Overview


Subject/Sub-Subject: Social Studies/U.S. History


Title: Comparison of Colonial Life and Modern Life


Summary:

Students use images of colonial life (communication, kitchen, library, bedroom, farm) to compare and contrast with modern life.


Understanding Goal

The way people live has changed over time.

Investigative Question

How can historical sources help us understand differences between the way the colonists lived and the way we live today?

Grade(s): 2, preK
Audience: General
Learners: Classes of second grade students with a wide range of abilities.
Required Vocabulary: N/A
Prior Content Knowledge: N/A
Standards

Virginia Standards of Learning
History and Social Science
K.2 The student will describe everyday life in the present and in the past and begin to recognize that things change over time.
1.1 The student will interpret information presented in picture time lines to show sequence of events and will distinguish between past and present.
2.3 The student will identify and compare changes in community life over time in terms of buildings, jobs, transportation, and population.

Field Tests

Click on the title to expand the description of each field test

October 26, 2007 - Kimberly Miller

Sources

Comparison of Colonial Life and Modern Life

Understanding Goal

The way people live has changed over time.

Click on an image for more information.

Slideshow Icon View as a slideshow
Fireplace in the kitchen at Mt. Vernon Life of George Washington--The farmer / painted by Stearns ; lith. by Rgnier, imp. Lemercier, Paris Levi Bowen to George Washington, September 7, 1775 (Image 1) [Library at Mount Vernon]
Charlottesville, Virginia. Bedroom of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776 / J.L.G. Ferris Reading the Declaration of Independence by John Nixon, from the steps of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 8, 1776 / drawn by E.A. Abbey A New England kitchen. A hundred years ago / H. W. P.

Required Materials

Files

Colonial life.ppt
Colonial Life.doc

Supply Lists

Construction paper or manila paper for each student
Glue sticks
Copies of colonial images (from Word document)

Directions

Formal Assessment

Step 1 Ask the students to brainstorm and verbally share details about colonial life.
Step 2 Explain that the students will look at prints from the Library of Congress which show colonial life and that they will compare those images with modern life.
Step 3 Project images of colonial life (kitchens, bedroom and library at Monticello, drafting and gathering to hear the Declaration of Independence, farming at Mt. Vernon, correspondence). Have the students point out details which they can compare and contrast with modern life, for each image.
Step 4 Ask each student to choose one image which he/she would like to compare with modern life. Give each student a copy of their chosen image and a large sheet of manila or construction paper.
Step 5 Have the students glue their image onto the left side of the paper and draw a comparable scene of life today on the right side of the paper.
Step 6 Have students who finish quickly make a list of the differences they have shown in their drawings.
Step 7 Ask the students to share with the class one difference between colonial life and modern life as depicted in their drawings.

Best Instructional Practices


Understanding Goal

The way people live has changed over time.

Investigative Question

How can historical sources help us understand differences between the way the colonists lived and the way we live today?


Analysis of Student Learning


Through art and words, students demonstrated their understanding of major differences between colonial lives and life today. They pointed out the lack of electricity for today's appliances and fixtures such as lamps, stoves, refrigerators, etc. They observed differences in writing aids (computers vs. quill pens) and communication (town crier gatherings vs. newspapers, radios, TV, e-mail, etc.) They demonstrated an understanding of differences in farming.


Analysis of Best Instructional Practices (learn more)

Differentiated Instruction Differentiated Instruction (learn more)

Product

An Anchoring activity was used: students who could quickly demonstrate their knowledge about the differences between colonial life and modern life made a list of those differences and/or made a comparison with a second image.

Teaching for Understanding Teaching for Understanding(learn more)

Explicit Understanding Goal

Students used the LOC images as a basis for comparison of colonial life with modern life.

Check Misconceptions

Students shared their knowledge of colonial life in comparison with modern life.

Assessing Understanding

Students chose a colonial image and drew a comparable scene from modern life.

Learners Explain Thinking

Students shared their knowledge/ideas about the way people lived in colonial times.

Technology Integration Technology Integration(learn more)

Whole Group Presentation

A digital projector was used to ensure that all students were able to see the LOC images. The images were projected onto a SmartBoard.

Reflections and Recommendations


It was difficult to find prints of some of the areas of colonial life that would be relevant to the students - school, games, transportation, clothing, etc. - but I would like to locate them to include in the discussions and choices of scenes to compare. Showing the prints using a data projector and SmartBoard resulted in larger images for the children to discuss, but some of the prints looked darker when projected.

Credits

Authors and Contributors

Pam Freer
Bush Hill Elementary School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
Barbara Murphy
Bush Hill Elementary School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

Library of Congress Items

Library of Congress items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Library of Congress Item
Fireplace in the kitchen at Mt. Vernon unknown c1903. Fireplace in the kitchen at Mt. Vernon. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
Life of George Washington--The farmer / painted by Stearns ; lith. by Rgnier, imp. Lemercier, Paris Stearns, Junius Brutus (1853). Life of George Washington--The farmer / painted by Stearns ; lith. by Rgnier, imp. Lemercier, Paris. Library of Congress: American Memory, By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present.
Levi Bowen to George Washington, September 7, 1775 (Image 1) Bowen, L. 1775. Levi Bowen to George Washington, September 7, 1775 (Image 1). Library of Congress: American Memory, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799 .
[Library at Mount Vernon]
Unknown. 1909-1932. [Library at Mount Vernon] . Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
Charlottesville, Virginia. Bedroom of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello Collier, J. 1943. Charlottesville, Virginia. Bedroom of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection.
Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776 / J.L.G. Ferris Ferris, J.L.G. c1932. Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776 / J.L.G. Ferris. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
Reading the Declaration of Independence by John Nixon, from the steps of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 8, 1776 / drawn by E.A. Abbey Abbey, E. A. 1876. Reading the Declaration of Independence by John Nixon, from the steps of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 8, 1776 / drawn by E.A. Abbey. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
A New England kitchen. A hundred years ago / H. W. P. Unknown. c1876. A New England kitchen. A hundred years ago / H. W. P. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.