Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days by Jean Brown Wagner Extension Activities and Project Ideas
Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days by Jean Brown Wagner is an engaging book about the the life of one of the most famous women in history, Abigail Adams, wife to the 2nd president of the United States, John Adams. Perfect for grades 4-6! The following is a list of suggestions for projects that can be used during or after reading to engage your students and deepen students' understanding of the themes presented in the book. Activities can also be used as final assessment, extra credit, or as supplemental activities to go along with your book study.
For more mini-lessons and resources for Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days, be sure to also check out our:
Here are some ideas that can be used as you read, or as final assessment or project/extension ideas for culmination of your unit on Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days! Have students choose their own project from this list, or assign what works for your unit and timeframe:
- Now that you have learned about Abigail Adams, think about the following questions: What makes Abigail Adams a heroine? How was she unstoppable in her quest for making the most of her life? Incorporate these ideas into a video portraying the person of Abigail Adams in any creative way that you desire. Create a script, making sure that the content is accurate and of high quality. Practice your script before filming and be sure that it does not exceed three minutes in length. Use the following link to view examples of videos from the Samsung Superhero contest in which students did something similar with influential figures of their choice. https://www.youtube.com/user/SamsungSuperhero/videos
- Research one of the historical events mentioned in the book (French and Indian War, earthquake in Boston, Battle of Bunker Hill, First or Second Continental Congress, inauguration of John Adams, etc.). Pretend that you are a newspaper reporter detailing the events that took place and write an informative and creative article using a newsletter template. Be sure to include at least one picture and caption to go along with your article.
- It’s party time! Abigail Adams is so appreciative to all of those who have influenced her in her lifetime that she would like to throw a party in their honor. Create a guest of honor list as well as those she would like to invite to the party to help her celebrate. Decide on a theme and make an invitation that could be distributed. Lastly, make a gift that would represent the influence of each guest of honor and on a notecard write a short tribute to each that she could read as she presents her gifts at the party.
- Design and create a scrapbook of Abigail Adams’s most memorable moments from birth to adulthood. Choose at least ten events and be sure to include dates when possible, pictures, captions, quotes, journal of memories, and any other details you would like to add.
- Research more about John Adams, Abigail’s husband and the second President of the United States. Using http://edu.glogster.com, create an online poster detailing important information regarding his contribution as a Founding Father. Be sure to include important facts, quotes, photos, character traits, and the significant contributions he made in helping the country in its beginnings.
- How exciting it must have been for Abigail Adams to meet and interact with the Queen of England! One can only imagine what that experience must have been like. Write a personal narrative as if you were Abigail Adams detailing this unusual rendezvous. Be sure to “zoom in” on the moment, capturing all of the vivid details your creative juices can conjure up, yet staying true to the few details given in the text and/or through further research about this event. Feel free to include illustrations or images to go along with your story.
- There were several humorous events detailed in the book that took place during Abigail’s childhood. Create a comic strip retelling one of these events. This can be done by hand using a template or through http://www.pixton.com, http://goanimate.com, or http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/games-tools/comic-creator-a-30237.html . Once completed, write a paragraph about why you chose this particular event to recreate in comic form as well as what lesson(s) Abigail and the readers learned from this event in her life.
- There are many aspects to living during the colonial period that are quite different from today. While we can never know exactly what it must have been like, thanks to historical preservation landmarks such as Williamsburg as well as modern technology through movies, T.V. series, and websites, we can catch a glimpse into this life. Choose one of the following websites and delve further into colonial life. Be thorough in your interaction with the website, spending at least 45 minutes investigating all that it has to offer. Once completed, choose three different topics of new information that you encountered to write a report. Create a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation to detail your findings, being sure to include the link to that page so that others can visit and explore the information you collected. You must include the following slides: An introduction, a historical element, a game/activity played or completed, a tour/exhibit/or video viewed, and a concluding slide (including your rating of the website). Your presentation should be easy to read (legible fonts and clear wording), detailed (showing thorough review of the site), creative, and interesting. Visit one or both of these websites: http://www.history.org or http://www.pbs.org/wnet/colonialhouse/history/index.html.