3-5 Compare and contrast people, places, and cultures of
Grade Level Benchmark:
1. Locate and describe cultures and compare the
similarities and differences among the roles of women, men, and families.
1. Colonial Life: Life in Early America (activity attached)
2. Members of a Community (activity attached)
COLONIAL LIFE: LIFE IN EARLY AMERICA
Students will explore the people, places, and events of life in the early settlements and colonies of the United States of America.
After completing this unit, students will:
1. Identify the thirteen colonies on a U.S. map
2. Compare the lifestyle of colonial families with those of today
3. Use graphs to identify price differences
4. Demonstrate map-reading skills to both give and follow directions
5. Exhibit a command of new vocabulary in creative writing activities
Materials and Resources
1. Poster board, glue, scissors, lined and unlined paper (white or colored), crayons and/or markers, pencils, pens, index cards, shelf paper (for mural), rulers, ball of heavy string
2. Cooking equipment for various activities: warm water, method to boil water(stove/hotplate), oven, cookie sheets, large stockpot, small saucepan, measuring cups and spoons, cheesecloth, two large jars with lids, baby-food style jars with lids(one for each student), plastic knives, strainer
6. Neutral colored sponge, at least 1" thick, enough for four 1" cubes per student
7. Miscellaneous: instant coffee, wax paper, paper bags(small), props such as old clothing, hats, tools(for student-created script), aluminum foil
8. Various books (see reference list) for teacher and student use
9. On-line resources:
Colonial Williamsburg http://www.history.org
Students may explore the site and write for information about the area.
Archiving Early America
Many teacher resources, but does display maps, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and various papers students could view.
Information about the Mayflower includes passenger lists, links to biographical information, and a section on authentic first Thanksgiving recreation.
Virtual tour of Plymouth Plantation, MA
including homes, tools, and people
Billy Bear's Thanksgiving web site
(and links to other holidays) includes pictures, puzzles and mazes to download
Includes links to free and low-cost shareware of games and puzzles for Thanksgiving holiday
Prepare several sets of directions (with eight compass points marked); distances should be expressed according to student strides, i.e. take eight steps northwest. These directions should move from the classroom to various points in school or in playground and back to classroom. If possible, post small sign or special object at each "site" (as if treasure hunt). Show students the directions and explain that they will need a way to follow these directions accurately. Lead students to build a homemade compass in this manner:
Send students in small groups according to available sets of directions. Appoint one student to read the directions, one to collect information at each site, one to hold compass, and one to serve as the "yardstick" (can be done with fewer than four per group). When students return, compare notes to see if everyone followed directions. Show map of United States (current map ok) and find states' geographic relation to each other (i.e. Connecticut is _______ of South Carolina). Be as specific as possible. Point out the first thirteen states. Why were they close together? Why do you think most of the first states were on the coast? What would it be like to move to a new country? Locate Jamestown, VA: site of the first permanent settlement.
1. Using examples from Cohn, students can write Dutch-style riddles; they may also enjoy the Sarasponda rhyming song after reading Spier's book about New Amsterdam. If you are not musically inclined, simply choose a rhythm for the children to follow (words will seem like nonsense anyway) or ask a parent or the music teacher to help with this.
2. Using the books Sarah Morton's Day and Samuel Eaton's Day, ask students to write a basic outline of their daily activities. With prior preparation students could bring in photos of some activities from home; they can also draw original art. Alternatively, this could be prepared on a large chart as a class activity using a Venn diagram. Be sure to compare the literature with the students' responses.
3. Examine Mayflower website and look for the passenger list. How many different family names can you find? Make a graph of the number of times each surname (last name) appears on the list.
4. Make an Indian Humming Toy White-clear water, day Black-life cycle birth to death Gray-gloom and sadness Blue-sky; long-lasting Yellow-sun and moon Red-morning, evening, good health Orange-peace and calm Circle-life and goodness Arrow up-day Arrow down-night, no return Using scissors, cut a 3 inch circle with two holes in center, 3/4 inch apart. Students may color the circle any way they wish. Before they do so, discuss the meanings of colors today: team colors, red/yellow/green signal lights, red cross, etc. Ask for students to suggest colors which have meaning, and symbols also.
Once circles are decorated, loop string through each hole and tie the ends together. If you hold the ends and turn the circle round and round until the string is tightly wound, you will be rewarded with a humming noise as the string unwinds.
