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Colonial Fair: Colonial Fair Overview


Using your textbook, databases, print and Internet sources, you will research one of the original 13 colonies. Your research needs to include:

  • Basic facts on your colony: date of founding, reason for settlement, founders and first settlers or other important people
  • Rights of settlers, including voting rights, religious rights, property rights
  • Economy of the colony / settlement
  • Timeline of events
  • Climate and geography
  • Controvery or conflicts
  • Government
  • Religion

You will need to analyze and interpret your primary and secondary sources in order to answer the Essential Questions. Think more "cause and effect" and less "rote facts."

Where do I begin?

In order to interpret and analyze your research, you need to have an understanding of the events surrounding the establishment and settleing of the colony. Organize your notes by topic. Begin with the Overview Sources, or the general encyclopedias (World Book, Britannica or Grolier). Also see the Timelines. These sources will place events in context and will familiarize you with names, dates, places and events.

Once you have a foundation of knowledge, use the Internet sources and the databases and print sources to build upon and add to what you learned from the overview sources. Internet links are organized by region.

Complete your research with primary sources....the voices of the settlers and colonists. What do they say? What was their vision? Their disappointments? Remember the Time and Place Rule and the Bias Rule when reading these sources.


General Survey (aka "Overview')

These websites offer an overview of either the colonial period in general or the establishment and development of all the colonies.

Statistics, Charts, Graphs and Maps

Wanted!! Colonial settlers

Historians debate the beginning of the colonial period. Some historians believe it started with the failed settlement on Roanoke Island in 1584 by England. Other historians date the colonial period as beginnng with the successful establishmment of Jamestown in 1607. The end date is also up for debate. Some historians date the end of the colonial period either at the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1760 or at the beginning of the Revolutionary era beginning in 1775. During this time, permanet settlements were made in the New World.

 Keep in mind that the Spanish established St. Augustine in 1565 and the Dutch were actively establishing colonies as well during this time. France aslo explored and established colonies. For the purposes of your assignment, the focus of the Colonial Fair will be the 13 original colonies from mid 1500 to 1760.


African Americans

Colonizing America

Despite the title, this video does not discuss Thanksgiving. It provides a quick overview of the colonization of the Southern, Middle and New England colonies.

Citation info:  If you want to manually enter the citation, see the directions on the Database page for the information and format. There is no source citation sheet.

To copy and paste:  Select "Website". When data entry screen opens click on: Quick Cite - copy and paste a citation. Copy the citation below and paste. 

"Colonizing America." You Tube. Crash Course. Web. ENTER DATE OF ACCESS at data entry. <>

Colonial Fair Intro & Menu

Check with your teacher for your colony assignment.


Q:  Do I need to cite my sources?

A. Yes. You need to cite your sources. You do not need to annotate your sources. The annotation is the description and evaluation of the source. You need to create a Works Cited only.

Create a new folder on NoodleTools titled "Colonial Fair."  The link to NoodleTools is on the database page. Remember that images also need to be cited.

Tip: Fill out a source citation sheet at the same time you are taking notes from the non-fiction or Reference sources.

Q: Do I need to cite my textbook and the videos?

A. Yes. If you took notes from your textbook, you need to cite it using Form A. If you took notes from the video, you need to cite the video using the  video source citation sheets.

Q: May I check out the print resources?

A: All print and Reference sources need to be available for all students. Please photocopy any of those sources that you need. State books may be checked out.

Q: What are the source requirements?

A: You are required to use your textbook and a minimum of four other secondary sources. You are required to use a minimum of one primary source.

Tip: Use more than one primary source so that you have a good understanding of the colonists' points of view.

Primary Source Documents

See additional primary sources on the Database tab and the Print tab.

State Archive Primary Sources