Category Archives: Colonial America

Christopher Columbus

Week 7: Christopher Columbus

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View K – 3: Animated Hero Classics: Christopher Columbus  by  NEST Entertainment OR  Read: Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky

Read 4 – 6:  Christopher Columbus: The Discovery of the New World  by Carole Gallagher

7 – 8:  Christopher Columbus by Peter & Connie Roop

Discuss:

  • Where was Columbus from? (Italy)
  • When Columbus first presented his plan to look for a new trade route to the Indies, it was rejected.  Why?  (People believed it couldn’t be done; people thought his calculations were wrong, expensive trip, etc.)
  • Which country did Columbus sail for? (Spain)
  • What were the names of the ships that went with him? (Nina, Pinta, & Santa Maria)
  • Besides sailors, who went with Columbus on his voyage? (Arabic translator, secretary)
  • After they had been at sea for many days, the sailors grew frightened.  Why? (Superstitious, Sea Monsters, etc.)
  • How long did it take them to reach land? (33 days; over a month)
  • Why was Columbus surprised by the natives?  (very poor, no gold)
  • Why do you think Columbus forced some Natives to go back with him? (to prove where he had been)
  • How many ships made it back to Spain? (2)

Questions for Grades 4 & up:

  • Describe Columbus’s 2nd voyage to America? (Found Spaniards left behind had been murdered by Indians (for stealing gold, women, etc.  Indians were now unfriendly to them.  Mosquitoes were causing Malaria, sailors out of control, terrorizing Indians, etc.)
  • Was Columbus a good leader and truthful person? (no. lied to the King & Queen about the wealth he had found)
  • Did Columbus ever realize he hadn’t found the Indies? (no)

Activities: All ages: Make a map of Columbus’s voyages using theses blank maps:

K – 2: Christopher Columbus coloring page: http://www.usa-printables.com/Events/Colony/colony-pics/colony-002.gif

3 – 5: Christopher Columbus crossword puzzle http://gardenofpraise.com/ibdpuz9.htm 

6 – 8: Write an essay:  If you were a sailor on one of Columbus’s ships, would Columbus be the kind of man you would respect?  Why or why not?

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Copyright October 16th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Colonial America, Early American History, Exploration, Reformation, Renaissance

Eli Whitney

Week 4:  Eli Whitney (1793)

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VIEW K – 2: http://havefunwithhistory.com/movies/cottonGin.html AND READ “NOTE” below.

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READ 3 – 6: Eli Whitney: Great Inventor by Jean Lee Latham AND view : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bns6aKfrIjA

7 – 8:  Maker of Machines by Barbara Mitchell AND view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bns6aKfrIjA

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 Unfortunately, no free image of Eli Whitney: Great Inventor by Jean Lee Latham is available to me.

Note: Eli Whitney was born on December 8, 1765.  From the time he was very young he was skilled at making things.  At the age of 10 he took apart his father’s watch to figure out how it worked.  He was then able to put it back together again.  The watch continued to work perfectly.  When he was only 12 he made his own violin.  During the American Revolution he made nails to sell to farmers.  After the Revolution, he began selling hatpins for ladies’ hats.  After attending Yale University he moved south to teach.  While there he discovered the need for an invention that would separate cotton seeds from cotton.  He was able to build such a machine in only 10 days.  Even though he received a patent for his machine, it was easily copied by others and unfortunately, he never made much money from the invention.  The invention revolutionized the cotton industry.  Before this time cotton was not a popular crop to plant because it was so difficult to remove the seeds.  After the invention, cotton became one of the most popular crops to plant in the South, which unfortunately, increased the demand for slaves to pick the cotton.  Later Eli Whitney invented a musket(gun) that could be mass-produced.  They were used in the War of 1812.

