18th Century Trades 

Grades 2-5


Students will learn the names and products of 18th century American artisans. They will compare the crafts with their own possessions.


  • Job Cards: written descriptions of various trades (attachment 1)
  • Job Sheets: pictures of the products and craftsperson (attachment 2-11)
  • Popsicle sticks (or strips of paper) with name of trade or craft such as tailor or blacksmith


Class discussion about where everyday items come from (i.e., silverware, candles, furniture, food, pots, etc). Talk about the time before factories, automation, indoor plumbing, electricity.

Introduce the activity as a three way matching game. This can be modified to suit your classroom and style.

  1. Divide class into partnerships or small groups. Each group chooses a job card (description) from the pile and reads it aloud to the whole class. The class should spend some time discussing each job. Post each card on board or chart OR record each briefly on board for later use.
  2. In turn, each group selects a job sheet (picture) and a popsicle stick (name) and shows each to the whole class. The class has 30 seconds (your choice of time) to match the picture, the stick, and the card together. You may give points to the quickest teams.
  3. Once all of the cards, sticks and pictures have been matched, have students draw the product of the craft of their choosing (or your assignment.)

PA History Standards

8.1 (B,C); 8.2 (A,B,C,D); 8.3 (A,B,C)