Southern Colonies Webquest


Colonial Crusader

A WebQuest for 5th Grade 

 Designed by
Danielle Buchanan 

July, 2010 

Introduction: You and your partner's quest will be to explore the Southern Colonies through research, projects, and activities.  Be ready to read, visit the web, and complete your tasks along your Colonial Crusade.


The Process: Put on your "thinking cap" and let's begin your quest!

1. You and your partner will each need a manila folder.  Give the cover of your folder the title "Southern Colonies".  Please make sure you add your name neatly in a place that is easily recognized.  You may decorate the cover later, if time permits.  This folder is where you will keep all of your work.

2. Click on colonization to view a map of the 13 original colonies.  Using your mouse, right click on the map and print two copies of it.  Use the link below, your pencil, and a colored pencil to help you neatly outline and label the five Southern Colonies. Please glue this on the left inside cover of your folder.

      Southern Colonies Map

3. The first colonists to come to America had to make many decisions that would determine whether they would live and prosper, or get sick and die. Pretend you are the leader of a group of colonists just reaching the coast. 

  • Take the Jamestown Online Adventure to see how successful you and your colonists would be.
  • Print two copies of your results. Place them in your folders.
  • Re-try the adventure to see if you can make better decisions based on your feedback.
  • Print two copies of your results.  Place them in your folders.

4.  Jamestown, Virgina was the first permanent English settlement in America.  Watch the Economics of Jamestown Video (6:01) to learn more about some of their successes and struggles.

    Take a few minutes to visit the Explore Jamestown: Interactive Map.  The map teaches us more about the history of Jamestown, Virgina.  When you are done exploring, print and answer Explore Jamestown: Interactive Questions.  Please place the completed questions in your folder.

5.  Why do you think the early colonists selected this region for settlement?  Would a location's climate (weather patterns) have any impact?  Would a region's landforms affect your settlement choices?

   Visit at least three of the links provided below and read about the climate and landforms in the Southern Colonies.


      Climate of the Colonies

      Slide Share: The Southern Colonies

      Description of the Southern Colonies

      National Geophysical Data Collection: Topographic Maps (Click state names to view maps)

      Southern Colonies

    Based on what you have read, think about the positive effects the region's climate and landforms had on their ability to grow crops (and earn money). 

    Your next task is to create an advertisement for the Southern Colonies.  Your goal is to convince farmers that the Southern Colonies are the place for them!  Think about what advertisers do to catch your attention.  How are you going to catch your audiences attention?

Your requirements are:

  • Read all directions first! 
  • Use a sheet of white computer paper
  • You may make a poster or a tri-fold brochure (If you have another idea you'd like to try, please come talk to me about it.)
  • Important words must stand out and catch your attention
  • Leave a 2x3 inch space blank in one of the bottom corners (you'll find out why shortly)
  • Include 3 or more facts about the climate and landforms to support your claims
  • Completed piece should be neat, colored, and free of spelling and capitalization errors.

6. Shhh.... Don't tell the farmers, but the warm climate in the Southern Colonies is also causing some grave difficulties!  Review the links above to discover what the problem is.  

   In order to have truthful advertising, we will have to let the farmers know (kind of Wink).  Use the 2x3 inch blank space you left on your advertisement to give them the bad news.  Make sure it is readable, but also think about how much you want it to stand out.

7. A "one-crop economy" or "staple crop" is when a country or a region relies heavily on one crop for its livelihood. It doesn't mean that they couldn't grow other things; it means that they have chosen to cultivate one main crop (usually a type of cash crop) that they can sell to other places.

   Some of the Southern Colonies were well-known for having a one-crop economy.  With your partner, you should each create a poster including 3 or 4 of the crops that the Southern Colonies relied on to maintain their livelihood. 

Your requirements are:     

  • Read all directions first
  • Use a sheet of white computer paper 
  • Include an appropriate title
  • Include the definition of a one-crop ecomony (included in italics above)
  • Include 3 to 5 crop illustrations
  • Label each crop
  • Include which colony that crop can be found in
  • Completed piece should be neat, colored, and free of spelling and capitalization errors.

    The following links have been provided to help you with your research.

 Farming in the 13 American Colonies

Wikipedia: Southern Colonies (If you click on the crops listed, you will also see an illustration)

About Indigo in the Southern Colonies

8.  While the South Carolina economy did grow more than one type of crop, it relied heavily on plantation-grown staple crops such as cotton, tobacco and rice.  These crops required a great deal of hard labor to plant, grow, and harvest.  This led the Southern Colonies to rely largely on the use of slave-labor.  Slaves and indentured servants, although present in the North, were much more important to the South. They were the backbone of the Southern economy.

     Your final task is to create a flip-book describing the life of a slave on a southern plantation. 

  • Create a 9 page flip-book with the following titles (You may need to write these down to make it easier.)
    1. Slavery in the Southern Colonies
    2. How We Got Here
    3. Why We Are Needed
    4. Field Workers
    5. House Slaves
    6. Clothing
    7. Housing
    8. Punishment
    9. Education
  • Begin by visiting the following link. ReadWriteThink Flip-Book Creator
  • Add the 9 titles listed above.
  • For each page, select the "Drawing" format.  You will be adding your own text and drawings after your book has been printed.
  • Print 2 copies of your flip-book.  Paperclip your pages togther and keep them in your folder.  Do not cut them or staple them togther until every page is complete.
  • Use the links below to gather information for each page of your book. (You can work on the pages in whatever order you choose.)
  • On each page, write 2 to 4 (quality, 5th grade) sentences giving important information about each topic. 
  • Illustrate each page with a drawing or a printed illustration.
  • The "Slavery in the Southern Colonies" page is your cover.  You may add a larger title then neatly and appropriately decorate that how you wish.
  • Cut and discard the bottom of each page.
  • Staple your flip-book together.
  • Completed project should be neat, colored, and free of spelling and capitalization errors.
  • Place your book in your folder.

              BBC: The Middle Passage

              A Day in the Life of a Plantation Slave

              The Life of a Slave

              Slave Life 

              House Slaves             

9. Congratulations,  you are officially a Colonial Crusader! 

Using your rubric as a guide, please review steps #1 - #8 to make sure each task has been effectively completed according to the listed requirements and placed in your folder.  If you have time remaining, please use the information you have gathered to decorate your "Southern Colonies" folder.


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