TeachersFirst's Resources Related to Colonial America

Bring Colonial America to your class with the reviewed resources shared in this section. The colonial history of the United States covers the period of time from 1607 to 1776, when the thirteen colonies joined together to declare their independence. Therefore, the term Colonial America also refers to the thirteen colonies located on what is now the eastern coast of the United States. People came to the New World for many different reasons: religious freedom, commerce, and starting new lives after serving time in jail. Education was important to the colonies, and the economy was based most often on farming and trade.

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Evaluating Art as Historical Evidence - Stanford History Education Group

Grades
9 to 12
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Studying art to understand history provides a means for understanding the past through visual representations. Stanford History Education Group shares this list of lessons and assessments...more
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Studying art to understand history provides a means for understanding the past through visual representations. Stanford History Education Group shares this list of lessons and assessments that use art to teach about a wide range of world and United States history topics. After creating a free account, select any of the provided links to access downloadable lesson materials and activities. The lessons include teacher and student materials; assessments include a printable assessment, rubric, and links to necessary primary documents.

tag(s): american revolution (74), art history (80), artists (76), assessment (121), china (61), civil rights (173), civil war (129), comics and cartoons (47), declaration of independence (12), egypt (44), france (37), japan (55), mayans (10), mexico (30), native americans (85), nazis (9), thanksgiving (24), womens suffrage (35)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this list for use throughout the year with many different history lessons. Include these art activities to provide context and visual perspective to important events. Use a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to create an ongoing resource for students to use for review and as a guide for understanding history through a wider lens. For example, when using Padlet, choose the timeline feature and add a piece of art onto the timeline. Upload videos, text, and additional images to create an interactive timeline that tells a story through art. As a final project, ask students to share their learning using Sway, reviewed here, to write a reflective piece on the use of art throughout any period in time. Have students include student work, images, links, maps, and more in Sway projects.
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A Whole New World: Using Books to Help Teach Students About Colonial America - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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Engage students in learning about Colonial America with this selected list of picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books, along with accompanying activities. Each suggested...more
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Engage students in learning about Colonial America with this selected list of picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books, along with accompanying activities. Each suggested book includes a summary as well as suggested teaching activities. Then, browse through the extension activities to find additional support materials that have a virtual tour of colonial cities, a suggested research project, and ideas for using Google Expeditions to take students on a virtual reality field trip.

tag(s): colonial america (93), colonization (18)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this resource to use when teaching about Colonial America. Engage students in learning by incorporating suggested book titles that help students understand colonial times through a personal perspective. Help students compare and contrast current times to the colonial time period using a Venn Diagram. Canva's Venn Diagram Creator reviewed here, includes easy to use tools for creating and sharing a variety of Venn Diagrams. Extend learning by asking students to create animated videos using Binumi, reviewed here, to tell the story about a character or event from colonial times.

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Mr. Betts' Class YouTube Channel - Timothy Betts

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6 to 12
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Learn history by watching the humorous and informative videos found on Mr. Betts' Class YouTube Channel. The videos present topics such as The 13 Colonies Song set to Queen's Somebody...more
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Learn history by watching the humorous and informative videos found on Mr. Betts' Class YouTube Channel. The videos present topics such as The 13 Colonies Song set to Queen's Somebody to Love and World War Two as a Friend's theme parody using memes and song parodies. Most of the videos are under ten minutes long, making them easy to incorporate within current lessons and activities. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
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tag(s): bill of rights (23), colonial america (93), elections (75), electoral college (19), explorers (61), great depression (29), pilgrims (13), presidents (116), world war 1 (65), world war 2 (138)

In the Classroom

Engage students by sharing videos from this YouTube channel at the start of history units corresponding to video topics. Enhance student learning with these videos by using edpuzzle, reviewed here, to create interactive lessons that include voice comments and questions embedded into the video. Extend learning and challenge your students to create their own history videos using a video creation tool such as Binumi, reviewed here. Integrate student-created clips with animations and footage from Binumi's stock library to produce professional-style videos in no time!

