Saltbox House

What’s inside the saltbox house?

Saltbox house craft

Click the photo to view or print the pattern and instructions for this craft.




As a student teacher, I got to work with one of the most innovative teachers ever.  She worked hard to make every day an exciting learning experience for her students.  One of the best units she created was based on a book called, “If You Lived in Colonial Times.”  In the month of November, leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, this amazing teacher turned her classroom into a colonial schoolroom.  There were hornbooks and a fake fireplace and even a dunce cap.  The students looked forward to the final hour of the day when colonial school was in session and their wonderful sweet teacher became a somewhat cruel schoolmaster.  She was able to play the character with a lot of humor.  It wasn’t scary, it was fun.  The kids knew it was just theater.  Some of them even delighted in sitting in the corner and wearing the dunce cap.  She knew which kids would be on board with it and those were the ones she chose.  There was even a sign to hang around the neck of a nail biter or thumb sucker that said, “Bite Finger Baby.”  That was a little too cruel.  I never saw her use that one.  But I remember thinking, “What would it be like to live in a time when children got seriously hazed by their teacher?”   I’m sure not all teachers were cruel, but many were.  It was a time when people believed in, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”  It seems crazy now.  We’ve come a long way!!!


#10  The Age of Reason or Enlightenment – When the superstitious and highly religious Middle Ages came to an end, men began to think about their role in the universe.  Remember, the printing press had been invented in the previous time period.  The printing press created lots of books.   Reading books got people to thinking and thinking brought all sorts of new ideas.  As Rene Descartes famously said, “I think, therefore I am.”

#9 Isaac Newton – one of the most important scientists of all time.  He came up with the theory of gravity, laws of motion, calculus, and the reflecting telescope.

#8 Baroque and Rococo Art – Baroque art was dramatic, full of movement, and very detailed.  The most famous Baroque artist was the Dutch painter, Rembrandt.  Rococo art was playful, pastel, and sometimes, witty.  The subjects were well-dressed upper-class people.  Franz Fragonard is a famous Rococo artist.

#7 Classic Fairy Tales – These fairy tales had been passed on for generations.  Finally, Charles Perrault decided to write them down so everyone could read and enjoy them.  He wrote versions of preexisting folk tales like:  Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, and Sleeping Beauty.

#6 Pirates – These guys were fierce, frightening, and heavily armed.  They sailed out onto the seas in search of ships they could rob.  Piracy hit its peak between 1620 and 1720.  There were three types of pirates.  Privateers were lawful pirates who shared their riches with their government.  Buccaneers were pirates in the West Indies who attacked Spanish ships.  Corsairs were Christian and Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean.

#5 Native Americans – There were people living in the Americas long before the colonists arrived.  The people were native to America, so we refer to them as the Native Americans.  There were many different groups or tribes of Native Americans living all over the continents of North and South America.  Most historians agree, these tribes lived peacefully until the colonists arrived.  The colonists wouldn’t have survived without the farming and wildlife knowledge that the native people shared with them.

#4 Colonization – comes from a Latin word that means “to inhabit.”  When you colonize a land you take control over the land and its indigenous people.  Imagine a species from another universe landing on earth to colonize.

#3 Roanoke, North Carolina was the first English settlement in North America.  It was first colonized by 107 men in 1585.  The male settlers built a fort and fought with the natives.  They were not enjoying colonizing the land.  When a supply ship arrived from England, everyone chose to leave the island    Two years later, 115 men and women sailed to Roanoke for a second attempt at colonization.  Their captain, John White, sailed back to England for supplies.   When he returned 3 years later, everyone in the colony vanished, even his granddaughter, Virginia Dare, the first baby born in America.  No one really knows what happened to them.

#2 Jamestown, Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in North America.  144 men, most of whom were hoping to get rich by finding gold, sailed to the Virginia coast in 1607.  They named their settlement Jamestown, after King James.  Most of the settlers were upper-class and had no skills like hunting, fishing, and farming.  They struggled to build a settlement.  More than half of them died from disease, bad water, and starvation in the first year.  Captain John Smith took a leadership role and formed a relationship with the local natives, the Powhatan tribe.  With the help of the Powhatan, and the no-nonsense leadership of Smith, the settlement started to grow.  There were many setbacks, but, eventually, a settler named John Rolfe introduced tobacco crops (a product they could sell and trade) and the colony began to thrive.  Rolfe later married Pocahontas, the Powhatan chief’s daughter.

#1 Plymouth, Massachusetts –  In 1620 a group of 102 English Pilgrims crowded aboard a ship called the Mayflower and sailed to Plymouth, Massachusetts in search of a new life and religious freedom.  The miserable trip took 2 long months.  When they arrived in Plymouth, the Pilgrims wrote the Mayflower Compact; the rules of the settlement.  They chose John Carver to be their governor.  The first winter was rough; over half of the colonists died, including Governor Carver.  William Bradford was chosen as the new governor.  The Wampanoag were the native people in the area.  Their chief made contact with Bradford and a peace treaty was signed.  One Wampanoag man, Squanto, spoke English.  It was with his help that the colonists were able to survive.

Make the Saltbox House Craft.  Click the link to view or print the pattern and instructions for the craft.  We used crayons and watercolor paint to color the house.

Click the link to go to the Baroque Period on my website for FREE activities or to purchase the unit.