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The Big Idea Activity

Why do people settle new areas?

Perform a Play About Colonial Life

  California Standard 5.4.1  Understand the influence of location and physical setting on the founding of the original 13 colonies, and identify on a map the locations of the colonies and of the American Indian nations already inhabiting these areas. California Standard 5.4.2  Identify the major individuals and groups responsible for the founding of the various colonies and the reasons for their founding (e.g., John Smith, Virginia; Roger Williams, Rhode Island; William Penn, Pennsylvania; [MORE]

Ellis Island

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Students will need to research daily life in the thirteen colonies before they can write their plays. Have the students study the jobs, food, clothing, leisure activities, and major conflicts of living conditions. Students should also consider how the time of year or weather might affect their characters' lives.

Jobs in Colonial America

Children's Play

Music and Dance

Medicine and Health

Health and Daily Life


Anne Hutchinson

  California Standard 5.4.2  Identify the major individuals and groups responsible for the founding of the various colonies and the reasons for their founding (e.g., John Smith, Virginia; Roger Williams, Rhode Island; William Penn, Pennsylvania; [MORE]

Bible

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At a time when women had few rights, Anne Hutchinson stood up for her religious beliefs against strong opposition from her community.

The trial of Anne Hutchinson

The Examination of Anne Hutchinson


Benjamin Franklin

  California Standard 5.4.5  Understand how the British colonial period created the basis for the development of political self-government and a free-market economic system and the differences between the British, Spanish, and French colonial systems.

Ben Franklin


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Many of the proverbs from Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac are still well-known today. Have students explain why a proverb teaches a lesson more easily than a long written explanation. Then, have the students read some of Franklin's proverbs out loud. How many of these proverbs have the students heard before from parents, teachers, and others?

Proverbs from Poor Richard's Almanac

The inventions of Benjamin Franklin

The life of Benjamin Franklin

Activities and lesson plans based on the PBS series Benjamin Franklin

 

Enslaved Young People in the Colonies During the 1700s

  California Standard 5.4.6  Describe the introduction of slavery into America, the responses of slave families to their condition, the ongoing struggle between proponents and opponents of slavery, and the gradual institutionalization of slavery [MORE]

Slavery

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Discuss with students the importance of music in the lives of enslaved people in colonial times. Music provided inspiration, religious expression, and expressed their protest against slavery.

Music Helps to Interpret Slavery

Explore African-American music

Slave music

African-American storytelling