Colonial Williamsburg

Name:Colonial Williamsburg

Brief Description of the Site:
Meet the people who inhabit this historical village and learn about colonial life through each of the characters this site introduces. This is not the Colonial Williamsburg of yore, but a new, retooled site with Flash animation, an Explore and Learn link, and "Physick: The Practice of Medicine in Colonial Williamsburg". The Meet the People link gives biographies of our country's founders (and their spouses, in some cases), clothing provides descriptions, and Gardens, Archaeology, Museums and History Education extend to additional material for classroom use way beyond what class time even permits. There's no shortage of material here and teachers of differentiated curriculums can individualize instruction with the enormity of resources found on the site. It's a great update for the online classroom going back in time. The site is structured with cross-curricular connections in mind for students to develop in-depth research.

How to use the site:
Under Teacher Resources the link to explore is the Lesson Plans. For those not geographically nearby, there are virtual visits through electronic field trips (but those cost money), but a virtual site visit in conjunction with the extensive lesson plans offer more than can be used throughout the year. This makes a good companion site for existing classroom instruction.

Many lesson plans refer to the electronic field trips with "docudrama biographies" of the characters you meet. With or without the video component, these character profiles work as stand alones, but bear in mind they represent a synthesis of character traits. These are not "real" people. Students may need to be reminded of this (especially younger ones) in coming to understand what life was like at the time.

Submitted by:
Neme Alperstein