Through The Looking Glass – Life in Colonial Times

How It Works: 
This unit is an integrated curriculum that incorporates skills across discipline areas that include language arts, mathematics, social studies, writing, geography, art and information literacy skills. Students develop a sense of historical empathy, summarizing the various reasons for settlement in the New World.  For early settlers coming to America, it meant an opportunity to practice their religious freely as well as experience economic growth.  Students analyze the obstacles and successes of the early settlers in creating communities, including landforms, resources and waterways.

The student learns about Colonial America through literature and the exciting process of interactive multimedia software and the Internet. There is a variety of activities which helps the student evaluate the development of civilizations and cultures, as well as understand the interrelationships of people, places and the environment.

Social Studies
Analyze the various forms and purposes of government, employment, trade and transportation in relationship to the needs of individual and societies.
Explain the role of money, credit, goods and services.
Use appropriate map for specific purpose and gain geographical understanding.
Study the relationships among the movement of people and the development of societies.
Examine the impact of human migration upon a state or region.

Language Arts
Make inferences using information derived indirectly from text, e.g., cause and effect.
Compare life experiences to situations/events found in literature.
Write to share information, inform a specific audience and address key questions, issues, or situations.

Use a variety of methods, such as words, numbers, symbols, charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, and models, to explain mathematical reasoning.

Estimated Class Periods To Complete:
10 or more

Software Materials Used:
Life & Times of Colonial America by Visions Software Grades 2-12 or any other American History software; Internet; software to complete multimedia presentation such as HyperStudio, PowerPoint, or KidPix; word processing software; and various fiction and non-fiction books

Dwellings, bastion, accoutrements, barter, self-sufficient, interdependence, livelihood, barge, canoe, Conestoga wagon, staple crops, triangular trade, enumerated article, unite, independence, colony, plantation, parliament.

This project is suitable for intermediate grades in elementary school.  Activities may need to be adapted to meet the needs of the students in your classroom.  The lessons provided support a variety of learning activities that can be done individually or in collaborative groups.  Students will need basic skills in reading and writing as well as technology.

The intent of this project is to develop historical awareness while providing useful lessons that allow students to understand the influence of varying values and philosophies on the development of colonial life in America. They gain knowledge of the role of various systems in the social, political and economic development of colonial times.  The project does this through literature and the integration of multimedia, high interest software and video.  The lessons are designed to incorporate other subject areas.  The activities provided keep the students enthusiastic about learning more about historical events which helped shape the United States into what it is today.

Have all printable worksheets ready for students. Check all the internet links prior to beginning unit. Make sure all students are computer literate and can independently navigate through the internet.  A mini-lesson on the multimedia software such as Hyper Studio would be necessary for students who are first time users.  Share and explain all rubrics used to assess student work.

About the Teacher: 
Miriam Gomez has been teaching in the Miami-Dade Public School System for 12 years.  She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Nova Southeastern University.  She taught 2nd grade for three years and has been the Media Specialist for nine years.  She provides information literacy skills and computer training to students.   

She taught an  advanced Academic Excellence Program for seven years.  As an active participant of Citibank FamilyTech program, Miriam provides opportunities for all the students in her school to be involved in technology projects as part of their information literacy curriculum.

Social Studies, Language Arts

Grade Levels: 

Email Miriam


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