Geography of the Thirteen Colonies

Geography of the Thirteen Colonies

I can label a map with the Thirteen Colonies.

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Geography of the Thirteen Colonies

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Students learn about the 13 colonies, focusing particularly on the geography and location of the colonies as split up in their three groups - northern, middle, and southern. How did the unique geography of these areas of the United States affect the lives of the people who lived there?

Learning objective

Students will be able to label a map with the thirteen colonies.


Show the image of the US map on the interactive whiteboard. Ask students if they can find their state on the map. How do they know which one is theirs? You can also ask students if they can name and locate another state in which family members live, or that they have been to.


Introduce students to the term "colony' and explain that before the United States was created, it started as a set of colonies under the control of England. These thirteen colonies were located on the east coast of the (current) United States and were settled due to ease of shipping trade with other countries. Show a map with the thirteen colonies and give the names of the colonies. The colonies are introduced in segments, as the Northern, Middle and Southern colonies. Each colony is introduced and key information is given about the colony. At the close of each segment, students are asked to locate the colonies on the given maps. When complete, review all 13 of the colonies together on a map of the current United States.


Students are asked a set of true/false questions in which they are asked if a certain colony belongs to the northern, middle, or southern colonies. They are then asked geographical multiple-choice questions about which state was or was not a colony, which ocean the colonies were located by, and where different colonies are located. Finally, students are asked to name all 13 colonies.


Remind students that the original 13 colonies were what started the United States as we know it today and that they can now label a map with all 13 of them. Close by having students drag the names of the colonies to where they belong on the map on the interactive whiteboard.

Related lessons

You might be interested in these additional lessons about the original Thirteen Colonies:

- The 13 colonies
- New England colonies
- Middle colonies
- Southern colonies

These are just a portion of our social studies lessons that cover the founding and earliest days of the United States of America. Start exploring by creating a Gynzy account today!

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