Thirteen Original Colonies

Thirteen Original Colonies

by Judie Haynes

The study of the colonization of the United States provides an excellent opportunity to introduce the concepts of American culture which may be unfamiliar to your student population. This lesson includes downloadable handouts.

The concepts of democracy and freedom may be different or non-existent in the cultures of your students. This is an good occasion to develop an understanding of religious freedom and self-government with second language learners.

Students do not have to know everything in the social studies curriculum on a particular topic. Try to pick high points which allow students to develop appreciation of values which characterize American culture.

Highlight the importance of immigration in the history of the United States and to link this information to students' own experiences. The more "hands-on" the activities are, the more the students will be engaged in learning. Graphic organizers are important to make information comprehensible to second language learners.

This unit is written to follow the TESOL Pre-K-12 ESL Standards: Standard 2, Goal 2.

Lesson topic

William Penn settles Pennsylvania

Proficiency/Grade level

Advanced Beginning and Intermediate Students in Grades 5-12.

Content Concepts & Skills

How the colonies were founded; location of the Middle Colonies; reinforce ideas of religious freedom; and self-government; linking causes and effects.

Vocabulary needed

religious freedom, persecuted, Quaker, political freedom, fundamental, Frame of Government, Lenape Indians, settlement, colonists, climate, worship, carpenters, coopers, clock makers, weavers, planned, soil.

Materials or Resources

Background Information

Discuss with students their trip to the United States and what they found when they arrived here. Review what the colonists who settled Jamestown and Plymouth found. This discussion is limited, of course, by the students' language level.

Instructional Sequence


Activity Downloads

Note: To view the classroom activities, you must have Acrobat Reader intalled. Acrobat is a free application available from Adobe Systems.

PDF fileJamestown vs.Pennsyvlvania word bank (3k .PDF)

PDF fileCompare Jamestown and Pennsylvania (4k .PDF)

PDF fileColony comparison chart (2k .PDF)

PDF fileWilliam Penn cause and effect (4k .PDF)

Related Links

Settling the Plymouth Colony
Introduce the concepts of religious freedom and self-government with this social studies unit on the Plymouth Colony designed for Intermediate ESL students in grades 3-8.

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