I teach 8th grade and I am looking for a fun new way to compare and contrast the three regions of colonies. I have done fliers or advertisements for individual colonies but I was thinking I would like to do something with all three regions. What do you do?

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EDSITEment has several lessons on colonial American which contain material and student activties you could adapt for your purposes.

Images of the New World
American Colonial Life in the Late 1700s: Distant Cousins

Colonizing the Bay
William Penn’s Peaceable Kingdom



My brainstorm idea. Have them act as reporters. Depending on a which region, they get a "situation car". They then do a live blog or contribute to an online forum reporting in their situation. Once they have done that they write a summary of what is going on in the other two regions based on the blogging. Obviously needs a bit more structure but is an idea. Of course having make a chart is always another good follow-up.
I have them do a colonial newspaper for each of the regions, including the resources, history and other facts. If they do it in groups, each student is responsible for an article and a visual.
We start out by having students compare the 3 regions using the History Alive matrixes and descriptors of 9 of the 13 colonies. Then we have the students complete a spectrum on the 9 colonies...which would be suited for them to live in....and interview their justifications. Then students do the History Alive colonial tour for background information.  Once those two class assignments are complete, we have the kids create brochures that compare and contrast the social, political, geological, religious, and economic aspects of the 3 regions.  The kids have created the brochures by hand and/or using Microsoft Publisher.  We're having them use Publisher this year as an interdisciplinary exercise between social studies and information business management.  We do differentiate though - sped kids only need to research one colony ,and Pre-AP students create a brochure on either one colony, one region, or all 3 regions as part of a menu selection that contains two other elements.  We then post the brochures so that students can use them for review later.  I'm attaching the files I can if you want to use. Good luck!

This is a great project!! I have done brochures in the past but for only one colony. I like the idea of all three on one. I had created a Tic-Tac-Toe choice board to cover all three regions but I just may save a choice board for later and steal this idea. I am attaching the Tic-Tac-Toe file.


Love this too!
Here is the file that goes with the project for Pre-AP kids. Let me know what you think - I've been tweaking this for years, and it still isn't where I want it to be. :)
I see you created a choice board for the Pre-AP kids. Great differentiation!
Thanks! :)


I have kids research one of the three regions- This is a good GSPRITE activity (geography, social, political, religion, technology and economics).  Each student get to choose which region they want to research, then make a colorful poster.  Then, each student makes a list of 10 questions that can be answered by looking at their poster.  I have around 130 students, by the time I go over the questions I can come up with 35 to 40 good questions- I try to make sure everyone sees a question that is very similar to something they wrote.  I give the students 3 walls to hang the posters- one wall is NE, one is Middle and the other is Southern (obviously!).  When the posters are up and the questions are printed, they walk around the room answering the questions.  It works like an art gallery- they learn a lot and really seem to enjoy it.

-Scott Munford


Here is a free lesson that does the trick! I put everything you need handouts, chapter, and interactive student notebook pages all in one doc. Here's an overview: 

In this lesson, students learn about the similarities and differences among the New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies. In a Problem Solving Groupwork  activity, students work in groups of four to create a Colonial Fair booth that promotes one of eight colonies. Students then visit the booths and evaluate the pros and cons of living in each colony. Afterward, students read about the colonies and reconsider their initial evaluation. Finally, students apply their learning in a Processing assignment.

TCI Lesson_Comparing the Colonies

For honors sophomores, I did a project called "Character of the colony."  They had to imagine one colony as a person--how would this person act, based on the character, how would the person look?  I'd imagine you could do the same thing by grouping the regions to come up with what's common to the colonies in that region.

Let me know if you're interested and I'll send you the assignment I used!


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