This semester I taught a history class for our local tutorial. It was time for my 4th graders to learn about the 13 colonies. When I was planning to teach about the 13 colonies, I purchased a product to help. For the sake of time, I needed something already written out for me. I was worried I’d spend too much time researching and wouldn’t be able to keep up with everything else. I was really looking forward to teaching this class, but I didn’t want the planning to hinder my enthusiasm for teaching.
Luckily, I found a product on Teachers Pay Teachers and was able to do a minimal amount of research for fun games and activities. Overall, this class has been a lot of fun to teach and I think the kids are enjoying it, too!
Here’s my List of Activities to Explore the 13 Colonies
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Our first colony of study was Virginia. In order for the kids to retain what they were reading, I had the kids create travel brochures for the colony of Virginia.
Create a Cartoon
Most kids love to draw! As they read through their second colony, I had them create a cartoon strip to go along with what they had learned. This activity is a student favorite!
One of the colonies we studied was transformed into a commemorative plate. The kids took an ordinary white paper plate and then added pictures and sayings to represent the colony.
Just like the plates, the kids added illustrations to a blank square of stock paper to go along with Rhode Island.
This was probably the favorite activity. After reading about Delaware, we found out it was the first colony to have log homes. We broke out the Lincoln Logs, added colonial figurines, and made sure to add labels to our colonies.
This was such a fun activity! Kids had to come up with their own colonial character. They illustrated their colonist and then named her/him, wrote what kind of jobs they had, where they lived, and any details they could add to show they understood what life was like living in the colonies.
I highly recommend you do hands on activities when studying about the colonies. Facts will stick and become more memorable. Visit my Pinterest Board for more ideas and projects! There are many, many ways to learn about the 13 colonies.
I really wished I would have purchased these Powhatan figurines, too!
I read The Dreadful, Smelly Colonies a little every day to the class. It tells of the hardships the colonists faced, along with the jobs the children had to do. There were a lot of “ewwwws” while reading this book.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist is another great read for class.
Have you studied about the 13 Colonies yet? What are your favorite activities and resources? Let me know in the comments!