Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Where to Build a Colony" Lesson Plan

Where to Build a Colony Lesson Plan

In the lesson plan "Where to Build a Colony", developed by Linda Reeves of Pat Nixon Elementary School, students experience compromises needed to determine where to place the Jamestown Colony on a map of the region where the settlers landed. Students each simulate different professions of those reaching the American shores in 1606 and each must advocate for his position (e.g., the fisherman must advocate for being in the vicinity of a good fishing location whereas the entrepreneur must advocate for a location that might maximize gold prospects).

This lesson would fit well in a unit on Jamestown. Consider using "Jamestown Spies," a unit plan geared toward intermediate-level learners. Richards Maxwell developed it as part of a Virginia Teaching American History Grant. The unit includes several lessons, relying on numerous primary sources. Students work with bar graphs of supply lists, create charades to reinforce difficulties of the settlers and their interactions with Native Peoples, practice literacy skills while interpreting an etching by Theodore de Bry, and consider geography as they map John Smith's explorations of Virginia.

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