DISCUSS:

  • Name two of Eli Whitney’s most famous inventions. (Cotton gin &  machine-made muskets)
  • T/F Eli Whitney did not begin to invent things till he was an adult. (F)
  • What did the Cotton gin do? (removed seeds from cotton plants)
  • Describe the problems he had with his cotton gin. (Idea stolen by many; people began creating it themselves so he wasn’t paid for his invention.  He spent much of his time in court fighting for the rights to produce his invention. )
  • Did Eli Whitney become rich from creating the cotton gin? (no)
  • Why were muskets so expensive to create? (each one was hand-made)
  • How did Eli Whitney changed the musket industry? (he was able to make them by machine, with interchangeable parts, he was the first man to mass produce muskets)
  • When were his muskets used? (war of 1812)

Questions for Grades 3 – 8:

  • How did Eli’s cotton gin change slavery in America? (increased the need for slavery because more workers were needed to plant and pick the crop)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: coloring page: http://homeschooling.about.com/od/holidays/ss/October-Worksheets3_12.htm

4 – 8: Using the data on the “Slavery and Cotton Production” chart on this website: http://www.socialstudieshelp.com/lesson_29_notes_sec_ho.htm

Make up your own bar graph to show how cotton production and the number of slaves increased during the 8 decades listed.    You can use this graph paper http://customgraph.com/SG/piart.php?art=29 to create your chart.

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Copyright January 24th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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Revolutionary War Test

WEEK 17:  REVOLUTIONARY WAR TEST

NOTE: Following is the Revolutionary War Test.  7th and 8th graders should be able to do all of this test.  4th through 6th graders should be able to do most of the test.   K – 3rd graders will be able to do a lot of this test orally.   Each question is worth 2 points.  This test is OPTIONAL.   Please feel free to skip it; scale it; eliminate parts of it; use it merely as a review, or do whatever best suits your family!  If you choose to give your children this test, I would recommend reviewing the “Discussion Questions” from the last 16 weeks’ lesson plans the day before you give the test.

Following the test you will find a teachers’ answer key.

Name: _____________________________________________         Date: __________________________

Revolutionary War Test

Fill in the Blank:

 

1.       1.) Name the king of Great Britain during the Revolutionary War?

______________________________________

2.       2.) Who discovered lightning was a form of electricity?

______________________________________

3.       3.) In what city did the Continental Congress meet?

______________________________________

4.      4.) How many colonies were there during the Revolutionary War?

______________________________________

5.)   Who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence?

______________________________________

6.      6.) Who is rumored to be the creator of the first American flag?

_________________________________________

7.   7.)  What was the name of Patrick Henry’s most famous speech?

_________________________________________

8.)  8.) Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

_________________________________________

9.)  9.)  What continent did most slaves in America come from?

_________________________________________

   O   10.)  On what day was the final version of the Declaration approved?

______________________________________

11   11.)  Who was the Commander-in-Chief of the American armies during the Revolutionary War?

______________________________________

12.    12.) During the Revolutionary War, most African-Americans and Native Americans fought for the: (British or Americans?) _____________________________________

13.    13.) Who was the first president of the United States?

______________________________________

14.    14.) Who was the second president of the United States?

______________________________________

15.    15.) Which Native American group had the oldest democracy in America?

______________________________________

16.    16.) Just after the Revolutionary war laws were passed to set slaves free in what part of the colonies (North or South) ?

______________________________________

Circle the Correct Answer:

 

17.   17.) Why did John Hancock move in with his rich uncle as a boy?

  • A.)   He wanted to be rich
  • B.)    He didn’t get along with his father
  • C.)    His father died; mother was poor; uncle had no children.
  • D.)   His mother died.

18.   18.) What group was John Hancock elected president of?

  • A.)    The Singers of Liberty
  • B.)    The Continental Congress
  • C.)    The Boston Tea Party
  • D.)   The colony of Virginia

19.    19.) Which of the following is NOT one of  Ben Franklin’s accomplishments?

  • A.)   He was a lawyer
  • B.)    He set up fire and police departments
  • C.)    Invented bifocal glasses
  • D.)   Acted as a representative from the colonies to France

20.    20.) Which of the following was NOT one of the jobs Paul Revere did?

