The early 1600s was an exciting time in our country’s history. Colonists were arriving and successfully settling here. From Jamestown to Plymouth, people were arriving in the New World and finding a way to make a home. Through the years we saw the establishment of other colonies, 13 total, before we finally came together to become the United States of America.
When our middle school students study historical events we include as many activities as possible to help them bring their learning to life. We use hands-on activities, books, movies, and more to make the events from the past as interesting and relatable as possible.
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Here are some of our favorite books, movies, and videos that middle school students can use when exploring the 13 colonies!
Don’t forget to use our free “Exploring the 13 Colonies Study Guide” download to help your students document their learning.
Books About the 13 Colonies
Blood on the River: James Town, 1607 – Young Samuel Collier becomes a page to Captain Jon Smith. Follow his voyage to Virginia and the new James Town settlement.
Boys and Girls of Colonial Days – Free Kindle edition – Stories of children and their adventures during colonial times.
The Colonial Caper Mystery at Williamsburg (Real Kids! Real Places!) – In this Carole Marsh mystery Grant and Christina find themselves find themselves in the middle of a mystery involving a valuable missing map!
Colonial Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes – Over 40 fun, hands-on projects and activities from the days of colonial America – churn butter, make Maple Create treats, write with a quill pen, and more!
Colonial Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in the New World (A Kid’s Guide series) –hands-on activities for kids to enjoy including stitching a sampler, playing horseshoes, making an almanac, and more.
The Landing of the Pilgrims (Landmark Books) – James Daugherty draws on the Pilgrims’ own journals to give a fresh and moving account of their life and traditions, their quest for religious freedom, and the founding of one of our nation’s most beloved holidays—Thanksgiving.
Life in Colonial America (Dover History Coloring Book) – 44 detailed, ready to color illustrations about life in Colonial America.
Pocahontas: Young Peacemaker (Childhood of Famous Americans) – This child-friendly book tells the story of the early life of the Indian princess Pocahontas and her contact with English settlers.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist!: A Settlement You’d Rather Not Start – these books are funny and help kids relate to day-to-day life in a certain period of history.
Videos and Movies about Colonial America
Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower – The History Channel – Learn about the many hardships the Pilgrims faced and overcame as they set off to settle in a new and harsh world.
The War That Made America: The Story of the French and Indian War – PBS Home Video – Students can learn about this important conflict that shaped the future of the colonies and the life of a very important Virginia soldier – George Washington.
Godspeed to Jamestown – The History Channel – Learn about the history of one of the ships that made the journey to the Jamestown settlement.
The New World – Filmed in Virginia, this movie is a retelling of the story of Pocahontas and John Smith.
School House Rock – This DVD is an American classic! “America Rock” titles include “Elbow Room”, “The Shot Heard ’Round the World”, and more!
Drive Thru History: American History, Special Edition 1-6 – A fun and informative look at the important people and places in American history including the Pilgrims, Plymouth Rock, Boston, and more.
What are your student’s favorite books and movies for learning about the 13 Colonies?