Colonial Virginia
Colonial Virginia - Wrapup
/ Task

Exploring Artifacts
Elementary
I love the idea of using artifacts to support what life was like in Colonial Virginia. There are websites that have large collections of objects. I would love for students to receive sets of objects (photographs would be okay) to explore and determine what they may have been used for or how they helped to make life easier or more comfortable for Colonial Virginians. After allowing students to view "collections" and discuss, they could go onto a website (such as https://historicjamestowne.org/) and revamp their hypothesis. Rather than just viewing objects and telling the students what they were used for, this would be much more interesting. I am glad that this course begins each section with a hypothesis because it reminds me that my students should be doing the same!
African-American History
High
I may be teaching an elective course on African-American History this year. High school students tend to assume that slavery began in the southern colonies rather than in the Spanish occupied Caribbean and Central America. In addition, it is important for my students to understand the motivations for transitioning from using indentured servants to using slaves in colonial Virginia.
Colonial Virginia
Elementary
In the classroom, we would look at artifacts from the time and discuss what they are and how they would be used (i.e., the hoe). Students would answer the question: How/why would this be used in Virginia? We would also discuss ways farmers/plantation owners could make their farms/plantations bigger and grow more crops. What would they need to do this? Were they worried about the conditions their workers (indentured servants or slaves) were working under? Why or why not? Did the workers do anything to make their difficulties know? and finally, we would discuss the answer to this question: How did all of this help Virginia to grow?
Artifact analysis
Middle
An artifact (like a hoe) has so much to tell. I certainly will bring in pieces of material culture to represent the eras I teach.
4th grade teacher
Elementary
I think the best way to teach about Colonial Virginia is through the use of primary resources, whenever possible. Virtual museum visits will serve as the next best to primary resources. I will have my students journal from a first person of view of the colonists, then the point of view from the enslaved. Followed by a Venn Diagram where students will compare and contrast their personal journal writings. Students will then present their Venn Diagrams to class with time for questions by classmates.
Maps From the Past Reveal More Than Just a Place
Elementary
Show some of the earliest maps of Virginia side-by-side with a current map. Together, the class will look to see if any place names on the current map could be traced to original Native tribes or the early colonists. Then, ask students to determine WHY each map was constructed. What was the intent of the mapmaker? As we learned in this module, some of the earliest maps not only strove for accuracy, but they also emphasized certain features to entice new settlers to Virginia. Share this information with students. Some of the earliest maps of Virginia were more than maps -- they were a a form of advertisement to attract settlers. These early maps were also designed to appease the concerns of investors, such as the Virginia Company of London, that the venture was worth the risks.
Nathaniel Bacon - Hero or Villian?
High
Bacon's Rebellion can easily be seen as a springboard into many of the same issues that led to the American Revolution, so I would like my students to delve a little bit more deeply into this topic. They could be given various documents; his declaration, thoughts/writings of governor Berkley, reports of the actions/treatment of Native Virginians by both sides; perhaps thoughts/writings of individuals who followed Bacon, etc. After examining the documents, students could create a lists of his positive and negative actions/characteristics and write short arguments about how he should be remembered in Virginia history. To bring it into the modern day we could also compare/contrast the symbolism and memory of Bacon with other significant Virginians and Americans. How are they remembered similarly and differently? How does our interpretation of these individuals serve to create the history that we tell ourselves?
Land Ownership
High
I would look further into the land disbursement and the economic relationship between the Virginia Company and settlers. I would look further into the economic relationships and present those to the classroom helping go beyond events and dates.
Colonial Virginia Development
High
I would show a series of short videos describing the conditions and contacts between European and Virginia Indians. Documents from both groups would also be distributed for student observation. Following this, a discussion with the class will ensue where the class will come away with a better understanding of both groups and the impact on present day Virginia.
Colonial Virginia in the Civics and Economics Classroom
Middle
Bacon's Rebellion and its effect on government (reforms that resulted) does not currently get any attention in the Founding Documents and Principles unit. Many of the accusations against Governor Berkely would be used nearly a century later against King George III. The dismal survival rate and it's later stabilization could serve other classes well in explaining England's shift from indentured servitude to slavery.
Material Culture in the High School Classroom
High
I think the use of physical objects to investigate the lives and cultures of early Virginians is something that would catch the interest of my students. I might ask my students to choose from a list of colonial Virginia artifacts, and have them research and analyze the artifact to determine what this object says about life in early Virginia.
Colonial Virginia In my Classroom
Elementary

