Compare and Contrast Early America

Alexis Tilman

ED 222- Instructional Technology

Butler County Community College

Fall of 2014

Dr. Shellie Gutierrez, EdD, PhD

Essential Question

What might be the similarities between colonial times and today?

Content Questions

  1. Even though the games kids played in the colonial times are somewhat different than what the kids play today, what would the similarities be?
  2. What are the differences between the types of clothing that were worn back in colonial times to what we wear now?
  3. What types of food did they have to grow in the colonial times and what did they use it for? Is it different than how we get our food now?

Lesson Summary

1. Begin this portion of class with discussion about colonial times.

2. Open the website called symbaloo I have created for the information about this topic.

3. Have them watch youtube video on living in colonial times in said symbaloo website.

4. After having them watch video, proceed to talking about the food, clothing, and games that were played during the colonial times.

5. Discuss similarities and differences of topics above with the kids.

6. Show compare and contrast chart that I have made that is attached in symbaloo.

7. Have them create their own compare and contrast charts on Link is also attached in symabloo.

8. Have the kids then present their own compare and contrast charts.

Subject Areas

     Social Studies

Grade level


Student Learning Outcomes

      - When going over this lesson plan, the kids should be able to identify the following things...

1. Be able to identify what types of food, clothing and games that the colonial times had compared to what we have now in the U.S.

2. Know what the similarities and differences of what said topics are above.

3. Creating their own compare and contrast charts on said topics.

(All information below has been gathered from

Farming in Colonial Times:

Farming in colonial differed in many ways from farming today. The most significant difference was in what crops were grown where. Farmers in the New England Colonies had a rough time of it. The main kind of food New Englanders contributed to the economy was fish. Farmers in the Middle Colonies were the most prosperious of all. They grew wheat, barley, oats, rye, and corn. The Middle Colonies were often called the "breadbasket" because they grew so much food. Farmers in the Southern Colonies grew several things including indigo and rice. Farm equipment was also different. Colonial farmers didn't have the large machines that today's farmers have and so they had to rely on manpower and animal power.

The American colonists got their food from several places. The modern supermarket that we know today, where you can get all kinds of food, was not an option back then.

People who lived on the Atlantic coast often caught fish and whales. They sold fish and whale blubber at fish markets.

Farmers who grew wheat, barley, corn, or rice hauled their crops to a town market, where the crops were sold to people in that town or to traders who would ship the goods to other colonies. (These traders would send the goods by boat, on rivers or along the ocean coast, or on wagons.)

It was not uncommon for a farm family to have crops growing near the ocean while chickens, pigs, and cows were grazing nearby and for that same family to fish for clams and other fish down at the ocean side. They might have apple trees and rows of corn and wheat. They might turn that corn into cornbread or cornmeal mush. They might turn that wheat into flour themselves and use it to bake bread. They might also hunt wild animals, like deer, rabbits, and turkeys.

The farms of the 13 Colonies took up a much larger amount of the total land available than do farms today. Still, farming is very much a way of life for many people today, just as it was for the American colonists.

( Information below gathered from

Colonial Clothing and Games

Click on the link in symbaloo that I have set up for you as part of the lesson plan to discuss with the kids about colonial clothing and games that were played.

Approximate Time Needed

40-45 minutes

Internet Resources

The websites that were used were youtube, symbaloo, glogster,,,,

Accommodations for Differentiated Instruction

Special Needs Learner: This lesson plan can easily be adapted to how a special needs learner needs to learn. Most of it is talking about what was going on in colonial times and if they need more help, I will be able to answer questions and the teacher will be there to assist as well. Video is set up on symbaloo and I also have that website set up to use to show these students the types of clothing and games for the colonial period.

Non-Native English Speaker: If what Iam saying is not understandable for kids who have a hard time speaking English, I can spend a little more time with these students and try to have them understand specifically what I am asking them to do for this activity. I think the best way is to draw out or show them examples of what you are doing, which is what is given is an example of the compare and contrast chart to show the kids what to do.  Also, I have video set up that shows what life was like in colonial times set up in the symbaloo for those who do not understand.

Gifted Student: If there is gifted students in the classroom, I have added some games to the symbaloo I have created and if they get done before time is up to present our compare and contrast charts they can work on that. So they should stay busy and interested in the topic while the other students are finishing up their work.