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Development of the English Colonies

Time Frame

4 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication


Heidi Alder
Russell Fullmer
Scott Stucki


The purpose of this activity is to provide a comprehensive method to explore the development of the English colonies into three distinct regions with unique cultures.

Enduring Understanding: Students will analyze European colonization and settlement of North America.

Essential Questions:

  • What are the three major colonial regions?
  • What factors led to the development of the three regions?
  • How did geography influence colonial development?


poster board
research materials
overhead projector and transparencies

Background for Teachers

Teachers need to have a working knowledge of English colonization of North America. Teachers also need to be familiar with the separate development of the three major colonial regions.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students should have an understanding of European colonization in North America. A basic understanding of the physical features of the colonial region will also be important. Students should also be familiar with the 5 themes of geography.

Instructional Procedures



Day 1&2

Step 1 Divide class into small groups.

Step 2 Assign each group one of the original 13 colonies to research. Sample questions are provided in an attached worksheet.

Step 3 Students research their assigned colony. Each group will record their findings on a poster board to use during a class presentation. (This research may be done during class time or independently depending on time available or student interest and/or ability.)

Day 3

Colony presentations. Students take notes on presentations. A sample graphic organizer is attached.

Day 4

Step 1 Hand out graphic organizer for regional differences. see attachment

Step 2 Direct a class discussion linking individual colonies into regional groupings. Students need to fill in the chart, naming the colonies in each region as well as regional similarities in each of the four categories. This discussion should be teacher directed with students providing the information from their notes.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

For struggling students: As an alternative to the class presentations. Display the poster boards around the room for students to view at leisure. Create an overhead transparency of the 13 colony notes graphic organizer and fill in each space as you question student groups. Students then take notes directly from the overhead.

For gifted students: Students write an essay comparing and contrasting the development of the colonial regions using the earlier criteria from the research assignment sheet.

Assessment Plan


  • 13coloniesquiz.pdf
    Comprehensive quiz to follow Development of the English Colonies unit.

Students will be assessed through the completion of a poster board showing research findings.The two graphic organizers should also be completed based on classroom discussion or presentations. Final assessment will be accomplished through a comprehensive quiz that is included in the attachments.

Created: 08/06/2002
Updated: 02/05/2018