I would have the students play “King James May We” The kids will pretend to be the Virginia Company. The teacher (me) would be King James. The students make a request and the teacher can determine whether to say yes or no. This would emulate how King James made charters to settle in North America. This was an idea by Katie Christiansen (a person on Teachers Pay Teachers). I would have my students pretend to be a colonist coming from England on a ship. I would do virtual learning to simulate what it would be like on a ship. This would be an introduction into our new lesson. I would have them try to picture what it would be like in Colonial Virginia. I would bring artifacts and have the students work with a buddy to determine what the object is and what they might have used it for. I would have them tell me one hidden meaning behind it. Afterwards we would look at John Smith’s map and a map today of the same area. We would compare and contrast them to see what was important to them in the past and what is important to us today. This would be just the tip of the iceberg of stuff I would do. I find real life things (artifacts), relating things to students' life, and field trips (or virtual field trips) helpful for expanding my students' learning.
How Virginia Became an Economically Successful Colony
Middle
Introduce the object of the hoe and ask questions about what it might be and how might it have been used. Once the students come up with a farming idea, discuss what kind of crops grow well in Virginia. Give them a copy of Capt. James Smith's map of Virginia and have them identify the James River and Chesapeake Bay. Poll students on how many of them have been to either of those places or other places in Virginia. Question them on what types of products do they know of that are grown in Virginia.
Applying Lessons Learned
High
Agriculture/tobacco beginings, indentured servants, the headright system, Bacons Rebellion, and the growth of institutional racial slavery.
Indentured Servitude in the Virginia Colony
Elementary
In a 4th or 5th grade classroom, students could learn about the role of indentured servants in colonizing Virginia. After learning about the concept of indentured servitude, students could hypothesize about what it would be like to be an indentured servant in the early days of the colony. Next they could read the letter from the indentured servant to his parents. They could work with a partner or a small group to discuss their hypothesis in the context of the first-person account, and they could compare and contrast their ideas with what they learned about in the letter.
Music Education
High
Jazz! Jazz is considered "America's music", as it's earliest forms come from slaves singing work songs in the tobacco fields. The earliest forms of jazz did not sound like we know it to sound today. Slaves would sing songs in the fields to help pass the time and create comradery. Over time, these songs spread to different parts of the country, and evolved over the years. It's important for music students to understand how and when the jazz form really started. That will help students better understand the progression of the style to what we know it as today.
3rd grade teacher Smyth County
Elementary
I would have my students explore the idea of becoming an indentured servant-pros and cons. Moving from this segment of study I would have them explore the economics of moving from indentured servants to slavery.
What Is This?
Elementary
In this module, I pondered what the object was at the beginning of the lesson. I think that students would greatly benefit from trying to figure how an artifact was utilized as well as its significance in the history of Virginia. Elementary school students love to be involved in any sort of activity that permits them to create hypotheses. I could incorporate this into their Mathematics lessons as well by giving them choices as to what an object could possibly be and then graphing the percentages. At their age, they enjoy surveys and the examination of data sets. Any cross-curricular connections that can be made are beneficial. The illustration of objects truly helps students make those importance historical connections.
SCIM-C
Middle
I would use the SCIM-C model for students to compare sources such as slave advertisements and the minutes from the Virginia House of Burgess on inter-racial relations to express how racial slavery and the dehumanizing of Africans began in the English colonies.
Colonial Virginia - Who lived there?
Elementary
The information obtained in this lesson gives me greater insight into the lives of slaves and indentured servants and the hardships they faced in Virginia. I would have the students compare and contrast the lives of all groups that lived in colonial Virginia. I would also focus on the survival of the colony based on the odds that were against it.
4th grade teacher - Colonial Virginia
Elementary
I will definitely use primary source material such as the letter from Richard Frethorne, the letter from Nathaniel Bacon, and the slavery advertisements. These documents help make history come alive and feel relevant. Just saying times were tough does not have the same impact as reading the Richard Frethorne's letter. Discussing slavery does not have the same emotional impact as seeing the advertisements from slave auctions. Bacon's Rebellion was something I remember learning about, but I did not feel the emotion that I did when reading his document. For each unit I will need to gather primary source material for students to examine, discuss, and debate. This will make the notes more relevant and aid in their understanding of history.
Analyze Primary Sources for Indentured Servants vs. Slaves
Elementary
I think the use of primary source documents to compare and contrast indentured servitude and slavery would be a valuable tool to help students comprehend the differences between the two institutions. I think there is a misconception regarding slavery and the institution that developed. Students would benefit from comparing and contrasting the two institutions.
What happened in Colonial Virginia
Elementary
I would use several approaches in teaching more about this in my classroom. First, I would share the information through several conduits, like reading to them, sharing short video clips, sharing primary sources, pictures of objects from that time period, and analyzing maps. I would then allow the students to create a map using a set rubric of information and share it.
I could also have students listen to the laws from that time period and have them debate over it. Students like to interact and engage in learning and why not be a part of the debate? There could also be a debate on the information that is given about the settlers and the already natives and have a debate on who they think is right, the settlers or the Natives.

