Saturday, November 3, 2012

5th Grade Colonial Life Classroom Book Project

Unit 2 in our 5th grade social studies (which covers basically all of American history, as you can see in the 9 week plans HERE) is titled The Discovery and Founding of North America. It is a fairly quick unit, because I like to spend a lot of time researching the American Revolutionary War era, so I have to borrow time from other places. In the unit, I reference a classroom project called Colonial Living, a research book that the class collaborates on.

Student research took place in groups, and covered the following topics:

  • Colonial Towns: Buildings, layout, variety of towns, defenses.
  • Journey by Sea: How the colonists / pilgrims reached the America's, including challenges, living conditions, etc.
  • The 13 Colonies: A quick research on the original colonies, including founding dates, and a map of the original 13.
  • Crime & Punishment: The crimes that were most common, and their punishments.
  • Native Tribes: A quick research on the native tribes of the area, and their interactions with the colonists.
  • Religion in the Colonies: How religion influenced life and politics in the colonies. Also, what religion meant on a day-by-day basis to the colonists.
  • Colonial Food: How they grew food, and what the typical colonial meal looked like.
  • The Lost Colony of Roanoke: This topic fascinates many students, so I have a group take a look at its history and present some pages on it.
It was a frantic week of research and producing work. I would like to point out that it's not always about producing a fantastic, amazing work. In this case, the book came out pretty well, but some students are great artists, others not so much. There was a lot of variety in the book, and it's gotten a good response from passers by. The images below show some of the finished book. It's a great project, simple, easy, and it really promotes group synergy and team work:

This first image shows our book hanging out in the hallway by a lanyard that I looped around a metal brad. It's a simple setup, but it works. 

A closeup of the cover of the book. It was "laminated" using tape.

The rest of these pictures show various pages from the book. Click any photo to view it larger:




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