On the French Frontier 1700-1800

Teachers Level One

Learning Goals and Objectives--Grades 3 - 5

Voices and Choices--Ambroise Moreau
Note: It is a good idea to print Level One for easy reference.

Voices and Choices--Ambroise Moreau

Ambroise Moreau needs a table for his household. He has 10 bushels of wheat--the only surplus food that his farm produced this year--to trade for a table. What kind of table will he be able to afford--used, custom made, or home-made?


These themes can be explored with either a social studies or language arts curriculum. Use these themes to tie in other resources to your class discussion, i.e., other books, other cultures, students' own lives.


What do you think?

These questions which come at the end of each story, minus "the answer", can be used to start class discussions or be assigned as homework.

Are all of the things you own brand new? Have you ever traded something you owned for something you wanted?

Have your students bought used things from garage sales or thrift shops? Maybe students have older siblings who give them "hand-me-downs." Have students traded cards or objects with each other?

How do you purchase things that you need? How did the colonists purchase things?

Money was scarce in the colonies. Instead, colonists would trade goods that had the same relative monetary value. This is known as barter economics.

Where did their household objects come from? Where do yours come from?

Household objects were scarce in the colonies. Most people had to make their own furniture. Some of the colonists were trained artisans and could make things that people needed. Items, such as plates, crockery, and glassware, would have come from New Orleans in exchange for animal pelts or agricultural goods from the colonies. Estate sales made items available that were scarce or otherwise too expensive for most settlers to purchase.

Why would this table have been important to the Moreaus? Can you list all of the different things that might have taken place at this table?

A colonial house would have had very little furniture. A table would have provided a useful surface, and served as a reminder of the European way of life. They might have prepared and eaten meals at the table. Outside of meal time, the table would have been a place to play cards or would have served as a desk.

What is an estate sale? Have you ever been to one?

When a man or woman died, their possessions were usually sold in an estate sale. The profits of the estate sale were divided among the heirs. Estate sales exist today. They are usually publicized in a local newspaper or gazette (find one to show to your students).



These are suggested classroom activities and student projects that you may want to use with your students or as models to create your own.

1. Creating Estate Inventories:

Ambroise went to the estate sale of Marie Catherine Baron. Take a look at the inventory of her estate in Clues to the PastTeachers

2. Compare your inventory list with that of Marie Catherine Baron.

3. Map Activity



© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96