A webquest created by Doreen Fouquette and Jo-Ann Brierley

Introduction Task Process Instructions Conclusion Resources



Do you know what a tanner is?  It is not something you get from the sun!  Itís an actual job from Colonial times. You will travel back in time to Colonial America to discover different occupations that are very different from jobs of today.  Do you know what you would want to do if you lived during this time?

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Your tasks are to research colonial occupations.  You will complete a chart with the information you found. Then, you will design your own trade shop. You will create a commercial to advertise your trade. These shops will be displayed as a colonial town in our classroom.

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At the computer:

        Step 1: Print out information chart to complete when doing research.
        Step 2: Print out the instructions.

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Part 1

        Step 3: Click on "Whatís My Occupation?"

        Step 4:  Choose what you think is the correct occupation by clicking on the job.

         Step 5:  Click on the back arrow at top left of page to return to "What's My Occupation?".


Part 2

       Step 6:  Click on Williamsburg.   Scroll down to Trades and click.

         Step 7:  Choose three colonial occupations.  Go to occupation of your choice and complete the information chart.

Part 3

       Step 8:   Colonial tradespeople used signs with pictures to illustrate what their job was because some people had not learned to read.  To see some examples of colonial signs, click on Williamsburg.  Scroll down to Search This Site and type in box "Signs of the Times".  Click on Go.  Scroll down to number 3 and click. Look at some sample signs from Colonial Williamsburg.

Part 4

        Step 9:  Pick one of the occupations that you researched, and design your own trade shop using a diorama including tools and people. Now design your own sign for your trade shop.

Part 5

         Step 10:  Display and present your trade shop to the class.


         Create a commercial on Kid Pix advertising your shop and giving reasons why people should visit your trade shop.

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The students will be able to describe a colonial occupation along with the tools used by that tradesperson.

The children will be able to communicate their ideas to their classmates using their commercials and dioramas.

Students will be able to use the Internet to complete a research information chart.

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 A rubric is available to evaluate the information chart, diorama, sign and presentation.

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Information Resources:

"If You Lived in Colonial Times" by Ann McGovern
"A Day in the Life of a Colonial ___________" by Kathy Wilmore
Colonial America Cooperative Learning Activities by Mary Strohl and Susan Schneck



This webquest was written by Doreen Fouquette and Jo-Ann Brierley.  We are third grade teachers at Freetown Elementary School in Freetown, Massachusetts.

Pictures copied with permission from Colonial Williamsburg.

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