Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Whole New World

Susan Klement


The students learn about significant people, events, vocabulary and ideas regarding the hardships settlers faced including how and why some new American colonies became successful.


The student understands the impact of significant people, events and ideas on the development of the United States (for example, Thomas Jefferson, Manifest Destiny).


(All transparencies are part of the associated file)
- A timeline transparency of events showing the development of different colonies
- AMERICA'S PAST & PROMISE (textbook), or any American history book using the section on Jamestown and Plymouth
- Hooking Tasks #1, 2 & 3 (to be presented orally and/or visually on overhead)
- Transparency #: Recruitment Poster for New Colonies
- Transparency #: Facts and Comparisons for Jamestown and Plymouth
- Transparency #: English Settlements in North America (a map of this sort may be found in a U.S. History text or at the website listed for optional weblinks.
- Declaration of Independence (for showing outcome): class set
- Jeopardy for U.S. History game book (any)


1. Before the lesson, have the transparencies made.(see associated file)
2. Obtain a copy of Declaration of Independence.
3. Have copies made of pre/post test.


1. Class trip activity (Task #1). Have students take out a sheet of paper. Put Task #1 on the overhead. Give students 10 minutes to answer all three questions in complete sentences on their papers. Review different options and opinions with students regarding their answers. (20 minutes)

2. As a brief introduction to the reading, explain how and why colonies were founded, which people were involved, how they survived and the English influence upon the colonies with introduction of vocabulary words to be used. (15 minutes)

3. Introduce vocabulary words: investor, share of stock, charter, indentured servant & House of Burgesses. Then ask students what they think the words could mean, in their own words.

4. Use the timeline overhead to show the sequence of events of this period of time.

5. Use transparency #19 to show an example of a recruitment (define) poster to go the New World.

6. Help students comprehend the desire (Task #2) and goals behind North American colonization including the rewards and conflicts of such a journey. (10 minutes)

7. Put the Task #2 on the overhead. Give students 5 minutes to analyze the questions. Review in a class discussion different options and opinions with students regarding their answers.

8. Students will use maps and reading materials to visualize the desired areas to be colonized by the settlers and the outcome.

9. Have students turn to the specific pages in their text dealing with this subject matter. Students can volunteer to read each section out loud. After each section, review the main idea and see if there are any questions pertaining to the most recently read materials. Proceed to ask the students questions as well to keep them on task and involved. (25-30 minutes.) Return to Task #1 and have students volunteer to answer questions again, as if they were colonists in the 1600ís.

10. Put transparency of colonial map on the overhead and discuss the availability of land in the New World regarding which countries had access to what land. Ask students their opinion on this distribution of land. (10 minutes)

11. Use transparency of recruitment poster to compare the colonies of Jamestown and Plymouth. Discuss the different facts listed on the overhead. (5 minutes)

12. Students exercise organization in (Task #3) traveling to and settling a colony in the New World.

13. Put the Task #3 on the overhead. Give students 10 minutes to answer all four questions in complete sentences on their papers. Write some suggestions on the board and have students vote on which rules they would like. Then have students vote on the priority of each rule (numbering them 1, 2, 3, etc.) on the board. Ask the students to then vote on who would be enforcing the rules, write candidates on the board. Then ask students to vote again on who would be the best out of the few originally chosen. Review ideas on how these rules can be enforced and what will be needed to enforce them. (30 minutes)

14. Students will evaluate by writing about the frustration and/or exhilaration of starting over, organizing a large group, traveling for long periods of time and escaping an environment of religious persecution using the vocabulary, terms and facts they learned from the lesson so far.

15. Students will work in groups of four to write a journal entry to discuss the above details. There can be several ideas about how they feel, what traveling is like and why they left their home country. They must remember to use all of the vocabulary words and terms.(30 minutes)

16. Review information by playing an in-class Jeopardy game. Divide the class into two teams. Use the Jeopardy game book and give the answers. The first team to have a student raise their hand will give the question in response to the answer you gave. They must remember to put their response in the form of a question. (45 minutes)

17. Students write on a sheet of paper, in a paragraph or more, what their ideas are about the Declaration of Independence. They will describe what they believe it means and what effects they believe it had on the creation of the colonies. This will be a prelude to the next few lessons, which is the period of time when the colonists decide they want to be on their own and declare their independence.

18. Administer post test. (see associated file)


Students answer questions to describe and analyze people, ideas, instances and circumstances surrounding the growth process and governmental effects of colonization in the New World.
The student understands the impact of significant people, events and ideas on the development of the Unites States. An answer key is in the associated file.


1. More map exercises can be introduced showing additional colonization. This depends on the availability of maps in your classroom. If you have a specific map that shows colonies you can have students name and locate colonies.
2. Real world instances can be used to personalize the lesson.
3. Students can write journal entries about taking a long journey and describing how they traveled, how they felt, what the pros and cons were as well as the outcome

Web Links

Web supplement for A Whole New World
Declaration of Independence

(Colonial maps may be aquired here.)
Colonial Maps

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