  • A.)   Made false teeth
  • B.)    Engraved copper plates & printed pictures
  • C.)    Silversmith
  • D.)  Invented Bifocal Glasses  

21.    21.) Paul Revere made an engraving of British soldiers firing upon innocent colonists in Massachusetts.  This incident was called?

  • A.)   The Boston Tea Party
  • B.)    The Revolutionary War
  • C.)    The Boston Massacre
  • D.)   The New York Massacre

22.    22.) Which of the following was NOT a name the Patriots had for the British soldiers?

  • A.)   Bluecoats
  • B.)    Redcoats
  • C.)    Lobster backs
  • D.)   Bloody backs

23.    23.) This Act passed by the King said that colonists had to provide British soldiers with food, supplies, and give them places to live.  What was it called?

  • A.)   The Stamp Act
  • B.)    Tea Tax
  • C.)    The Quartering Act
  • D.)   The Boycott Act

24.    24.) How did King George punish the colonists for the “Boston Tea Party?”

  • A.)   Sent 5000 new soldiers to Boston
  • B.)    He kept all ships from leaving Boston Harbor and prevented new ships from coming.
  • C.)    He told the colonists they must pay back the debt for the destroyed tea.
  • D.)   All of the Above.

25.    25.) Why did some people want to remain British citizens?

  • A.)    They liked Great Britain’s protection.
  • B.)    They liked trading with Great Britain.
  • C.)    Many people had relatives in Great Britain or went to school there.
  • D.)   All of the Above.

26.    26.) Name some of the difficulties Washington had leading the American army?

  • A.)    Not enough food
  • B.)     No money to pay men
  • C.)     Not enough clothing or guns
  • D.)   All of the Above

27.    27.) What Patriot General became a traitor?

  • A.)   Benedict Arnold
  • B.)    John Hancock
  • C.)    Samuel Adams
  • D.)   Burgoyne

28.    28.) Which of the following was NOT an area or city the British had control of during the Revolutionary war?

  • A.)   New York
  • B.)    Philadelphia
  • C.)    South Carolina
  • D.)   Valley Forge

29.   29.) Which of the following was NOT a way women helped support the Revolutionary War?

  • A.)    Some fought as soldiers
  • B.)    Some attended the Continental Congress
  • C.)    Some sewed blankets, uniforms, & flags
  • D.)   Some acted as spies or delivered important messages.

30.    30.) The last battle of the Revolutionary War was in what city?

  • A.)   Yorktown
  • B.)    New York
  • C.)    Paris
  • D.)   Philadelphia

31.    31.) The treaty the British signed with the Americans was called the:

  • A.)   Treaty of Britain
  • B.)    Treaty of France
  • C.)    Treaty of Paris
  • D.)   Treaty of Philadelphia

32.    32.) During the Revolutionary War, the Great Council made what decision?

  • A.)   They should fight for the British
  • B.)    They should not get involved in the war at all.
  • C.)    They should fight for the colonists.
  • D.)   None of the above.

33.    33.) Which of the following did NOT happen to the Iroquois confederacy?

  • A.)    Many decided to fight for the British.
  • B.)    Many of their homes and villages were destroyed.
  • C.)    Many died of hunger, cold, and disease.
  • D.)   Most were proud of George Washington.

Write “T” if the answer is true; Write “F” if the answer is false.

 

34.    34.) T/F John Hancock was one of the richest people in the colonies. ___________

35.    35.) T/F Hancock lived in Virginia. _____________

36.   36.) T/F Some loyalists and tax collectors were tarred and feathered. _________

37.    37.) T/F Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had slaves. _________

38.    38.) T/F King George was happy to take his troops out of the colonies and give Americans  their own country.  __________

39.    39.) T/F George Washington was a great soldier during the French & Indian war. __________

40.    40.) T/F George Washington never had slaves.  _____________

41.    41.) T/F George Washington won the Revolutionary War with the help of the French.  __________

42.    42.) T/F Battles between the British & Americans didn’t start until after the Declaration of Independence was signed.  __________

43.    43.) T/F  The decision to be independent or not divided many families.  ___________

