Whether you live on the West Coast, in the Midwest, or on the East Coast, you most likely spend a little time on the history of the first Thanksgiving, Colonial History, or the Revolutionary War. Here in Virginia, Colonial History is our country’s history, and today’s post will pull together ideas to make that history come alive for your students.
To start with, I have pulled together a list of great literature you might ask your librarian for or pull for your students to read during your unit. They are on a variety of levels, so some would be for student reading and some would be used as read alouds. Using literature helps your students visualize the time and better grasp what life was like..
best book options for colonial history:
One of my favorite books to use during studies of Jamestown and the colonial period is the book, A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Bulla. It has wonderful details of the period and yet the book is controlled and perfect for struggling fourth graders. [This unit] may be helpful if you wish to give it a try.
Other favorites of mine include:
The Courage of Sarah Noble
The True Story of Pocahontas
The First Thanksgiving
If You Lived in Colonial Time
As a read aloud, I’d highly recommend Blood on the River. It is a high level book, but my colleagues have used it with reports that the students totally loved it and could not wait to hear the next chapter.
These resources may be helpful with the books I mentioned:
ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR COLONIAL HISTORY:
Half the fun with colonial history studies is the hands-on activity options you have. Years ago, we would have Colonial History Day. We had a group from the Jamestown Foundation come to run the stations. Certainly, it made the unit memorable for the students.
Interested in going all in with colonial time? Check out [this post] from Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6. I just loved it. She walks through her whole unit, and I love how the kids set up colonial stores, displayed their projects, and made their learning come to life. You can just tell it was lots of fun. Here are a few images of colonial art you might try out.
If you are wanting to carry this theme across the curriculum, you might include colonial games during your PE period, and colonial songs in music. There are so many fun options for extension. I love these project ideas. There are also great lapbooks and foldable options out there too like this one from First Grade Parade. (image linked to the blog post). I think this could be done with the ships to Jamestown too
There are many other great ideas you might adapt to Colonial Life in this post..
This last one is a replica of the Jamestown. I could not find the original posts on Pinterest. However, I had to share this idea. We used to do models in small groups and the kids always loved them.
WEBSITES ABOUT COLONIAL HISTORY:
Finally, I want to share links to a few websites you might use for research if you have your students dig for more information on Colonial History. It really is fascinating.
Whether you are teaching the Pilgrims for Thanksgiving, Virginia History, Colonial History, or are tying in activities to go with historical fiction, I hope you can use these resources.
OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- SIMPLE WAYS TO TEACH HISTORICAL FICTION WITH THE BUFFALO STORM
- USING NOVEL STUDIES TO EXPAND CONTENT AREA LEARNING
- 10 AMAZING TITLES FOR TEACHING NONFICTION TEXT STRUCTURES
What ideas do you have? Please share them below.