5. As students become familiar with early America, they may acquire a speaking vocabulary of words before learning to use those words correctly in a written work. Students may design a vocabulary map to display new words and meanings.
What is the word? What category is it? (part of speech)
What is it similar to? How is it used? Students may compare their results with other students; the best maps may be distributed as a list for an upcoming quiz.
6. Using students suggestions, compile a list of occupations that were common in this era (Paul Revere held many of these himself!). Write each on a small sheet of paper and divide children into teams. Play either a charade-type game or a Pictionary-type game (where players try to illustrate the item). Use a chalkboard or large-size paper if drawing the clues.
7. Francis Marion once fought for colonial liberty in a fort of palmetto trees in Charleston, SC under a blue flag marked with a silver half-moon. Students could design a flag to represent the class in a competition with other classes (i.e. Field Day) or for the teams that compete in various activities during this unit. Be sure to use paper as a blotter if cloth material is provided for the flags. Carefully sanded old broomsticks pr discarded PVC pipe scraps will make good flagpoles.
8. With the above activity, newspaper or shelf paper squares can be folded into triangular hats decorated to match the flag designs (or in place of the flag activity). Fold the square in half, turn the corners down, and turn the bottom edges up for the rim. Staples and tape will help preserve the shape.
9. Choose one or more of these songs and rhymes to do as a class, or pair up and have each team design a set of movements to share.
The Muffin Man, Yankee Doodle, The Old Gray Goose, Hot Cross Buns, Little Boy Blue
10. The Counting Rhyme will help students remember about colonial chores just as it helped colonial children. One, two buckle my shoe; (Get up early) Three, four, shut the door; (shut to keep out the farm animals) Five, six, pick up sticks; (gather firewood and kindling) Seven, eight, lay them straight; (stack wood neatly near the fireplace) Nine, ten, a big fat hen; (gather eggs from the hens) Eleven, twelve, dig and delve. (help care for the garden)
11. Hold potato sack or three-legged races on the playground.
12. Make an Almanac weather lore picture by placing 1/4 cup of instant coffee in a small pan filled with 2" of warm water. This mixture will tint a plain piece of white bond paper a nice antique-style brown. Wrinkles are ok, but be careful and do not allow the paper to tear. It will take about three minutes for each paper to tint, and then it must dry before use, so you may want to have several tubs available. Three tea bags will also work as a dye. Allow the paper to dry thirty minutes. Draw weather shapes--clouds, moon, sun--on the edges and then choose a saying for your work. Examples include: Red sky at night means sailor's delight. April showers bring May flowers. When grass is dry by morning light, look for rain before tonight. If smoke flies low watch for a blow.
Selected Literature Resources
Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin. Illustrated by John and Alexandra Wallner. Holiday House, 1990.
Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson. Illustrated by John and Alexandra Wallner. Holiday House, 1990.
Adler, David A. A Picture Book of George Washington. Illustrated by John and Alexandra Wallner. Holiday House, 1989.
Adler, David A. Benjamin Franklin: Printer, Inventor, Statesman. Illustrated by Lyle Miller. Holiday House, 1992.
Bulla, Clyde Farmer. A Lion To Guard Us. Illustrated by Michele Chessare. Thomas Y. Crowell, 1981.
Bulla, Clyde Farmer. Squanto: Friend of the White Men. Illustrated by Peter Burchard. Thomas Y. Crowell, 1954.
Health and safety concerns: Students should not have unsupervised access to any sharp or heated objects. Ask for a parent volunteer if desired. Students must wash their hands before touching any ingredients. ANY utensil that touches a raw item (i.e. eggs) must not be used once that product is added to the others. All utensils need to be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before reuse; rinsing off in the sink is not acceptable and can spread illness. Ensure that all cold items are refrigerated until use. Once cooked, any uneaten food should be refrigerated in a shallow pan immediately or be discarded. Room temperature food that was once heated or cooled can become unsafe in a short time.
Each student will need a small baby food or similar jar with a tight-fitting lid. Fill each jar half-full with room temperature whipping cream. Replace lid tightly. Students should shake the jar until the curd separates from the whey, To get the excess liquid off, pour the whey into a strainer. Add salt to taste. Let students sample their butter with bread or crackers. Some students will not like the taste, so you may want to have alternative snacks available.