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Read. Inquire. Write. - University of Michigan

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6 to 10
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Read. Inquire. Write. is a free curriculum using investigations to support middle school social studies learning through inquiry-based lessons; also, this site provides many supports...more
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Read. Inquire. Write. is a free curriculum using investigations to support middle school social studies learning through inquiry-based lessons; also, this site provides many supports for English Language Learners within the activities. Use the provided literacy tools to guide students in analytical reasoning and argument writing within the 5-day investigations. Each investigation includes all materials needed including teacher's guides, student packets, rubrics, student models, and a PowerPoint presentation. Also, all activities provide video models demonstrating methods to encourage student thinking and investigative responses. Each lesson includes correlation to Common Core Standards. Registration is required to download materials from this site. Videos reside on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): civil war (129), colonial america (93), concept mapping (16), debate (38), democracy (17), evaluating sources (13), greece (25), inquiry (23), maps (211), mexico (30), middle east (43), native americans (85)

In the Classroom

Instead of using paper documents, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Be sure to include mentor texts for student use. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. Although this site includes many high-quality graphic organizers, create your own and using Diagramo, reviewed here, to personalize for your classroom use. Have students use a digital portfolio tool to share their investigations. PorfolioVillage, reviewed here, includes many resources for creating online portfolios and web pages. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to collaborate and share ideas, activities, and resources as you work toward incorporating inquiry lessons into your classrooms.
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Teach Dear America - Colonial Period - Scholastic

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2 to 8
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Teach Dear America offers a large array of resources to learn and understand about life and times in Colonial America. Begin with a short overview of the time period including ...more
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Teach Dear America offers a large array of resources to learn and understand about life and times in Colonial America. Begin with a short overview of the time period including a timeline and information about the home and school life of Colonial children. Explore the large collection of downloadables including maps, timelines, sheet music, artist prints, and more. Choose from a large selection of student activities such as quizzes, arts and crafts, and recipes. The Books and Authors links include suggestions for reading material to include with any Colonial America unit.

tag(s): 1600s (17), 1700s (34), colonial america (93)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site and combine it with TeachersFirst's CurriConnects leveled reading list forColonial America and the Revolution and Frontier Forts on the American Revolution for multiple offerings and angles on the Colonial and Revolutionary time period. Create a link to various activities, quizzes, and downloadables for students to explore on classroom computers. Include crafts and recipes from the site during your unit. Have students create an annotated image about Colonial times including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to demonstrate concepts learned when making crafts or recipes. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare Colonial life to present day. Have students create timelines using Timeline JS, reviewed here. Timeline JS also offers the option to upload and add photos, videos, audio, Tweets, and Google Maps making it interactive. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a student their age living in Colonial America.

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Meet the Daggetts - The Henry Ford

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2 to 7
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Discover the life and times of a Colonial family through the eyes of the Daggetts of Coventry, Connecticut. Look for clues in Samuel Daggett's actual account book to answer 7 ...more
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Discover the life and times of a Colonial family through the eyes of the Daggetts of Coventry, Connecticut. Look for clues in Samuel Daggett's actual account book to answer 7 questions about his family's world. View short videos accompanied with journal entries to provide clues. After providing all of the correct responses, prove your skill as a history detective by discovering "What is Wrong With This Picture?"

tag(s): 1700s (34), colonial america (93), connecticut (4)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include Meet the Daggetts with your Colonial America unit. View together on your interactive whiteboard or projector or have students explore independently on classroom computers. Have students create an online or printed comic depicting a day in the life of the Daggett family using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare Colonial to modern times. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a Daggett family member.

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Founders Online - National Archives and University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin...more
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Enter any search term or browse by author, recipient, or time period. Each document includes information such as author, recipient, date, and links to other similar documents if available.

tag(s): american revolution (74), colonial america (93), colonization (18), constitution (84), declaration of independence (12), franklin (9), jefferson (17), primary sources (104), washington (23)

In the Classroom

Search and view information from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find documents from similar time periods and events to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students download to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) usingTimeline JS, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the founding fathers included on this site.
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CurriConnects Book List - Colonial America and the Revolution - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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All history can seem "ancient" unless you connect to it personally. Understand the American colonies and American Revolution by choosing a book to help you connect with the times. This...more
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All history can seem "ancient" unless you connect to it personally. Understand the American colonies and American Revolution by choosing a book to help you connect with the times. This list includes fiction and nonfiction books about life in the American colonies and during the American Revolution as well as books about leaders and major locations of this historic period. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''''''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): american revolution (74), book lists (126), colonial america (93), independent reading (105)

In the Classroom

Make history more real during your unit on Colonial America and/or the Revolution. Have students choose a book from this list and present their impressions from it in the form of a blog post from the times. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Tumblr, reviewed here. Collect the links to all the student posts on your class web page for students to browse and gather a "human" experience of history.

