The Original Thirteen Colonies Chart Worksheets

for history teachers the 13 colonies
13 Colonies Chart Worksheet

One of the best ways to compare and contrast the New England Colonies, Middle Colonies, and Southern Colonies at ANY grade level is with a 13 colonies chart worksheet!


Whether you're a new social studies teacher or a seasoned veteran, the importance of using well-designed and curated worksheets cannot be overstated. This is particularly true when it comes to a chart worksheet on the Thirteen Colonies, which can be an excellent resource when teaching your students about the early history of the United States.


Specifically, a chart worksheet about the 13 colonies can help your students better comprehend and understand the three different and distinct regions that made up the American colonies and the various historical events that would eventually help shape the nation.


Here are some of my favorite tips on how to effectively use a 13 colonies chart worksheet in your lesson plans!


Regions of the Thirteen Colonies

First, prior to teaching your students about the similarities and differences of the American colonies, it's important that you help them become well versed in the different diverse regions that made up the thirteen original colonies, which were divided into three distinct regions:

New England Colonies:

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, & Rhode Island


Middle colonies:

Delaware, New Jersey, New York, & Pennsylvania


Southern colonies:

Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, & Virginia


One way I like to introduce students to the 13 original colonies, especially younger students in, say, 3rd to 5th grades, is to give them a word bank of the colony names and have them place them on an outline map of Colonial America. This activity can help students practice their map skills while also learning about the different regions of the American colonies.


For older students, say in fifth grade or middle school, I like to create a colonies map quiz or colonies map activity and have them complete it. You can choose to have your students label the colonies and the different regions and/or even color-code them to differentiate between the New England colonies, the Middle colonies, and the Southern colonies! BONUS TIP! A crossword puzzle or a word search that includes the name of each colony can be a fun way to help students remember the names and locations of the original colonies.


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When teaching your students about the 13 colonies, it's important to give them a set of maps that show the different regions and colony names. You can also provide downloadable maps of the original US colonies that students can use to study and review.


Thirteen Colonies Chart Worksheet

Once your students have a good understanding of the different regions and colony names, move on to more in-depth topics. For example, you can use a reading passage or instructional slide deck to teach your students about the history of the American colonies and some of the famous people who played an important role during this time period. Individuals such as William Penn, Lord Baltimore, or James Oglethorpe, among numerous others, played a key role in the establishment of the colonies.


Here are some of my favorite ways that I like to use a 13 colonies chart worksheet!

  • To breakout the similarities and differences amongst the three colonial regions (3rd-6th graders) and/or the 13 colonies themselves (6th grade and up)
  • This may include things like geography, climate, and natural resources
  • Or it could be about certain facts such as what year a colony was founded, by whom, and/or why it was founded
  • I also like to incorporate into chart worksheets, different aspects of religion and/or religious tolerance, important settlements, and/or famous groups of people (Puritans, Quakers, etc.) that are associated with a particular colony


For example, students might be interested to learn that the colony of New Jersey was named after the English Channel Island of Jersey or that Carolina was split into North Carolina and South Carolina in 1712 because it was a relatively long distance between the settlements in what would eventually become South Carolina and the settlements in North Carolina.


By using a chart worksheet, your goal is to help students identify how each of the colonial regions and/or each of the colonies had its own unique history and fun facts!


When using a 13 colonies chart worksheet, you're essentially trying to engrain in your students how the more southern regions (ie., the Middle Colonies and the Southern Colonies) were vastly different from the New England colonies. The Southern Colonies, and to a somewhat lesser extent the Middle Colonies, were characterized by large plantations, slavery, and a significant reliance on agriculture, while the New England colonies were more focused on trade, commerce, fishing and whaling, lumber, manufacturing, and shipbuilding.



When combined with other types of worksheets, a chart worksheet can really help reinforce student learnings and retention of subject matter!


To further engage your students, you can also assign a closure activity that asks them to create their own map of the original colonies, complete with fun facts and notable events. This activity can help your students reflect on what they've learned and apply their comprehension skills to create their own visual representation of the American colonies!


Some other great ways to help your students learn about the 13 colonies are by using graphic organizers or Venn diagrams! Both are great ways to help your students comprehend the material and solidify their understanding. For example, you can use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the New England colonies with the Southern colonies or create a graphic organizer that outlines the different religious groups that settled in the colonies, including the Church of England, the Puritans, and the Quakers.


Another great way to incorporate a 13 Colonies worksheet into your lesson plans (regardless of the type of worksheet) is to use technology. For instance, a PowerPoint presentation that includes an interactive map slide of the colonies along with interesting facts, built-in videos, or high-quality images. You could also use Google Forms to create multiple-choice questions that test your students' knowledge of the colonies and their history!


Overall, using a well-designed and curated chart worksheet about the 13 colonies can be an effective tool to teach your students about early American history at ANY grade level. When supplemented with other types of worksheets that incorporate activities such as map skills, comprehension skills, and closure activities, you can really help your students develop a deeper understanding of the different regions and historical events that shaped the Atlantic coast of America during the 17th and 18th centuries.



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Thanks so much for reading!

-Jillian (a.k.a. the "Lesson Plan Guru")  


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