Colonial Williamsburg


The lesson introduces students to Colonial Williamsburg, its importance to America in the 1700s and its significance to America today.  Many students may have heard of Williamsburg, but may not know its history and role during Colonial Times.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to Colonial Times, Jamestown, or other similar themes.  It is highly recommended students receive access to the Internet to explore some of the excellent resources for learning more about Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Colonial Williamsburg
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Take your students on a journey into the past with a lesson all about Colonial Williamsburg. The lesson begins by discussing colonial America and how Williamsburg, a planned city, came into being. It describes the importance of Williamsburg during the Revolution, and then details the importance of the location now as a place to learn about the past. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to colonial times, Jamestown, or other similar themes.

Classroom Procedure:

  1. Ask students to name the original 13 colonies and important cities during Colonial Times. Display their responses.  Ask students how they know the cities were part of Colonial Times.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Remind students that often, cities that were/are important to a country are easier to remember, and many people know more about them.  Ask students if they have ever heard of Williamsburg. Ask students to share information they know about Williamsburg.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Colonial Williamsburg.
  4. Distribute Colonial Williamsburg content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Distribute colored pencils and other supplies.  Allow students sufficient time to complete the work.  Encourage students to “place themselves” in the town, and what they would like to see and have available for citizens.  Remind students to be neat and accurate with their designs.
  6. Once completed, students may share with other pairs of students or allow each pair of students to share their work with the class, taking them on a “tour” of the city.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Hold a class discussion related to Patrick Henry’s line.  Ask if they believe Henry was literal in its meaning.
  9. In closing, ask students: If you could visit Colonial Williamsburg today, what would you most like to see and experience?  Why?  What do you think is most different from the past compared to the present in Williamsburg?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion to both questions. Encourage a lively discussion of Colonial Times and how it compares to life in present-day America.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 3 class sessions

Additional Resources: 

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Social Studies

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Homeschool Williamsburg

This worked great as a resource for designing a homeschool lesson. I provided a solid basis for what we were looks for.