44.    44.) T/F Many women worked as nurses during the Revolutionary War. ____________

45.    45.) T/F During the Revolutionary War, women did not know how to use guns.  _____________

46.    46.) T/F African-Americans were always slaves in the colonies.  ___________

47.    47.) T/F Before the Revolutionary War there were only slaves in the Southern colonies.  __________

48.    48.) T/F John Adams and Thomas Jefferson stayed close friends all of their lives. _________

49.    49.) T/F John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 4th of July. ____________

50.    50.) T/F Mom loves her kids and is very proud of them. ____________

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Extra Credit:

What was the name of John Adams’ wife? __________________________

George Washington attacked what group of soldiers on Christmas? _____________________

What tea did the colonists drink to boycott British tea? ___________________________

What was the name of the Native American who defied the Great Council? ________________________________________

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Answer Key:

  • 1.  King George III
  • 2.  Ben Franklin
  • 3.  Philadelphia
  • 4.  13
  • 5.  John Hancock
  • 6.  Betsy Ross
  • 7.  “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”
  • 8.  Thomas Jefferson
  • 9.  Africa
  • 10.  July 4th, 1776
  • 11.  George Washington
  • 12.  British
  • 13.  George Washington
  • 14.  John Adams
  • 15.  Iroquois
  • 16.  North
  • 17.  C
  • 18.  B
  • 19.  A
  • 20.  D
  • 21.  C
  • 22.  A
  • 23.  C
  • 24.  D
  • 25.  D
  • 26.  D
  • 27.  A
  • 28.  D
  • 29.  B
  • 30.  A
  • 31.  C
  • 32.  B
  • 33.  D
  • 34.  T
  • 35.  F
  • 36.  T
  • 37.  T
  • 38.  F
  • 39.  T
  • 40.  F
  • 41.  T
  • 42.  F
  • 43.  T
  • 44.  T
  • 45.  F
  • 46.  F
  • 47.  F
  • 48.  F
  • 49.  T
  • 50.  T

Extra Credit:

  • Abigail Adams
  • Hessians
  • Dutch Tea
  • Joseph Brant

Copyright August 12th, 2013 by Gwen Fredette

 

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Iroquois Democracy & American Revolution

Week 16: Iroquois Democracy & American Revolution

 

WATCH: K – 8:  500 Nations A Jack Leustig Film Hosted by Kevin Costner

Disc 3 Episode 5:

Watch Scene 9 “Haudenosaunee Democracy” to end of Episode 5.

 Note: Many Native Americans at this time wore very little clothing.  Drawings accompany this documentary showing men and women wearing their traditional clothing.  (i.e. There are many images of almost naked male and female Native Americans.)  This documentary is excellent but may be a bit hard for kids in grades K – 3 to understand.)

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 DISCUSS:

  • Which Native American group had the oldest democracy in America? (Haudenosaunee or Iroquois)
  • How many tribes were part of this democracy? (5)
  • How did their democracy begin? (“The PeaceMaker” saw the 5 nations often warring against each other; brought message of peace and the “Great Law” which was moral teachings.)
  • Describe the 5 arrows symbolism? (1 arrow can be easily broken; 5 joined together remain strong)
  • What great American was inspired by their democracy? (Ben Franklin)
  • What were their houses like?  Did they live well? (Longhouses – housed up to a dozen families; had fruit trees, corn, dishes, etc.  They lived well.)
  • Who picked the chief of each clan? (women)
  • What was the Great Council? (Each of the 5 clan chiefs met and talked together to make decisions.)
  • What was the council’s decision on the Revolutionary War? (to remain neutral)
  • Who was Joseph Brant? (Native American w/ ties to British; wanted to fight against Americans; defied council and persuaded many Mohawk and Seneca to do the same.)
  • Did the rest of the tribes remain neutral? (no, some sided w/ Americans)
  • What did George Washington’s men do to the neutral Onandaga? (burned houses, fruit trees, corn, etc.)
  • Why did many Native Americans die? (Civil War; hunger, disease, cold)
  • When the British surrendered, did they make provisions for the Iroquois’s land in their peace agreement? (no)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Draw your own picture of a scene of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee)  in the Revolution.