2. Hoe Cakes.
Once cooked over an open fire, this recipe will work just fine in an oven. It will not make very much as it is designed for two students to work as partners. Utensils: measuring cup/spoons; mixing bowl/spoons; cookie sheet; oven and small pot to boil water 1 cup corn meal 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk 1 tbsp. butter 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cookie sheet lightly. Mix ingredients in bowl and stir. Stir in boiling water a little at a time to make a stiff batter. Roll in small balls. Place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool before eating.
Utensils: knife; measuring spoons; stirring spoon; crock pot 1 lb. Jonathan, Winesap, or McIntosh apples 1 cup hot water 1/2 cup sugar (add to taste) 1 Tbsp. cinnamon 2 tsp. lemon juice spoons and cups for students
Early in the school day, students should was the apples and quarter them. Peels are ok, but cut out the cores. Place in crock pot with other ingredients. Cover and cook on high for about five hours. Be sure to stir about every thirty minutes.
Utensils: large saucepan with lid; mixing spoon and small bowl; fork and spoon; spoons and small cups for students This recipe says it serves six but that would be large entree servings. You could double it easily if desired but the simmering would take a little longer. This recipe requires almost constant supervision so a parent or aide would be necessary.
4 cups chicken broth 4 cups sliced potatoes 1 cup chopped celery 1 tsp. parsley 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper 2 cups canned corn, drained 2 cups cooked chicken (could be canned) in small pieces 1 cup tomato sauce 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Boil chicken broth in large saucepan. Add potatoes, celery, spices and simmer covered until potatoes are almost tender (15 to 20 minutes for this size). Add cooked chicken, tomato sauce, and corn. In the small bowl, mix eggs and flour with fork to make a thin paste. Drop with the spoon into the above mixture, which should be almost at a boil again. Cover and gently boil for 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Shawnee Cake
1 cup cornmeal 1 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon salt vegetable oil 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. baking soda 2 eggs 2 cups milk 2 tbsp. molasses
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix cornmeal, flour, salt and baking soda in large bowl. Beat eggs and add with molasses and milk to dry mix. Stir until completely combined. Grease pan with vegetable oil and pour in batter. Bake for about 20 minutes.
6. Walnut Shell Ink
Utensils: Paper bag; hammer; small saucepan; measuring cup and teaspoon; cheesecloth; small containers with covers(baby food jar, small take-out food or drink container)
4 empty walnut shells 1 cup water 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp vinegar Large feather trimmed to a point
Crush shells in paper bag with the hammer (watch your fingers!). Put in saucepan and add water. Boil the mixture and add salt and vinegar. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the ink through the cheesecloth to remove shell pieces. Use the feather as a quill pen to write with the ink. It will take practice; use newspaper as a blotter.
7. Cranberry Ink
Utensils: Medium saucepan; measuring cup; metal spoon; metal strainer (plastic will stain); container with lid as above
1 cup cranberries 2 tbsp. water Feather
Put cranberries and water in saucepan. Boil mixture and then use spoon to crush cranberries. Strain the ink and pour into containers. Use another feather for this color ink.
(These recipes will need to be increased for large groups; it may be best to do this in small groups/centers over the course of a day or a week.
Oh What A Thanksgiving by Steven Kroll.
This is a story of David and his family. David travels back in time into the first Thanksgiving celebration, taking his family with him.
Pre-reading Activity: After sharing the cover with the students, ask them to predict what the story may be about.
1. Have students compare the differences between the first Thanksgiving and their own celebration. They can make a chart comparing such things as guests, food, clothing, activities, preparation, etc. The students could also do this as a take-home activity: family members help the student prepare the chart which then is shared in class orally to a large or small group.
2. Students make paper dolls and dress them in clothing styles worn by the Pilgrims (such as breeches, a doublet, or falling band). Clothing could be made from paper or cloth scraps. Give the dolls names from this or other literature from this time period and design a puppet show.
3. Ask students to write a paragraph or two about what their family's experience might be like if they were to travel back in time. Would everyone in the family have a good time? Would anyone want to stay?
1. Do you think the first Thanksgiving was a lot more fun than the Thanksgiving we have today? Why?
2. David seems to think life was easy in this time period. What do you think?
3. If a Pilgrim boy or girl came to visit here for Thanksgiving, what would we want them to see?
Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of A Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters. Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy
These books describe the life of children in the early colonial years. Interpretative guides in a colonial setting provide clear visual images of colonial life.
