A Colonial Tour from TeachersFirst: Williamsburg

Williamsburg is one of America's oldest historical reconstruction projects. Begun more than forty years ago with funding from the Rockefeller family as a colonial archaeology project, Williamsburg today is a completely reconstructed colonial town which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, as well as scores of school classes.

A thorough visit to Williamsburg takes a day or two and requires careful planning in the spring and summer seasons. The historical attractions at Jamestown and Yorktown are nearby, and there are also a number of other tourist attractions and theme parks in the Williamsburg area. The links below will give you more information.

 

Photo Credit: Image: 'colonial_church'
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Colonial Gardener - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
2 to 6
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Try your best to grow the beautiful gardens of Colonial Williamsburg! The more flowers you grow, the greater your point total. To grow beautiful flowers you need to hoe and ...more
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Try your best to grow the beautiful gardens of Colonial Williamsburg! The more flowers you grow, the greater your point total. To grow beautiful flowers you need to hoe and weed the gardens, the better you do, the more elaborate the garden. This activity is easy to follow, simply press on the x or z button to control the actions in the garden. Clicking on "more information" will give you information about the actual gardens and people of Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): colonial america (107), colonization (16), plants (144)

In the Classroom

Display and try the activity on the interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on plants to demonstrate the growth and care of plants in a garden. During a unit on Colonial Times allow students to try this activity to see what it was like to do chores in the Colonial Days. This is a great one for a learning station and/or cooperative learning groups!
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The 18th Century Paper Doll Game - Colonial Williamsburg

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K to 5
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Dress an 18th century paper doll in the "The Kids Zone" portion of the Colonial Williamsburg website. You need to dress the young girl in the correct sequence and will ...more
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Dress an 18th century paper doll in the "The Kids Zone" portion of the Colonial Williamsburg website. You need to dress the young girl in the correct sequence and will learn the correct terminology for clothing worn by women in the 1700's. This activity is a quick and engaging way to demonstrate the complexity of a woman's wardrobe in the 1700's.

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on the 18th century. Allow your class a short historic diversion and have students dress an 18th century paper doll. There are other fun activities on this page that also address the life and times of citizens in 18th century Williamsburg. Post a link to this page on the class website for enrichment activities at home. The non-verbal aspect of this activity may help ESL and ELL students gain a better understanding of the customs and traditions typical of this period of time in the United States. Those classrooms planning to visit Colonial Williamsburg will definitely want to utilize this site. Students in schools too far away to make this journey can enjoy a "virtual" field trip to Colonial Williamsburg via the Internet.
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Colonial Williamsburg - History for Kids Daily Jigsaw Puzzles - Colonial Williamsburg

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3 to 8
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This site provides a daily jigsaw puzzle depicting an aspect of life at Colonial Williamsburg. Choose the current daily puzzle or a different one from the archives. Archive categories...more
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This site provides a daily jigsaw puzzle depicting an aspect of life at Colonial Williamsburg. Choose the current daily puzzle or a different one from the archives. Archive categories are broken down into: Trades, Animals, Spring, Sites, People, Misc, Winter, Military, Valentines, Christmas, Autumn, and Thanksgiving. Jigsaw puzzles teach visual/spatial skills in addition to providing an engaging way to present history.

tag(s): colonial america (107), evolution (100), virginia (16), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

This site can be used in several different ways. Use it on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a center during social studies time. Have students solve the puzzle and then write about what they've revealed. Put it on classroom computers and have students use it for a morning warm up. This site will work for all ability levels because you are able to change the number and style of the pieces in the puzzle window.
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National Museum of American History - Interactive Flag - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
K to 12
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This site provides a comprehensive look at the Star Spangled Banner. The site lets you interact with the Star Spangled Banner by clicking on various "hot spots". You can play ...more
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This site provides a comprehensive look at the Star Spangled Banner. The site lets you interact with the Star Spangled Banner by clicking on various "hot spots". You can play a game called Collect the Stars that requires you to collect 14 stars by answering quiz questions. You can sing your own version of the national anthem and contribute your own photos to the flag mosaic. There is also a link to educational resources (click resources). You can also click on the link at the bottom of the page "How to Use This Resource In Your Classroom."

