Life In Colonial Times

This lesson can be done in conjunction with my lesson on the 13 Colonies.


Target Grade Level: K-2

Recommended Books:

  • Colonial Kids: An Activity Guide To Life In The New World by Laurie Carlson
  • If You Lived In Williamsburg In Colonial Days by Barbara Brenner
  • Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day In The Life Of A Pilgrim Boy by Kate Waters
  • Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day In The Life Of A Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters
  • Pilgrims (Magic Tree House Research Guide) by Mary Pope Osborne and Will Osborne


Life in colonial times was quite different to what life is like today for most people. There are many aspects you can use as lesson topics. Here are three ways you can approach this theme:

Colonial Families: Household families in colonial times were made up of immediate family members as well as slave workers. You can discuss the different roles within a typical Colonial family, such as Father, Housewife/Mother, Children, Cook, Servant, Domesticated Slave to help around the house with chores, Teacher, worker/slave for the land, etc.

Everyday Life: Discuss everyday life in terms of the basic needs and how they met those needs:

  • House/Home (what it was like and materials built from)
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • School
  • Transportation
  • Chores & Entertainment
  • Currency/Economy and Occupations
  • Social Life
  • Religious Beliefs/Church Life
  • Medicine and Diseases

Similarities: Discuss ways in which life today is similar to life during colonial times. For instance, farming is still a way of life for some people today. Manual labor is still common practice and the purpose or reasons for farming are similar to those back then. Another example would be schooling. Many kids in colonial times were taught at home and home schooling is something still done today by some families.



Online Game:

Dress Me Up interactive activity

Related Resources:

*Note: I designed this lesson for my personal home school use. I post it in the spirit of sharing. You can can use as-is or change it to accommodate your teaching views and style, but I ask that it be done for personal use only.

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