Friday, April 6, 2012

"Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed." -- Bob Riley

Welcome families--
This week 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:

Benjamin Franklin, “How I Became a Printer in Philadelphia (old fashioned language!)

More information about becoming an apprentice (modern language)

This is interesting, too!

“I Was Sure of Getting a Trade”: John Fitch’s Long Journey Towards Becoming an Artisan

. . .And answer the following questions: (These should be carefully thought-out, complete responses)

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!


LANGUAGE ARTS, both classes:
I'm hoping to have students complete their "Hero" PowerPoints and present them to the class this week, which will conclude our unit. Have your child show you the rubric which will be used to their project. They've used it as a guide for their work.

6th grade: Spelling and DOL, Unit 22 -- due Friday.

I hope your evening is a pleasant one.