tag(s): colonial america (107), flag day (6), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the Explore the Flag section on the site as a whole group activity. Have students explore the site independently or in small groups. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. To use in small groups, set up a game show format. Using the Star Quiz game, break students into groups and ask the questions. Whichever team collects the most stars wins. In addition, take individual or group photos and submit them to be part of the flag mosaic. Additional ideas can be found in the provided educator resources.
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Colonial Williamsburg Interactive - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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3 to 12
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use ...more
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use this interactive site sponsored by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Students will enjoy playing the many games from colonial life, or they may enjoy making an acrostic of their name. Slide shows of coinage, Gilbert's paintings, and the Queen's visit in 1957 add depth to students' education on Williamsburg. A comparison study between Queen Elizabeth's visits to Colonial Williamsburg in 1957 and 2007 opens the door to looking at differences in our world over a span of 50 years. Click on the Jigsaw Puzzle logo to enter the multitude of games and activities available. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (107), colonization (16), handwriting (18), williamsburg (12), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Students may be paired or work individually to explore the activities found at this site. Make sure your computers are fairly fast or the games may be too slow to use.

To spice up a writing lesson or add interest to a writing center, have students send colonial postcards, via email (or blog), to classmates. Content of messages may require extra supervision. A safer way to send messages to fellow classmates would be to use the Colonial Card Creator where the students must print out the card, then handwrite their message in the cards. A printer needs to be accessible for the card creator. Older students can explore the interactive draft of the Constitution on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Be sure to include this one on your teacher web page for students to continue to access from home.
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People of Williamsburg - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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3 to 8
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At this website "Meet the People," there are descriptions of several of the leading families of Williamsburg. There is also information about a few founding fathers. This link ...more
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At this website "Meet the People," there are descriptions of several of the leading families of Williamsburg. There is also information about a few founding fathers. This link gives the reader a sense of what life was like in colonial Williamsburg. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (107), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.
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Williamsburg For Teachers - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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3 to 8
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Williamsburg for Teachers offers a lot of possibilities. The "experience colonial life" selection takes you to descriptions of different trades and occupations, with pictures showing...more
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Williamsburg for Teachers offers a lot of possibilities. The "experience colonial life" selection takes you to descriptions of different trades and occupations, with pictures showing how they were conducted. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. There are lesson plans, tours, video clips and more.

tag(s): colonial america (107), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Colonial Williamsburg: Virtual Tour of the Town - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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Walk through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and learn about the many inhabitants and buildings along the way. This amazing virtual tour through the streets makes it seem like...more
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Walk through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and learn about the many inhabitants and buildings along the way. This amazing virtual tour through the streets makes it seem like you are there. This site is actually part of the Williamsburg Interactive page, but its value to historical understanding warranted its own TeachersFirst review. Hold your cursor over buildings and the page dims to highlight just that area. Then, you will be given information about that area and its inhabitants. Follow the links to additional web pages for more information. You will need Flash for this site. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (107), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

If you have a whiteboard or projector, you will have a captivated class. Individual or paired computer experience will allow your students to walk through the streets on their own. How about having a cyber-scavenger hunt? You will need to walk through the town yourself to find tidbits along the way, then later, ask the students to find them. They must give you the location where they were found.

