The Scoop on Clothes, Homes, and Daily Life in Colonial America


Travel back to a time when: All children wore dresses, even boys. Chasing a pig was a form of entertainment. Step into the lives of the colonists, and get the scoop on clothes, homes, and daily life in colonial America.

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Travel back to a time when: All children wore dresses, even boys. Chasing a pig was a form of entertainment. Step into the lives of the colonists, and get the scoop on clothes, homes, and daily life in colonial America.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Do little boys wear dresses? As students discover in Capstone's "Life in the American Colonies" series, early colonists would have answered "Of course!" In this volume, readers are introduced to a world where colonists from Europe, Indians from many different tribes, and slaves from Africa or the Caribbean exchanged ideas about houses, clothing, and customs. Colonists dressed in European style, plain at first—suitable for hard work—becoming more elaborate and fashionable for the rich as time went on. Underwear was a shirt or chemise (no underpants), with full skirts and imported fabrics for wealthy women, while men wore breeches, coats and waistcoats or a shirt, sleeveless vest, and jacket for laborers—workmen and trappers often imitated the Indians' leather shirts or leggings. Little girls dressed like their mothers; boys wore dresses till age six. Native peoples had their own dwellings, varying by region, but mostly longhouses (a drawing shows an Iroquois longhouse being built) or wigwams made of curved frames covered with bark. Settlers built small houses from available materials, but soon began producing bricks to construct larger main rooms where they ate and slept, with a fireplace for cooking. By the eighteenth century, some colonists were ready for luxury, imitating (especially on Southern plantations) mansions in the Georgian style. With later prosperity, colonists imported European goods, and found time for celebrations and parties. Slaves, too, played games, sang, and danced when they could; from Indian games and contests, colonists learned lacrosse, which is still popular today. Text is clear and lively; illustrations are abundant, using paintings, newly colored engravings, and photographs of artifacts (playing cards pictured are not colonial). Note: paintings and engravings should clearly list artist (when known) and date—many are not contemporary.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Clear prose and accessible vocabulary give readers an interesting introduction to life in colonial America. Each volume contains four to five brief chapters, and although most of the information is about white settlers and colonists, facts about Native Americans and African slaves are included. Smatterings of unpleasant and/or gross details (e.g., toad powder as a cure for smallpox, bleeding as a medical cure-all, and the lack of indoor plumbing) that will capture and hold readers' interest are scattered throughout the books. Colorful illustrations, brief primary-source excerpts, and sidebar definitions of glossary terms supplement the texts. Although the large font and brief format limit the amount of background information and details that can be included, this set will attract an audience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429672139
  • Publisher: Capstone Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Series: Life in the American Colonies
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 164,771
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Raum has written over two-dozen nonfiction books for young readers, including a biography of Louis Armstrong for Capstone Press. Over the years, she has worked as a middle school and high school English teacher, an elementary school librarian, and a college library director. Elizabeth Raum has written many nonfiction books for children. Two of her Capstone You Choose books, Orphan Trains: An Interactive History Adventure (2011) and Can You Survive Storm Chasing? (2012), are Junior Library Guild selections. Elizabeth lives in Michigan with her husband, Richard.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Many Cultures, One Land 4

Chapter 1 Getting Dressed 6

Chapter 2 Choosing a Home 12

Chapter 3 Working to Live 18

Chapter 4 Fun and Games 22

Chapter 5 On the Move 26

Glossary 30


Internet Sites 31

Index 32

Primary Source Bibliography 32

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