The 13 Colonies


In this web quest, you are going to learn about the 13 original colonies in the New World. You will learn about how each region of colonies specialized (were experts) in different areas. The biggest take away from this web quest is going to be how you can recognize the differences in colonial society and our current society in today's world.

Please click on the "Task" tab.


In this web quest, you are playing the role of a time-traveling agent. Your job is to learn as much as you can about life in the colonial era (time period). During your time in Colonial America, you are to take notes in each region. Take notes on EVERYTHING! every group of people you meet, every way of life you see, even the temperature! You should do this so when you come back to the 21st century, you can look back on your stay with the exact notes that you took. With the notes and your memories in mind, you will compose a letter to send to your friend who is not a time-traveler and explain to them what our forefathers were like and how they lived. 

Please click on the "Process" tab.


First, you are going to need a little bit of background knowledge on the 13 colonies and the settlers. The Colonists (AKA the Settlers) came over to the New World (AKA America) to have independence (freedom) from their British rulers. Click the play button on the video below to get an overall idea of the colonies.

Following the video, be sure you are able to answer these questions:

- There are 13 colonies, but how many regions are there?

- Who did the 13 colonies belong to before they became their own country?

- Why were they called "The 13 Original Colonies"? (Side note, "original" means first, or earliest)

- Were there any big words in the video that you did not know? What were they?


Next, we are going to read a bit about the colonies. This website is another general overview of the colonies. Click the link below.

After reading the article, be sure you can answer these questions:

- What is a colony?

- What are the 13 colonies' names?

- What colonies belonged to what region?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the colonies, let's take a deeper look into the regions of the colonies. A "region " is an area or division with fixed characteristics. Click the play button on the video below to further understand the regions in the colonies.


After watching the video, be sure you can answer these questions:

- What are the names of the 3 regions?

- Which region was known for fishing?

- Which region was known for cash crops like tobacco and cotton?

- Which region was known for factories and grain?


One thing to think about is this- before the English Settlers (another name for Colonists) got to the colonies, who lived there first? Native Americans did. Before the Colonists came and settled in the New World (America), the Native Americans lived here. I'm sure you've heard the story of the first Thanksgiving. The pilgrims (Colonists) came and claimed the New World, even though the American Indians already owned it. Click the link (or type in the website) below to see which Native American tribes lived where, as it relates to the colonies.

Think about a time where you had something of your own and someone came and took it from you. How did that make you feel? Probably not good. That is how the Native Americans felt when the Colonists came and colonized (started making their houses and lives) the land that they already had. 


Have you found all the information you need for your letter? Great! Now it is time to time travel back to 2019 and write your letter to let your friend know what life wad like in the 13 Original Colonies. Be sure to include as many details as you can in your letter!



Write a letter to your friend telling him/her what you learned on your visit to the 13 Original Colonies. Be sure to include as many details as you can, so your friend can feel as if he/she was there with you. Be mindful of your grammar, punctuation, and capitalization in your letter. If you are able to do all of these things, you will receive full credit. 


Think about your time spent in the 13 Colonies. What did you learn? Did any of this information shock you? If so, what? One of the main take aways from this activity was to show you how different life was during the colonial era. If it weren't for the Colonists, we would not be here today. Every little bit of history that you may not think is important can greatly change the future. That is something to keep in mind as you go through school. You may feel like what you are doing is not special or may not add up to anything, but just remember that everything you do is being done for a reason, and that reason will impact the future, whether you are there to see it or not. 


Works cited

The History of Colonial America. (2017). Retrieved from

13 American Colonies | Us History | Kids Academy. (2019). Retrieved from

Colonial America. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Original Inhabitants of the 13 Colonies. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Teacher Page

13 Original Colonies- Grade 3

Standard 3.G.MM.1 - Analyze how human settlement and movement impact diverse groups of people.