Younger students will need to be shown how to cyber-walk through the streets. You can ask them to report to you about the citizens they meet along the way. Ask students to draw their own colonial town based upon a layout like Williamsburg.
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Colonial Williamsburg: A Day in the Life - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
4 to 8
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Based upon the television series by this name (A Day in the Life), 10 lesson plans explain vividly about life in colonial times. ...more
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Based upon the television series by this name (A Day in the Life), 10 lesson plans explain vividly about life in colonial times.

tag(s): colonial america (107), evolution (100), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

You will want to print the colorful photos in the lesson plans or share them on a projector to accompany your lessons. Make sure you click on the bottom of the page for additional online activities. Follow the links to the lessons. You must have Acrobat to open these lessons. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Warning: Some of the files are quite large, but the colorful pictures and fabulous plans make the wait worth it.
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Colonial Williamsburg Lesson Plans - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
4 to 8
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Sixteen interdisciplinary lesson plans capture the essence of Colonial Williamsburg. The background research for the plans are hotlinked into each lesson. ...more
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Sixteen interdisciplinary lesson plans capture the essence of Colonial Williamsburg. The background research for the plans are hotlinked into each lesson.

tag(s): christmas (64), colonial america (107), holidays (147), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

These lessons make it easy to plan an entire unit on life in Williamsburg, from mathematics to a colonial Christmas. While you are at this page, sign up for the free e-newsletter to keep up to date on offerings to teachers from Williamsburg. Make sure you visit the Kids Zone games and information for additional research to enhance your lessons.

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Nineteenth Century Christmas - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Here's a description, written at an adult level, of the ways in which 18th century Christmas celebrations differed from those of today. If' you're planning activities dealing with the...more
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Here's a description, written at an adult level, of the ways in which 18th century Christmas celebrations differed from those of today. If' you're planning activities dealing with the history of Christmas customs, this site has good information that you can incorporate. From Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): christmas (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference when studying Christmas customs in the classrooms. The site is text-heavy, but the information is all interesting and factual. It is a little dry for students, but for teachers there is definitely some information here that could be pulled into lectures.

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Christmas Celebration Lesson - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
K to 8
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Here's a Christmas customs lesson from folks who know what food can do for learning. Let your class try its hand at some colonial Christmas recipes from Williamsburg as they ...more
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Here's a Christmas customs lesson from folks who know what food can do for learning. Let your class try its hand at some colonial Christmas recipes from Williamsburg as they learn about the celebration of Christmas in the 18th century colonies. This lesson plan includes activities and a sampling of recipes.

tag(s): christmas (64)

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Colonial Williamsburg Multimedia Pages - Colonial Williamsburg

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3 to 12
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This site provides over 30 photographs of scenes at Colonial Williamsburg that can be downloaded at no cost. They can be used as computer wallpaper, or could be compiled ...more
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This site provides over 30 photographs of scenes at Colonial Williamsburg that can be downloaded at no cost. They can be used as computer wallpaper, or could be compiled into a slide show. There are also links to podcasts and downloadable ring tones.

tag(s): colonial america (107), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

History teachers with a computer cluster in the classroom could use these various wallpapers to "set the mood" for an early American unit. Really hard core American history fans can download colonial ringtones (is that an oxymoron?) for their cell phones including fife and drums, Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty" speech or colonial African American songs. If you are using an interactive whiteboard or projector for your American History lesson, why not use a multimedia activator/anticipatory set at the start of your lesson?

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Podcasts from Colonial Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg

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4 to 12
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Listen to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and many lesser known inhabitants and visitors to the colony. Even some of today's actors tell about their roles as craftspeople and "residents"...more
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Listen to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and many lesser known inhabitants and visitors to the colony. Even some of today's actors tell about their roles as craftspeople and "residents" of Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): jefferson (19), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

You can play these through a regular computer. You need speakers for more than one person to hear or headphones in a lab. You can also download onto an iPod for portable listening, if you or your students have them. Uses Quicktime to play the audio and may take a bit to download and play. The wait is worth it.

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Life in Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg

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4 to 12
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A remarkable history resource for all ages. If you can't make the journey to Colonial Williamsburg in person, this site provides detailed descriptions of life in the era. Explore Williamsburg...more
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A remarkable history resource for all ages. If you can't make the journey to Colonial Williamsburg in person, this site provides detailed descriptions of life in the era. Explore Williamsburg clothing, politics, food, religion, and more through detailed articles, photos, and lesson plans.

tag(s): colonial america (107), virginia (16), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. Allow students to explore the site further individually or in cooperative learning groups. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
1 to 12
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...more
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