Indian War and then the Revolutionary War.