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History Labs - A Guided Approach to Historical Inquiry in the K-12 Classroom - UMBC Center for History Education

Grades
2 to 12
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The Center for History Education offers this resource to teach a variety of topics in American History via an inquiry approach. Sample topics include Native Americans, Colonization,...more
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The Center for History Education offers this resource to teach a variety of topics in American History via an inquiry approach. Sample topics include Native Americans, Colonization, Civil Rights, Slavery, the American Revolution, and many more. All labs include central questions, source materials, and step by step explanations to implement the lab. The approach is well suited to social studies literacy standards of Common Core, as students explore and evaluate sources (informational texts) and eventually "Develop, present, defend, and refine their evidence-based answers." Choose from History Labs or Lesson Plans to find resources then scroll through the dates to view available materials. Use links to print materials in PDF format. Although the site title indicates materials for all levels of students, most resources are geared toward middle and high school grades. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): african american (99), american revolution (74), civil rights (173), civil war (129), colonial america (93), colonization (18), great depression (29), iran (9), jefferson (17), kennedy (23), native americans (85), roosevelt (11), slavery (62), washington (23), womens suffrage (35), world war 2 (138)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use with any American History topic as a complete lesson or to offer another angle on current lessons. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Before beginning a unit, have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
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Plimoth Plantation - Plimoth Plantation

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3 to 8
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Plimoth Plantation (that's the original spelling) is a reconstruction of the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. Take a field trip to the Plimoth Plantation just in time for Thanksgiving....more
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Plimoth Plantation (that's the original spelling) is a reconstruction of the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. Take a field trip to the Plimoth Plantation just in time for Thanksgiving. From Learn at the top menu, find and slide down to Bring Plimoth Patuxet to Your School and take a virtual field trip to an English village and Wampanoag home site from 1627. Go inside a Wetu, or home, and look. Become a historian and uncover what really happened on the first Thanksgiving. Primary sources give accounts from the Wampanoag traditions to the English home of Pilgrim Mary Allerton. Each student will finish with a printed exhibition panel. Dig into your ancestry to find out if you are a pilgrim. Find actual genealogical profiles. Explore the museum collections of artifacts. Find these resources under the Learn tab at the top menu; slide down to Teachers Tools, and scroll down the page until your find the resources menu on the left. Besure to check out the Digital Resources!
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tag(s): colonial america (93), pilgrims (13), thanksgiving (24)

In the Classroom

Change the commercial traditions of tradition and bring on a study of history. Fascinating worlds of primary resources are at your computer! Virtual field trips, historical sleuthing, genealogy, and so much more. Challenge your students to take a closer look and decide for themselves. Debate information lines the pages of this website. Have students keep a virtual journal about what they are learning (that is new to them) from Plimoth Plantation. Use an easy virtual journaling tool such as Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Study history not false information. 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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A Colonial Tour from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

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4 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of major colonial sites along the U.S. east coast using reviewed resources from TeachersFirst. If you are planning a real vacation or simply want to tour ...more
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Take a virtual tour of major colonial sites along the U.S. east coast using reviewed resources from TeachersFirst. If you are planning a real vacation or simply want to tour via computer, this collection offers information and places to see in Boston, Plymouth, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Roanoke Colony, and St. Augustine.

tag(s): boston (10), colonial america (93), jamestown (8), philadelphia (10), roanoke (6), williamsburg (8)

In the Classroom

Use this colonial tour as a starting point for a virtual experience of colonial America. Assign different student groups to each colonial location, and have them create an extended virtual "tour" using a tool such as Google Earth, reviewed here, or (simpler) MapHub, reviewed here. Then have the groups take each other's tours to "discover" the colonies! If you don't have enough time for an extended project, share aspects of the tour and supplement by sharing photos from Google Earth's Panoramio layer on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Virtual Jamestown - Virtual Jamestown

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6 to 12
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home ...more
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home page to see all the offerings. There are searchable documents. A searchable database of indentured servant records brings students closer to the lives of real people who lived in early American colonies. A virtual view of the fort at Jamestown has much greater impact than a picture in a book, and it allows you to feel as though you are really there. One section of the site is devoted to the Native American perspective on the settlement of Jamestown. Some of the other activities include viewing John Smith's voyage maps, browsing through real records of the Virginia Company at Jamestown, and reading the actual letters of major colonization participants from the latter 1500s and early 1600s. This site intends to be the one-stop shop for authentic Jamestown research.

tag(s): colonial america (93), colonization (18), jamestown (8), native americans (85)

