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. . . If You Lived in Colonial Times" by Ann McGovern

Challenge: As a reporter, you are to unravel all there is to know about one of the following categories from " . . . If You Lived in Colonial Times" by Ann McGovern and then present the narrative information citing the colonial characters who related their first-hand experiences.

CATEGORIES FOR THE READING ACTIVITY: Select from one of these categories

Clothing and Fashion
Education and Schools
Medical Treatment
Food and Manners
Laws and Punishment
Houses and Furniture
Children's Work
Children's Play
Written Communication


What you are to do:

After you have your list of factual information, prepare to pretend that you have gathered these reliable facts from the personal interviews of two fictitious colonial people (example: Deacon Church; Minister Sermon; Rebecca Speakout; Timothy Irons; John Flatfoot; Mary Miles; Edward Blisters; Deborah Twistafoot; Nathaniel Wethead; Jedediah Titheman). In the first person, retell their real, memorable stories.

How you are to organize your paragraphs:

PART ONE - Organize a list of factual information from the category you select.


  1. Decide upon your category from ". . . . If You Lived In Colonial Times" and your graphic organizer and/or outline for this project.
  2. Using the "Contents" of the book, locate the pages for information about your specific topic. As you refer to those pages, create a list which includes factual information about that topic. Cite pages where you located the information.

Example: Travel

  1. Travel was difficult because the roads were bumpy and muddy making travel slow (p.56)
  2. Roads were very narrow since they were really only trails. (p. 56)
  3. People created log bridges. (p. 57)
  4. In the winter, people traveled on the snow in sleighs pulled by horses (p.58)
  5. The snow filled in the holes and ruts in the road and made it easier to travel. (p.58)
  6. People brought food with them because travel from place to place took so long (p.58)
  7. If two people were traveling with one horse, they took turns riding the horse. (p. 60)

* PART TWO - Relate your factual information in the context of information being retold by you of a primary source who lived during the colonial period.


EXAMPLE: Exclusive Facts Revealed by Deborah Twistafoot and Nathaniel Wethead

We are all aware of the terrible conditions we face daily when traveling! I was fortunate to speak exclusively with Deborah Twistafoot and Nathaniel Wethead about their travel experiences in the Boston area. I found out from Deborah that the roads she uses are bumpy, filled with holes, and narrow. I found out from Nathaniel that crossing log bridges are a constant challenge for him.

Deborah Twistafoot cares for a few children at a neighboring farm and must go daily from her house to that farm. She related to me that as she quickly attempts to walk, she is constantly twisting her foot in the newly appearing holes that surface on the trail. She has attempted to walk on the side of the trail, but when it rains, the side of the trail gets wet and the dirt falls into the main trail. Then next time, new bumps and holes appear. She is forever twisting her foot. On the other hand, Nathaniel Wethead has problems walking across logs used as bridges over the local stream . . . .

SELF-EDIT your story, reading it aloud. Substitute 4 words. Expand three sentences.

PEER-EDIT a classmate's work. Make two word substitutions.


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