Working in Colonial America

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11046

Do you work to earn "extra" money? What if you've been working for years already to earn your living? View life in a colonial home and compare it with what you have now, then write a letter about it!


People and Their Environment, United States

learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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You have been mysteriously transported to the America of the 1700s. Your cell phone is now useless, so you cannot call your mom to send you money. Most kids are finished with school by the 8th grade and have turned to a trade, so you are out of luck there. It looks like you'll have no choice but to get a job!

  • How in the world are you going to manage this?

You may not have even had a job in your own times, let alone another century! The best thing to do in these situations is to be calm, act natural, and do what everyone else is doing.

First, you'll have to take a few moments to explore your new surroundings and gather some clues about how to move forward.

You'll make some friends and get a glimpse inside the lives of the people there by witnessing Colonial Living: Life in a Colonial Home (1957) from Prelinger Archives (below). List at least five items you see in your host's Colonial home (Note: The video shows unedited glimpses of different tasks, and there are breaks between each with no music or other sound.).

Then, for each item you noticed, write down the profession or professions that you think would be required to produce those objects. You can print the Life in a Colonial Home organizational grid located in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar to record your thoughts.

NOTE: The video is silent.

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Reflection questions:

  1. Are those items still in use now in the 21st century?
  2. If so, how are they produced now?
  3. If not, what have they been replaced with?

Discuss with your parent or teacher and write down your thoughts in your notebook, then move on to the Got It? section to spend some time in the 1700s!

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