Early Colonial Settlements - the Why? the Where? and the What Now?

78 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT....analyze and chart the three early settlements of America by evaluating the decisions and consequences made by settlers

Big Idea

Rules we follow and interests we have affect the choices that we make.

Creating the Purpose

10 minutes

Today I had students make the connection between a current debate in basketball court ownership. Who gets the basketball court?- those who get there first – or those who brought the ball?

I question how we decide? What effects this decision? And how they came to this decision? to get students to understand the purpose of rules and how these along with interests affect the sports they play at recess. (I will make a connection to the reasons for decisions made in colonial settlements in this lesson).

I introduce our objective - that we are going to Comparing the colonies to evaluate the three different colonies that developed in the early Americans and then gain understanding of how and why they settled into each of the areas and the way it affected their lifestyles. 

Guiding the Learning

20 minutes

Referring to the basketball analogy, I relate choices made by the colonists and the areas they decided to settle into.

I have student helpers pass out the Settling the early colonies and the Comparing the colonies chart

I model questioning and using think-aloud to identify evidence for the first two sections to show students my expectations for the lesson. I then ask students questions to complete the last sections.

Modeled my expectations using the sample chart and worksheets to demonstrate how to read for evidence by pausing and thinking aloud, rereading for meaning, highlighting evidence found and using context clues for unfamiliar words.

I had students partnered with helpful peers in their groups and let them work together to gradually release students to the independent section.

Creating the chart on the board gave them a visual reference and means to assess their own responses and a resource for the next section of application

I write the information on a large chart and keep it posted as a resource for their peer and independent work 

Then Southern Colony – students complete with a peer – call students to respond and add it to the chart 

Independent Practice

25 minutes

I explain to students that they will now return to their table groups and receive a Come to Our Colonies assignment sheet with a list of tasks each person will need to sign up for. Their purpose is to create a poster to attract settlers in England to come to their colonies.

I review their task sheet and expectations and Settling the colonies example poster I created for a colony. I give students an New England Colonies Poster Notes and inform them they will use these notes and the prompts on their worksheet and Early Colonies Poster-Rubric to create their poster in 20 minutes.

I reinforce that they will be assessed on their completing all the sections and how well they work together as a group.

I circulate and question to encourage thinking and creativity - and to ensure all are participating and on task




Closing the Loop

20 minutes

At the signal I have all student group "advertisers" come up and sell the benefits of their colony to their peers using their Settling the colonies poster

Each group then receives a Poster Activity - family occupation tags that ask them to choose the best area according to their new interests and explain why choices were made (religious beliefs, job skills, family structure, etc)  

I share that now that we have a better understanding of what made colonists move to the different areas, we can understand what settlers may have done to continue to attract new colonists from England. 

I close by asking them  “What was the relationship was between the European settlers, Native Americans and enslaved Africans?  Which area relied on them the most? How did these groups help the colonists?"

I reiterate that the slaves and servants worked the plantations and grew the cash crops. This information will help us understand their role as the communities develop.