Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19 "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." Ben Franklin

Hello families--
I'm waiting for some materials I purchased for my unit on the French and Indian War, so in the meantime, we'll travel back in time and explore how people made a living in colonial America. This will involve two activities. Here is a copy of what I gave to the kids:

Part 1:

We will investigate colonial trades through virtual tours of living history museums and through primary sources containing personal accounts of colonial apprentices.

For this activity, your tasks will be to:

  • Read about becoming an apprentice.

This is interesting, too!

  • Answer the following questions:

1. What was life like for colonial apprentices and other youth?

2. When did young people have to choose a trade?

3. How do the lives of colonial apprentices compare/contrast to your own?

Part 2:

We’re going to learn about the many trades practiced in colonial America, the process of becoming an artisan, and the role of artisans in colonial society.

For this activity, your task will be to:

  • Choose a trade and become that person. Research your trade, using the questions on the next page to guide you. The answers will then be written in paragraph form.
  • Create a mini-poster that includes the name of your trade and an illustration.
  • Present your information to the class
The information and poster will create an impressive bulletin board display in the hallway, so the emphasis is on creating a product that is PRESENTATION QUALITY!


1. Your trade is__________

2. Describe your trade in detail.

3. What are the tools of your trade, and where do you get them?

4. What are the required skills of your trade?

5. Do you need to be an apprentice for your job? If so, for how long? What process do you go through to become the master of your craft?


On an 8 ½ X 11 piece of art paper, write the name of your trade in large, decorative letters. Then draw a picture that exemplifies your trade. (For example, if I was a broom maker, I’d draw a [colonial-style] broom on my paper.) Fill the space, and use bold colors; small pictures or letters don’t show up well on a display.

Your mini-poster (8 ½ X 11) and write-up will be matted and glued onto a 12 X 18 piece of construction paper for our hallway display.

Here is a list of colonial trades (certainly not a complete one!) Click on the links to begin your research. (I do hope you look beyond this one site for your information. There's lots out there!)

We're continuing our work on our "Hero" webpage. I hope to complete all essays this week so that we can conclude the project at the beginning of next week. I'll post them for you to peruse asap. Ask your child if they have finished their writing piece. Ask them how they're coming on their web page, too. We've experienced a few glitches that a minute with Mr. Wright will certainly correct...

I hope your evening is a pleasant one.