Ask the children to recall the various activities they did on the previous school day. Mark on paper or the chalkboard a long bar with a sunrise, high noon, and sunset and try to list the activities in their approximate time frame.
1. Students may write a journal of their day as if they were a Pilgrim child. Some may wish to do this for several days but others will find it easier to keep a journal of actual present-day events. Ask students to make specific references to time as much as possible, i.e. "early in the morning" or "just after dinner" instead of "we went bowling and then we went to the store".
2. Learn the "Three Blind Mice" song that Sarah learned. Some students may wish to write a similar nonsense rhyme.
3. Look at the riddles Sarah knew. Children will enjoy making and sharing new riddles with their friends. Write them down and illustrate the answer on the back of the page. Collect the pages in a book.
4. Make 17th Century Indian Corn Bread Boil 3 cups water. Stir in 1 cup coarse cornmeal grits. Simmer until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Cool until mixture can be handled. Turn onto a surface floured with 1/2 cup fine cornmeal flour. Work dough into two flat round cakes. Bake on a floured cookie sheet at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.
5. If students have small photos of themselves available, use the face as the face of a pilgrim paper doll. Scraps of paper or cloth can be used to make authentically styled clothing. The dolls could be displayed on a bulletin board or in the hallway outside the classroom.
1. What was the first thing that Sarah or Samuel did in the morning? How is this the same or different from what you do in the morning?
2. Compare yourself to Sarah or Samuel. How are you like them, or different?
3. Would you like to do the chores and other activities the Pilgrim children did? Why or why not?
4. Tell some ways that the clothing was different. Could you wear clothing like that today with the activities you do?
The Boston Coffee Party by Doreen Rappaport.
Based on a letter written by Abigail Adams to her husband John, this book tells of Mrs. Homans' stand against unfair prices and her actions against a coffee merchant.
Gather newspaper ads prior to this experience. There should be several ads for coffee that students can use to compare prices. Brand names are not nearly as important for this activity; the information compiled should include store found and price per pound (check figures).
1. Locate the coffee prices listed in the book. They are in shillings. Students can use a currency exchange chart (check with local bank) to convert these amounts into today's coins.
2. Look at the editorial page of a newspaper. People give their opinions (feelings) about nearly anything. Write a one-paragraph editorial about this event. Was Mrs. Homans right or Mr. Thomas? Maybe both or neither.
3. Appoint a "Mrs. Homans", a constable (policeman) and a merchant "Mr. Thomas". Divide other students into four groups, one for each character and one group for a "jury". The "jury" should prepare a short list of questions for the "interested parties" and the groups could support their assigned character. Let the jury decide who was responsible for the Coffee Party.
1. Why are prices higher in some stores than in others?
2. How is this story similar to the Boston Tea Party? (have Stein's book or another ready for class examination)
3. What would customers do today if they felt a merchant had prices that were too high?
4. Who were John and Abigail Adams? (see note at end of text)
Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (several versions of this text are available) PRE-READING ACTIVITY
Present a short children's encyclopedia article on Paul Revere, paying particular attention to all the jobs he held. As a silversmith, Paul made many beautiful objects. Allow children to sculpt a bowl or platter with aluminum foil.
1. Write an eight-line rhyming poem about a trip you have taken, using the pattern of AABB like this poem (each two lines rhyme).
2. Draw a map showing the path between your home and school. Label all the roads you can, and try to place landmarks (large buildings, a big tree, etc.) to help someone follow your map.
3. Using a teacher-produced map of 10 by 10 blocks (or 5 by 5), write a set of directions between the two places assigned to you (i.e. soccer field to home, school to grocery store). Use compass directions N S E W and the number of blocks one should travel in each direction. If given an extra stop along the way, can students find the shortest route to travel?
1. Point out that Paul Revere did not get to finish the ride in real life, but did in Longfellow's poem. Why was Paul the hero in the poem when he was not really a hero? Or was he?
2. What are some adjectives (describing words) in the poem about Paul Revere? Can you think of other words (synonyms) for those words? 3. If you have read any other stories of Paul Revere, talk about why you think he tried so hard to make sure the new colonies won the arguments, and later the war, with the bigger British army.
