5th Grade Challenge

December 2014 Newsletter

Chapter 4- Building the First Colonies

For the past few weeks, the students have been reading, discussing, and taking notes in 2-column fashion about the first colonies in the Americas. New Spain built quite an empire in Mexico and the Southern current day US including Florida. England had some hiccups, but eventually made strongholds in New England and Virginia. New France, New Netherland, and New Sweden were also established. Colonization was the goal of many European countries at this time in history.


On Friday, the students have their test on Chapter 4. They are to study their notes, vocabulary, and map. Please encourage them to study.

Long-Term Assignment

The students have begun the LTA again. Before the Thanksgiving holiday they were given a new calendar of due dates. The in-depth information can be found on my website at the following link: http://www.methacton.org/Page/13607

Here is a quick outline of the dates:

  • Monday, December 8th- the students will work in-class on their timeline and brainstorming
  • Tuesday, December 9th- the students must "turn-in" their timeline template on Google Classroom
  • Monday, December 15th- LTA Product Brainstorm due
  • Thursday, January 8th - LTA Product and self-evaluation due

Unit 3 - The 13 Colonies

Starting next week the students will be learning about the 13 English Colonies. This unit is broken into Chapters 5, 6, and 7. The first chapter focuses on the New England Colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Chapter 6 is about the Middle Colonies of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. Finally, Chapter 7 details the Southern Colonies of Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Throughout this unit the Essential Questions will be:

  • Why different people came to the English Colonies and where did they settle?
  • How did the new colonies impact other groups such as Africans and Native Americans?
  • What kinds of governments, economies, and new ideas developed in the colonies?


We will enjoy a variety of activities as we venture into this new unit of study!