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Colonial Towns

Life in English colonial towns in the 1700s was a mixture of the old world and the new. Step back in the past and visit them today.

To tour Colonial Williamsburg, go to http://www.history.org/. From the Home Page, click on "Almanack." Scroll down and click on "See the Places." Colonial Williamsburg has been restored to appear as it did in the year 1773. Visit some houses, including Benjamin Powell's house. What did he do for a living? Why might you find his job title strange?

Stroll down Duke of Gloucester Street. Visit at least five buildings along it. Click on the links to see what the building looks like. Describe what these visits tell you about eighteenth-century southern life.

Now head north to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Go to http://www.ushistory.org/tour/. Scroll down the Index listings to visit Arch Street Friends Meeting House. How is this building different from the Williamsburg buildings?

Philadelphia also has a historic mile with many places to visit (much like the Duke of Gloucester). Choose three places to visit from the Index. Write down interesting facts about each of the places that you choose.

How was Williamsburg different from Philadelphia? How are the two places similar?

Extension Activity

Create two brochures extolling the virtues of living in Williamsburg and in Philadelphia — as they might have been done around 1773.

Colonial Towns Teacher's Notes

Grade Levels: 5–8

Learning Objectives:

Time Required: 1–2 online sessions