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5th Grade Integrated Early American History SS050409

Unit 4: Life in Colonial America Lesson 9

Lesson 9: Colonial Life from Different Perspectives

Big Ideas of the Lesson

Different groups of people had very different experiences in the colonies in

the late 1600s and first half of the 1700s.
Different groups included American Indians, enslaved Africans, free
Africans, wealthy land owners, workers, women, and indentured servants.
These different groups had different perspectives on colonial life, events,
and issues.

Lesson Abstract:
In this lesson, students synthesize what they have learned in the unit by examining colonial life
from the perspectives of different groups of people. The lesson begins with a carousel writing
activity in which students work in small groups to summarize what they have learned about six
major topics from the unit. Next, students use the book Molly Bannaky to review different groups
of people in the colonies including indentured servants, enslaved Africans, free Africans, women
and small farm owners. Finally, students write three diary entries describing colonial life from the
perspective of three different people.

Content Expectations
5 U2.2.2: Describe the life of enslaved Africans and free Africans in the American colonies.

5 U2.3.2: Describe the daily life of people living in the New England, Middle, and Southern

5 U2.3.3: Describe colonial life in America from the perspectives of at least three different
groups of people (e.g., wealthy landowners, farmers, merchants, indentured
servants, laborers and the poor, women, enslaved people, free Africans, and
American Indians).

Common Core State Standards:

RL.5.2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how
characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem
reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

RL.5.3: Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or
drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

W.5.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

Key Concepts
Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum Page 1 of 3 December 6, 2011
5th Grade Integrated Early American History SS050409
Unit 4: Life in Colonial America Lesson 9

point of view/perspective

Instructional Resources
6 markers, each a different color
Large chart paper
Overhead projector or document camera/projector

Student Resource
Bower, Burt, et al. Americas Past, Social Studies Alive Program. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers
Curriculum Institute, 2010 or a similar fifth grade social studies textbook. Pp. 85-131.

McGill, Alice. Molly Bannaky. New York: Sandpiper Books, 2009.

Teacher Resource
Egbo, Carol. Supplemental Materials (Unit 4, Lesson 9). Teacher-made material. Michigan
Citizenship Collaborative, 2011.

Lesson Sequence
1. As preparation for this lesson, have students gather together the Word Cards, Big Idea Cards,
graphic organizers, and other resources they have collected in the previous lessons of this unit.
Then, label six large pieces of chart paper with the following: Colonial Economy, Colonial
Political Experiences, Triangular Trade and Slavery, The New England colonies, The Middle
colonies, The Southern Colonies

2. Create six small groups of students and give each group a different color marker. Students will
be participating in a gallery walk. Explain that groups will be moving around the room in a
circle, from poster to poster adding information they have learned about each poster heading.
Each group will review the current information posted and add information learned in the unit to
the posters. Model with the poster labeled Colonial Economy and write Raw materials sent
to Britain on the poster. Explain that information added could include examples, definitions,
descriptions, etc.

3. Assign each group a poster at which to begin. Have students add ideas to the poster. Then,
using a signal such as bell, instruct the groups to move to the next poster. Continue the
process until students have rotated through each chart. Then, have them return to their desks
and refer to the Word Cards, graphic organizers, etc. they gathered in Step 1, looking for
additional ideas to add to the posters. Have the groups return to the last poster they worked on
and add further information. Continue until the groups are out of ideas.

4. In the large group, review the posters one at a time discussing the information written on them.
Try to reach consensus on any piece of information over which there is a conflict. For example,
if something inaccurate has been written, work together to correct it.

5. Remind students that in this unit they have explored many facets of colonial life. Using Word
Card #34, review the term point of view and remind students that different groups of people
had different perspectives on colonial life.
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5th Grade Integrated Early American History SS050409
Unit 4: Life in Colonial America Lesson 9

6. Read and discuss the book Molly Bannaky. Use the following questions to guide your
How did Molly Bannaky end up being an indentured servant in the colonies?
Why did she purchase and enslave an African?
How did her relationship with the African change?
In what ways do you think Mollys story was similar to that of other colonial women?
In what ways was it unique?

7. Using a large sheet of chart paper, guide students in generating a list of the different groups of
people reflected in the book. Note that these include: indentured servants, enslaved Africans,
free Africans, colonial women, small farm owners, and merchants involved in the slave trade.

8. Ask students to think back through the lessons of the unit and add more groups to the list.
Note that possible additions include: wealthy plantation owners, laborers, children, American
Indians, royal governors, etc.

9. Give each student the Diary Entries sheet, located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 4,
Lesson 9). Explain that students should write three different diary entries in which they
describe colonial life from the perspective of three different people.

10. Give students time to draft and complete their writing. Then, place them in small groups and
have them share their diary entries. Have each group select two-diary entries to share in the
large group.

11. Have the students whose entries were selected by their group read them out loud in the large
group. Discuss characteristics, which make the selections strong pieces of writing such as
powerful language, strong voice, clear details, emotional impact, use of adjectives, etc.

The Diary Entries created in this lesson can be used as an assessment.

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