4 – 6: Do you think the Iroquois could have remained neutral if Joseph Brant hadn’t come back from England?  Explain your answer in a paragraph.

7 – 8: Write an essay (5 paragraph- 3 proof)  telling about 3 new things you learned about the Iroquois during the Revolution.

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Copyright August 2nd, 2013 by Gwen Fredette

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African Americans & the Revolutionary War

Week 15: African Americans during the Revolution

 

READ: K – 6:  Phoebe the Spy by Judith Berry Griffin OR Phoebe and the General by Judith Berry Griffin

7 – 8: Chains: (Seeds of America) by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Note (Please read the following information to your children):  The first Africans that came to America were treated as servants rather than slaves.    They worked for a period of years and then earned their freedom.  They got along well with white servants and intermarried with them.

            Eventually however, more and more workers were needed to run large plantations in the South.  Black Slaves were relatively cheap and could not go to their government for help, so demand for them increased.  During the 1600’s slavery became a life term rather than a form of indentured servitude.  Marriage between races was forbidden.  Children of slaves became the property of their master.  As time went on more and more Africans were kidnapped from their native countries and forcibly taken by ship to America.   They were packed together in the bottom of  boats with no bathrooms.  Many died or became very sick on their long trip across the ocean.   When they reached America, they were lined up and auctioned off to bidders like cattle.  Most worked in the fields in the South, helping with rice, indigo, tobacco, and cotton.  Others worked in the homes as servants/slaves in both the Northern and Southern colonies.  Many were treated cruelly and worked ruthlessly by their masters.

                A small percentage of African Americans earned their freedom, thrived in the colonies, and did much to benefit society.  A black scientist named Benjamin Banneker wrote almanacs and created his own clock.  A black woman  named Phillis Wheatley wrote beautiful poetry.  Others owned successful businesses.

                During the Revolutionary War some enlisted as soldiers.  Great Britain promised freedom to blacks who helped fight against the Patriots.  Many Patriot masters promised slaves their freedom if they fought for them in the war.  Others saw the confusion of the war as an opportune time to flee from their masters and make themselves free.  White soldiers and black soldiers often fought side by side.  Unfortunately, after the war many who were promised their freedom in return for service for their country were never given it.  Others were freed, then kidnapped because they were black and forced into slavery again.  During and immediately after the war, Northern colonies began passing laws to eliminate slavery.  However, slavery remained a way of life in the South until the Civil War.

                Unfortunately many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave holders themselves, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  Some of these men even believed that slavery was wrong, yet setting their own slaves free was not something they could bring themselves to do.  They depended too much on their services.

 

DISCUSS:

  • T/F African Americans were always slaves in the colonies.  (false)
  • T/F Before the Revolutionary War there were only slaves in the Southern colonies. (false)
  • What type of work did slaves do? (worked on plantations, worked as servants, were soldiers)
  • What type of work did free African Americans do? (some owned businesses, were soldiers, scientists, poets, etc.)
  • How did slaves come to America? (kidnapped from Africa and taken by boat)
  • How were slaves purchased? (sold at auctions)
  • How were slaves involved in the Revolutionary War? (some fought for the British in return for their freedom; others fought for the Patriots in the place of their master; some fought because they believed in the ideals of the Revolution)
  • Just after the Revolutionary War, laws were passed to set slaves free in what part of the colonies? (North)
  • Did any of the signers of the Declaration of Independence have slaves? (yes)

Questions for grades K – 6:

  • In your own words tell the story of Phoebe the spy.
  • How did she save George Washington’s life?
  • Were Phoebe and her father free or slaves?
  • Do you think they knew George Washington had slaves?
  • Do you think they still would have helped him if they knew?

Questions for grades 7 – 8:

  • In your own words tell the story of Isabel.
  • Do any of the events in this book surprise you?  Explain.
  • Do you believe Isabel’s life as a slave was typical?  Why or why not?
  • A famous quote is written at the beginning of each chapter.  Did any of these quotes surprise you?  Why?

