Investigating Colonial America Through Primary Sources

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10527

Could you name everything in your home? Studying items from Colonial homes shows what it was like to live then. You'll analyze inventories and create a comic strip about living during Colonial times!


United States, United States

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Look around your house, room-by-room, and note all the items your family owns. Go to your kitchen and look through the drawers.

Name as many items as you can in three minutes.

  • Were you able to name everything in your kitchen?
  • How long would you need to name all the items in your house?

What people have in their homes tells us much about their lives.

For example, almost every home has a microwave today. Historians in the future could look back at our period and assume we like the convenience of heating our food quickly.

Historians could also tell about where we lived according to what we own. People living in Minnesota might have snow blowers, and people in Arizona would have bags of palm tree fertilizer.

According to the number of beds and place settings a home has, historians could conclude how many people were living in the home.

Today, you will learn about Colonial America by looking at the personal property of two men who lived during that time.

Before looking at the men's properties, watch the video below to learn what it was like to live during this time.

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  • How was life in Colonial America similar to, and different from, life today?

Go to Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar and print out the Graphic Organizer - Double Bubble Map.

  1. In the two larger circles, fill in the words "Life in Colonial America" and "Life Today."
  1. Write the similarities in the three middle circles connected to both larger circles.
  1. In the circles connected to "Life in Colonial America," write three things that are different from life today, and do the opposite for the last three circles that are connected to "Life Today."

When your bubbles are full, continue to the Got It? section to categorize colonial items in preparation for learning about the owners!

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