In the Classroom

Spend a few minutes at this site, and you will be swept away to life on the James River 400 years ago. The zoomable maps and rotating views of Jamestown artifacts would be effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Plan a day to explore together or with partners to find out specifics about the colony. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the main page and click on "Teaching Materials" to find several wonderful lesson plans on Jamestown. For teachers who want to bring authentic, first-hand accounts and records into the classroom, this site provides a wealth of actual documentation. We strongly suggest you use the Site Index to get the extensive view of this website's offerings.
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How the Pilgrims Lived - Amy Ridenhour

Grades
4 to 12
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How the Pilgrims Lived, a journal written by Governor Edward Winslow in 1621. ...more
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How the Pilgrims Lived, a journal written by Governor Edward Winslow in 1621.

tag(s): colonial america (93), pilgrims (13)

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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Virtual Tour Plantation - Plimoth.org

Grades
4 to 12
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There are actually two virtual tours on this site! The first video is Pilgrim Village: View the simple life of the Pilgrims in this 18-minute video for all grades. The ...more
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There are actually two virtual tours on this site! The first video is Pilgrim Village: View the simple life of the Pilgrims in this 18-minute video for all grades. The second video is the Wampanoag Homesite: Witness the life of the indigenous people who were part of the Wampanoag Nation in this 17-minute video for all grades. There are several other resources on this page such as the history of Thanksgiving, an interactive about Thanksgiving, and a link to Scholastic's Thanksgiving page.

tag(s): colonial america (93), native americans (85), pilgrims (13)

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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Diaries of Colonial America

Grades
4 to 6
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What if you could travel back in time to the earliest days of American history? Through the Colonial America webquest, small groups of students will research life as a Native ...more
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What if you could travel back in time to the earliest days of American history? Through the Colonial America webquest, small groups of students will research life as a Native American, Poor Farmer, Rich Plantation Owner, Religious Leader, or a Slave. Each group will have a student take on the role of one of these characters from the colonial time period. They will research the character traits using the web quest and organize the information with the included graphic organizers. Individually students will compose a journal entry expressing their research on your character. The group will combine all the journal entries to make a creative diary. As a group, you will combine your knowledge and form a presentation presenting how your characters coexisted in the colonies. For your group presentation creative costumes are to be made per each character.

tag(s): colonial america (93)

In the Classroom

After completing the webquest, challenge the students to create a play or a readers' theater script for the presentation. Use the script writing tips found on Aaron Shepard's Reader's Theater Page, reviewed here. Then have a "Play Day" and invite family members, other classes, and administration to come to the classroom and watch the plays. Video record the plays and post them to the class web page for those who could not make it to class. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

Be sure to list this site (and activity) on your class website. Ask parents to assist with character research at home by providing the web quest link on the class web page. Don't forget that parents may be able help with props for the plays.
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Castillo de San Marcos National Monument - National Park Service Department of the Interior

Grades
3 to 8
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Castillo de San Marcos was built to defend the St. Augustine colony. There is a lot to see at this location, along with explanations of how the forts protected settlers. ...more
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Castillo de San Marcos was built to defend the St. Augustine colony. There is a lot to see at this location, along with explanations of how the forts protected settlers.

tag(s): colonial america (93)

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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Colonial Williamsburg: Virtual Tours 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. Click your cursor on buildings and you'll be taken to 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.

tag(s): colonial america (93), williamsburg (8)

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 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): colonial america (93), williamsburg (8)

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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Colonial Williamsburg: A Day in the Life - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
4 to 8
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Enjoy the video based upon the television series by this name (A Day in the Life) and the 4 lesson plans explaining vividly about life in colonial times. ...more
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Enjoy the video based upon the television series by this name (A Day in the Life) and the 4 lesson plans explaining vividly about life in colonial times.

tag(s): colonial america (93), evolution (86), williamsburg (8)

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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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History is Fun: Jamestown and Yorktown - Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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Indeed, history appears to be 'fun' when you see the extensive historical action at this official Jamestown and Yorktown website. This site promotes learning about America's early history...more
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Indeed, history appears to be 'fun' when you see the extensive historical action at this official Jamestown and Yorktown website. This site promotes learning about America's early history in the Jamestown area through a variety of venues. Watch quick videos, plan your Jamestown field trip or vacation, or take advantage of the abundant curriculum materials available to educators, including .pdf documents: timelines, comprehensive lesson plans, and resource materials. Scroll to the bottom of the curriculum materials page for thorough summary documents of Jamestown and Yorktown.

tag(s): colonial america (93), colonization (18), india (26), jamestown (8)

In the Classroom

Using a projector or interactive whiteboard, you may enhance your lesson by viewing the short one-minute videos. What a great activator or anticipatory set! With a quick click, this site allows you to buy tickets to these two historical places, so you will want to monitor students.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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