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Taking my students on a colonial tour

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

Happy Saturday my teacher tribe! A few weeks ago I decided to take my students on what I called a tour of the 13 colonies. To lead up to the event, I had told my students that we would be going on a field trip and that they needed to wear our school shirt and comfortable walking shoes. To get them excited I even passed out permission slips, as if we were really going somewhere! (Of course I filled my parents in on what I was doing first.)

The day had arrived, and my students could not be more thrilled as to what the mysterious field trip was going to be! As you know in fifth grade we learn about the 13 colonies and U.S. History, however I wanted my students to get front loaded to each colony before we dug deep in each section. I printed big posters and taped them around the area behind my classroom. (For questions on how to print poster size click here. I usually have mine print at 200% ) I tried organizing them in the positions they are on a map. I also printed out pamphlets where students could jot down notes during our tour.

Alright you guys, it was time! I first had the students grab a clipboard, pamphlet and pencil for notes. Students got a "bus buddy" and stood in two straight lines. I grabbed my microphone and played tour guide music (click here for 1 hour of audio) and we were ready to go. As a teacher, you probably have the backwards walk down to a science so you're halfway to a tour guide! As we walked I told them fun facts, and things tour guides would say (keep arms inside the vehicle at all times. etc. ). My absolute favorite is when we would see other students walking by or a car and I would point out that they were "fellow colonists" or "If you look to your left ,you will see a horse drawn carriage bustling past us!" The kids thought it was hilarious. We would "park" in each section, New England, Middle and Southern colonies, and I would allow them to get off the "bus" and take notes on the places they visited. I would give them about 10 minutes per section. I would then have everyone get back on the bus and we would then travel to the middle colonies. Now, I had the privilege of visiting Colonial Williamsburg, VA this past summer so I feel as though I am pretty knowledgeable about the 13 colonies. For my students that "got on the bus" before time was up we would play trivia and I would ask them questions about the colonies they just visited and give out house points.

Once we traveled the colonies, We "drove" back to class and debriefed about what we saw. Students pointed out the similarities and differences between the colonies and talked about what we were most excited for in this unit of study. All in all, it went very smoothly and the kids had a Ball!

You can click the image below to purchase this activity from my Teachers Pay Teachers!

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