Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Colony is Born : Lessons 7 - 10 What's My Line?

Katie Koehnemann
Bay District Schools


These four lessons represent the guided resource time that groups need to research their assigned regions, complete the regional guide, and prepare their group presentations.


The student reads text and determines the main idea or essential message, identifies relevant supporting details and facts, and arranges events in chronological order.

The student reads and organizes information for a variety of purposes, including making a report, conducting interviews, taking a test, and performing an authentic task.

The student uses a variety of methods and sources to understand history (such as interpreting diaries, letters, newspapers; and reading maps and graphs) and knows the difference between primary and secondary sources.

The student understands broad categories of time in years, decades, and centuries.

The student understands why Colonial America was settled in regions.

The student extends previously learned knowledge and skills of the fourth grade level with increasingly complex reading texts and assignments and tasks (for example, explicit and implicit ideas).

The student reads and organizes information from multiple sources for a variety of purposes (for example, supporting opinions, predictions, and conclusions; writing a research report; conducting interviews; taking a test; performing tasks).

The student compares and contrasts primary and secondary accounts of selected historical events (for example, diary entries from a soldier in a Civil War battle and newspaper articles about the same battle).

The student constructs and labels a timeline based on a historical reading (for example, about United States history).

The student knows significant events in the colonization of North America, including but not limited to the Jamestown and Plymouth settlements, and the formation of the thirteen original colonies.

The student understands selected aspects of everyday life in Colonial America (for example, impact of religions, types of work, use of land, leisure activities, relations with Native Americans, slavery).


-Hazen, Walter A. Everyday Life: Colonial Times. A Good Year Book published by Addison-Wesley, ISBN # 0-673-36322-8. This book is suggested as a resource.
- Access to computers with bookmarked sites for students to use for resources
- Fifth grade Social Studies textbook
- All available art and craft supplies
- Students' Colonial Notebooks
- Colored construction paper pieces labeled and ready to load as cargo onto the bulletin board ship. Label as:
Day 7 – Knowing Who We Are
Day 8 – Knowing Where We’re Going
Day 9 – Good Enough to Eat
Day 10 – Mapping It Out


1. Gather all materials listed.

2. Bookmark the Web sites that have been presented throughout this unit for students.

3. Print Internet text from bookmarked sites if desired.

4.Make sure students have their Colonial Notebooks.

5. Contact parents to assist with real meal preparation.

6. Notify the lunchroom staff of the reduced number of meals that they will need for each of the three days that part of your students will be eating in the classroom (only if you decide to have real meals served by the Regional Groups).


The next four days will be the time that students have to work on preparing their regional presentations. The Regional Guide (in Associated File - Lesson 6) is a tool that students use to take them through the research process. The teacher facilitates the process while conducting formative assessments. Visit groups, as well as individual students, to make sure they are keeping a pace that will allow them completion of all requirements and that they are on target with regard to content. Support and guide students by asking leading and guiding questions.

(1-2) Days 7 and 8 – What’s My Line?
These two days are for students to research their regions and find answers to questions on the Regional Guide. Each student should first complete all items that are within their assigned areas and task responsibilities for the presentations. It will be your responsibility to have all necessary Web sites bookmarked on the computer and a rotation process set up so that all groups have equal time at the computer and the research sites within the next two days. It may be an excellent idea to have printed out, copies of the text from these sites that you feel will be most beneficial. This will (1) reduce need to use the computer (which could be a problem depending on availability), (2) save time from having kids look for the right stuff, and (3) assure that what they have as a resource does contain the information you want them to provide.

(3) Day 9 – Good Enough To Eat
This day has been set aside so students can focus on the creating of the meal segment of the presentation. Students must decide how they want to depict a meal from their regions during their group reports and use this time to create it. This part of the presentation should demonstrate the types of foods that were particular to that region, attitudes toward eating, and what a typical meal would be like as far as how it was served. Many of these influences are still very evident in our eating habits, attitudes, and serving styles today. A report that makes reference to this correlation would certainly be what you should be guiding them to include. **(OPTIONAL) The groups could actually serve a meal to themselves for this demonstration. If you have good parent participation and if parents are willing to bring in the prepared food on the specified day, the class could do it. The students could talk about the aspects of their regional meal to the class, then eat it as lunch. Those two groups could stay in the room to eat their regional meals together while the rest of the class went to the lunchroom to eat their lunches as usual. Do this three days in a row, with each group having the chance to eat the meal in the room. This day will also provide more time for research and group preparation in all areas or have students bring in prepared food samples from their region to share with the group, or they could just draw pictures of their food or create it using various arts and crafts supplies (Be sure to have these on hand.)

(4) Day 10 – Mapping It Out
This day has been set aside for students to focus on the creating of a township/community layout representative of their regions. Students must decide how they want to best depict this and use this time to create it. It should highlight aspects of everyday life in Colonial America with regard to their region. Such things as types of homes, occupations, leisure activities, and use of land should be included. One student may have been given this as the assignment, and it may already be done. This will be the last day to complete their research and finalize plans for their oral reports.

(5) For the meal and township/community layout projects, students may use any medium available. If you choose not to go with the actual prepared meal, students need art and craft supplies. They can draw, construct, make out of milk cartons, utilize real twigs as trees, etc., in order to create these two products.

(6) I suggest that you give as much time as possible on each of the next four days. If you can afford to give students a full 60 minutes each day on days 7, 8, 9, and 10, it would be very beneficial to them, and I think will produce the best presentations. Don’t forget to have them do their individual daily journal entries. The writing has not been mentioned in the summary of these four days because the unit has been structured so that the entries are considered as their daily writing and given a time slot of their own (or Writing Block if you are implementing the Reading Block Framework).

NOTE: Be sure to assign students a day on which they will be presenting. As it is suggested and discussed in the next lesson, I would have Southern Colonies report the same day, Middle Colonies the same day, and New England Colonies the same day.

(7) To record progress and mark student achievement in the research process, have a cargo piece for the bulletin board ship for each of these four workdays. Choose a student each day to add the piece to the bulletin board. You could label Day 7 as Knowing Who We Are, and Day 8 with the phrase Knowing Where We’re Going, label Day 9 with Good Enough to Eat, and Day 10 with Mapping It Out.


The Group Task will formatively assess students’ abilities to do the following:

FOR SCORING: To assess if a student is successful and to what level, check the accuracy of the Regional Guide being completed by each student.

FOR SCORING: To assess if a student is successful and to what level, check the Family Life and Customs of Colonial America Presentation Guide (Introductory Page) (In Associated File).

FOR SCORING: To assess if student is successful and to what level, use the Group Responsibility Assignment Sheet (In Associated File), Cooperative Worker Responsibilities sheet (In Associated File), and Students as Cooperative Workers sheet (In Associated File).

FOR SCORING: To assess if a student is successful and to what level, check the accuracy of the student responses on the Regional Guide and daily journal entries.


The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.