The Original 13 Colonies

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for U.S. Territorial Expansion 1783-1959


US Territorial Expansion - The Original 13 Colonies

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Activity Overview


The original 13 American colonies serve as the foundation of America and its future expansion across the North American continent. The causes, effects, purpose, and culture of the original thirteen colonies are the primary elements that help students understand how this this first undertaking of land acquisition spread into something much greater.

Using a Frayer Model, students will identify and explain the major causes and effects of British North American colonists fighting for - and winning - the rights to America’s original thirteen colonies. Students will examine how the colonies were formed, how they functioned, and also how and why the idea of expansion was further peaked.


Extended Activity

Have students examine and analyze one colony or region of colonies (New England, Mid-Atlantic, or Southern). Using the Frayer Model storyboard, have students explain the function of each colony or region and the major roles it played not only as an original land expansion, but for future expansions as well. Reference “The Development of the Colonies” in our Events and Causes of the American Revolution lesson plans for further ideas.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a frayer model describing the causes, effects, purpose, and culture of the original 13 colonies.

  1. Create "Start Assignment".
  2. Label the title boxes with "Causes", "Effects", "Purpose", and "Culture".
  3. Write a summary for each cell, describing how the colonies came to be, what they were created for, and what it was like living there.
  4. Create illustrations using appropriate scenes, items, and characters.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
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U.S. Territorial Expansion 1783-1959








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