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half and then in half again.  In each of the four quadrants, draw a scene from the story Phoebe The Spy (or Phoebe and the General).  Write a sentence under each picture explaining what is happening in that scene.

4 – 8:  Go to this link from Teaching American History Md by clicking HERE.   (You will need to scroll down on this site.) Use this information to do the following worksheet.  (Click to Open): Slavery During the Revolutionary War

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Copyright July 27th, 2013 by Gwen Fredette

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Revolutionary War Review

Week 14: Revolutionary War Mini Review

 

Grades K – 8 Watch: The following free clips from America, The Story of Us by clicking on each topic.

1.) Boston Massacre

2.) Declaration of Independence

3.) American Revolution

4.) George Washington

5.) Yorktown

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READ:  K – 6: Begin reading Phoebe the Spy by Judith Berry Griffin OR Phoebe and the General by Judith Berry Griffin (will be discussed during next week’s lesson)

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7 – 8: Begin reading Chains: (Seeds of America) by Laurie Halse Anderson (will be discussed during next week’s lesson.)

  



DISCUSS:

  • Is there anything you saw today that surprised you? Explain. (Answers will vary)

ACTIVITIES: Grades K – 8:  None!

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Copyright July 20th, 2013 by Gwen Fredette

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Women & the Revolutionary War

Week 13: How Women Helped the Revolutionary War (1777)

 

READ:  K – 2: The Boston Coffee Party by Doreen Rappaport

3 – 4: The Boston Coffee Party by Doreen Rappaport AND Sybil Ludington’s Midnight Ride by Marsha Amstel

5 – 6: The Secret Soldier by Ann McGovern

7 – 8: Patriots in Petticoats by Shirley Raye Redmond

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No legal image is available for me to post for The Boston Coffee Party, but you can see an image of the book by clicking HERE.

Note for kids in K – 6: Women helped support the Patriots in many ways.  They planned successful boycotts.  (They stopped buying British goods.)  They helped make uniforms and blankets for the soldiers.  They ran businesses and farms while their husbands were away fighting.  Mary Goddard owned a newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland, and bravely agreed to print copies of the Declaration of Independence when Philadelphia printers wouldn’t.  Betsy Ross was paid to make flags for America.  Many believe she was the one who created the first American flag.  Many  worked as nurses to care for the sick and wounded.  Other women cooked for the soldiers and brought them water while they were fighting.  Many women helped defend their towns from the Redcoats while their husbands were away.  Others, such as Deborah Samson, disguised themselves as men and actually fought in the war.   Some worked as spies in the British camps and went back to the Patriots to report on how many Redcoats were in a camp, or warned patriots when British were planning to attack.  Some even delivered secret messages.

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 DISCUSS:

  • What is a boycott? (When people stop buying something to hurt the seller.)
  • What did women of the colonies boycott? (British goods.)
  • How did women use sewing skills to help the Patriots? (made blankets, uniforms, flags)
  • Who is rumored to be the creator of the first American flag? (Betsy Ross)
  • T/F Women worked as nurses during the Revolutionary War. (True)
  • T/F During the Revolutionary War, women did not know how to use guns. (False, many used guns to defend themselves while their husbands were away.)
  • How did Deborah Samson help the Patriots? (dressed as a man and fought in the war)
  • T/F Women sometimes worked as spies for the Patriots. (true)
  • Thinking about the story (stories) you read, how did this woman’s (these women’s) actions help the war effort? (Answers will vary)

ACTIVITIES:

K – 2: Take a white piece of paper and fold it in half; then fold it again.  In each of the four sections, draw a picture of something women did to help in the Revolutionary War.

3 – 6:  Write a paragraph telling of at least 5 ways women helped in the Revolutionary War.  Be sure to include at least 2 names of famous women.

7 – 8:  Considering what you read of how women helped fight the Revolutionary War, which three women’s stories did you find the most interesting? Why?  Write an essay.

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Copyright July 13th, 2013 by Gwen Fredette

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