3rd Grade - Social Studies

LESSON PROBLEM: History: In what year did American rice set the standard for rice around the world?


During the first century in North American colonies, the settlers found life very hard. Much of the settlers' time and energy were spent on learning how to live in the new land. The settlers brought with them Old World customs from Europe and England. As the settlers adjusted to the New World environment, some of the customs remained. Some had to change. And new customs were created. By the end of the 17th century, the colonies had developed and grown. The colonists had established themselves as people of a new land. They had developed a new society, different from that of Europe and England.

By the early 1720s, the population of the American colonists was 475,000. Boston (pop. 12,000) was the largest city, and then Philadelphia (pop. 10,000) and New York (pop. 7000). The country was still ruled by England. There were many laws that the colonists had to obey. Farming was one of the few things that the English would let the colonists do freely.

Farming was hard. To farm more land the colonists needed help. By 1725 the population of African slaves in the American colonies reached 75,000. The slaves helped the colonists build larger farms.

The first rice seeds were a gift to a farmer in Charleston, South Carolina. It became known as "Carolina Golde." When farmers began to irrigate and cultivate rice, the harvests grew. The slaves were very helpful because they knew how to farm rice from their native Africa. The shared this knowledge with the colonists.

Six years before George Washington was born in 1732, the colonists in South Carolina and Georgia were busy growing lots of rice. By 1726 "Carolina Golde" was the world standard for the best rice. Rice was one of the few things the colonists were allowed to export.

The colonists were mostly farmers. There were many unjust laws which made life hard for the colonists. The British would not let the colonists manufacture and sell the goods they needed. Goods were shipped from England. Colonists had to pay high taxes on the goods. The colonists were forced to make their own clothing, furniture and tools. Working with their hands was considered dignified and honorable in most of the colonies. Rice farms played an important part in the early history of America.


Fold a paper in four parts. Draw four pictures that show the life of the early Colonists.


If you lived during Colonial times, how would you spend your day? Write at least five sentences that tell what a day in Colonial South Carolina would be like. Draw a picture to go with your sentences.


  • century
  • adjusted
  • established
  • popultion
  • society
  • irrigate
  • cultivate
  • standard
  • unjust
  • manufacture
  • goods
  • dignified
  • honorable

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
American Rice:
More than 90% of the rice eaten in the United States is grown by U.S. farmers.
Click here to learn more about where Rice is grown in the United States.
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