Facts and Faces Trading Cards
Using 5 by 7 inch index cards, students will display their knowledge of life in early America. From a teacher-generated list, students will be assigned a small number of persons, places, or pieces of colonial history to examine. A small amount of encyclopedia research will be needed by some students to cover their subjects to their satisfaction. Much information can be gathered in the literature from this unit, especially if author's notes are made available.
The lined side of the index card provides space for information as the student wishes to present it. Charts could show population changes in a city (such as Paul Revere's Boston, MA); key dates in a person's life may be paired with the events of that year; a subject such as "colonial schools" might offer only a sentence or two of description.
The blank side allows for creativity: a sketch of a map or a face (or a Xerox copy); color or black-and-white shapes such as a flag or an item of clothing; borders, backgrounds, and lettering can be experimented upon with each new trading card. You could design a simple color scheme if you wish for real persons, fictional characters, cities, famous events, games or foods.
Students who can prepare their trading cards with minimal "outside" research and accurately display facts will have demonstrated basic mastery of the material. By giving some subjects to several (or all) students, one may gain insight into the varying comprehension levels. However, students who go beyond classroom information should not be penalized; is the extra information helpful and interesting? Is the information presented in an organized, logical manner, or just copied out line by line. Once the cards are examined for factual accuracy, look at the illustrations. If original art, is it colorful? Neatness counts, and even a black-and-white sketch should have some details to capture the collector's eye. Extra decorations may make the card more desirable, for once graded, you may consider letting the children actually trade them with one another. After all, that is part of the fun.
http://www.libsci.sc.edu/miller/colony.htm MEMBERS IN A COMMUNITY
Members in our community
1. 12 x 18" construction paper (a variety of colors)
1. One pre-made Triangle Person. Do not add a lot of detail. Keep simple so that the children will not copy what you have done.
1. Read the book, Tops and Bottoms, by Janet Stevens
2. Ask the children if they ever help out at home. Is there anyone else who helps out at home? What do they do? Stretch this concept of "help-out" past the home and into the community. Ask the children if they can think of anyone that helps the community? If no one offers any suggestions, ask them who helps if there is a fire? A crime? Then re-ask the original question.
3. Make a list of all the community helpers the children can think of along with what they do in the community. Ask how our communities would be different without them. Do we really need them? Should we be afraid of them? This last question is trying to break the stereotypical bounds that have been created between such community helpers as the police force and society.
4. Once the list is complete, tell the children that they are going to get to create one of those community helpers. Ask them if they have ever heard of the Triangle People. Show them your example of a Triangle Person you have already made.
5. Ask them to go back to their desks and take out a pair of scissors. Take them though steps a-d.
a. Take the 12 x 18" piece of paper and hole it the tall way.
b. Fold it from left to right (side to side).
c. Cut from the bottom open end to anywhere above the middle of the opposite side. Show them that the higher you cut up, the taller the person.
d. Take the left over piece and cut it on the crease. These two pieces can then be the arms of Triangle Person. Demonstrate how to place these on the person by making an X with them on the back of the Triangle Person. Show them that the points can face down or up.
e. Let them decorate the rest by themselves. Invite the children to brainstorm on what they think certain community members may look like (their uniforms). These may be written down next to their names and job descriptions that were written down earlier. (Note: this part should be done before you start to construct you Triangle People).
f. Depending on how much art experience the children have had in the past, you may show them how simple geometric shapes can be transformed into ordinary objects. For example, a blue circle cut in half can be a policeman’s hat.
6. After each child gets done, have them write a little bit about their community member. If this is done in the beginning of the year, pre-made forms could be made up to assist the children in their writing. For example:
My community member is a _________. He/She (let them circle or write in) helps the community by ___________. What I like most about (the name of their Triangle Person) is the way he/she _________________. Then leave a few blank lines for the children to write anything else they want.
7. Have each child present their community member to the class either at the end of the day or the following day (depending on when there is time). Hang these up outside the door in a large circle format. In the center of the circle have the words, "Our Community Circle."
People, Places, and Cultures
Grade Level Standard:
3-5 Compare and contrast people, places, and cultures of
Grade Level Benchmark:
2. Locate and describe diverse kinds of communities and
explain the reasons for their characteristics and locations. (II.1.LE.2)