Lesson 3: The Middle and Northern Colonies
In this lesson, you'll read about interactions between American Indians and colonists, explore the reasons behind the founding of the middle colonies and the northern colonies, analyze the Mayflower Compact, and learn about the Salem Witch Trials.
Stuff You Need
- Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself! by Kris Bordessa
- We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose
- printer* (Activity 1 - Option 1)
- stapler* (Activity 1 - Option 1)
- tape or glue
- timeline and timeline cards
* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed
Ideas to Think About
- Why do individuals, families, and communities decide to migrate from one location to another?
- How do religion, culture, government, and economics interact in decisions about whether to remain in one location or migrate to a new place?
- In what ways can the change of place of a physical migration inspire or make possible changes in culture, community, and ways of life?
Things to Know
- Puritans seeking religious freedom arrived in North America on the Mayflower in 1620.
- Many of the New England colonies were founded by groups seeking religious freedom, or splitting off from one another to found new religious communities.
- The middle colonies were rich in trade goods like furs and lumber.
- The southern colonies were founded by investors seeking profits and tended to have economies centered around plantation agriculture.
- Understand the causes of exploration and identify reasons for European exploration and colonization of North America. (SS)
- Evaluate the impact of the Columbian Exchange on the cultures of American Indians, Europeans, and Africans. (SS)
- Describe the factors that led to the founding and settlement of the American colonies including religious persecution, economic opportunity, adventure, and forced migration. (SS)
- Analyze the important geographic, political, economic, and social aspects of life in the region prior to the Revolutionary Period. (SS)
- Compare political, economic, religious, and social reasons for the establishment of the 13 English colonies. (SS)
- Assess the impact of geography on the settlement and developing economy of the Carolina colony. (SS)
- Identify and describe American Indians who inhabited various colonies and assess their impacts on those colonies. (SS)
- Identify geographic and political reasons for the creation of various colonies and evaluate the effects on the government and economics of the colony. (SS)
- Describe the roles and contributions of diverse groups, such as American Indians, African Americans, European immigrants, landed gentry, tradesmen, and small farmers to everyday life in various colonies. (SS)
Introducing the Lesson
In this lesson, your child will read about interactions between American Indians and colonists, explore the reasons behind the founding of the middle colonies and the northern colonies, analyze the Mayflower Compact, and learn about the Salem Witch Trials.
Materials: Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself! by Kris Bordessa, We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History by Phillip HooseRead pages 18-22 in Chapter 2 of Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself! by Kris Bordessa (this is the first part of Chapter 2, up to the "Make Your Own Ball and Triangle Game" instructions.) and "Saints and Strangers: Bound By Hope" starting on page 25 of We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose. (If you are using an e-reader, you can search for the phrase "Saints and Strangers" and should be able to find this section of the reading.) Answer the following questions.
- How did most European colonists view the people who were already living in the Americas when they arrived?Most Europeans at the time viewed American Indians as savages, although they appreciated the large amount of information that native people shared with them to help them survive and explore their new home.
- What changes did the colonists' arrival create in the lives of native people?Smallpox and other diseases devastated the native population. Europeans also brought desirable items like guns, knives, and metal axes. American Indians were concerned about how the colonists used the land. Conflicts arose between colonists and American Indians relatively early on.
- How were the Separatists (otherwise known as Pilgrims) able to afford their journey to a new land?They paid for their passage across the Atlantic with their labor. They agreed to work for seven years in exchange for the trip across the ocean and the necessary tools for survival. At the end of seven years, they were free to work for themselves and had a share of ownership in the colony.
- The Separatists didn't bring many girls on their initial voyage because they thought that they might not survive the hard journey and difficult life in the New World. Did this turn out to be true of the girls who did actually take the trip?No. All seven of the girls aboard survived the trip and all but two survived the first winter, even though fewer than half of the total number of colonists survived that long. So the girls on the voyage wound up faring better than most!