Students like to share creativity. I would allow the students a choice of either working in small groups to create a skit about what happened. I would make a rubric so the students would know what to put in the skit. The students would have to do some research and get the skit approved before presenting to the class. I would want it to be accurate and from the perspective in which it was designed for. I would also allow the students who have stage fright to have the option of designing a piece of art that depicts what life was like for the Indians or the early settlers. There would be a rubric to help the students.
I have learned the more engaged the students are in history, the more the tend to like it and want to learn more.
Colonial Virginia
Elementary
One lesson I would do in my classroom is to have students research 3 physical objects that give insight to the lives of one of the groups of people in Colonial Virginia (i.e., slaves, indentured servants, Native Virginians, etc.)/
Population and Politics
High
Handout copies of Virginia government documents associated with land ownership, indentured servitude, marriage laws and slavery for students to read and then discuss the development of class structure and servitude associated with Virginia economic and population growth.
Colonial Virginia-The birthplace of English representative government
High
I think the fact that English representative Government began in Virginia, as well as the fact that Virginia became the most populous and many say the most important state, are 2 facts I want to emphasize to my students.
My students would first research some famous names they know of members of the original House of Burgesses. The next step would be to create a list of the characteristics these men had in common(wealth, stature etc.)
Students would create alternative personalities of members; being sure to include women, people of color, all levels of class structure and wealth. How would the House of Burgesses have functioned with these new representatives? Could it have saved Virginia hundreds of years of white male exultation? Would the group have been able to work together on issues in a cohesive manner?
Lastly, students will meet in small groups to discuss their answers to the above questions and questions of their own creation.
English 11
High
I really liked the idea of the object and how it contributed to history / story. I would like to brainstorm with students about the possible stories that come from the objects and have them write a written response from the point of view of someone owning, using, suffering, or benefiting from the object.
New World Order
High
It might be interesting to have students complete a project wherein they have to establish a colony. They would be presented with several problems, including financial difficulties, warfare, disease, drought, etc. It could be done as a computer game/simulation similar to "The Oregon Trail." The students could then compare their choices with those made by the English.
Colonial Virginia
High
I would sequence events in the development of colonial Virginia using artifacts and primary sources. I would focus on the relationship of the early colonists and the Native Virginians and how the relationship turned hostile. I would also focus on how Virginia went from indentured servitude to slavery.
Indentured Servant versus Enslaved Africans
Elementary
In US History to 1865, I teach a unit about centering around the reasons English colonies were established in North America. Those reasons center around economics or religion.









After teaching about the colonies, I would have students use a compare/contrast chart comparing the advantages of using an indentured servant versus an enslaved African American. Also I would have students discuss in groups why did Virginia and other colonies transition from depending on slavery rather than indentured servitude. Possible questions to think about would include: what events could have led to the transition? (political or necessity, etc.), what transpired in the colonies from the time the first Africans arrived to the 18th century etc.) Answers could also be expressed in a cause and effect chart.



A day in the Life
Elementary
As a small group, we would read books on their instructional level about Jamestown. After discussing in length about what life was like for the people, I would have the students choose to write about their day in the life during that time from the POV of the person they are representing. For example, someone may write what their life is like as a slave. Another may write about life as an Indian, using the information from the text. Afterwards, they could read it to the group for the others to guess who they are.
A day in the Life
Elementary
As a small group, we would read books on their instructional level about Jamestown. After discussing in length about what life was like for the people, I would have the students choose to write about their day in the life during that time from the POV of the person they are representing. For example, someone may write what their life is like as a slave. Another may write about life as an Indian, using the information from the text. Afterwards, they could read it to the group for the others to guess who they are.
The Roots of Slavery in Virginia
Middle
This module brought to mind a book I read as an undergraduate. The book was American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan. Morgan makes much of Bacon's Rebellion and the subsequent "reforms" as marking a turning point in the history of Virginia, namely the entrenchment of enslaved, African labor as the main source of labor in Virginia's plantation economy.

As a U.S. II teacher, the content contained in this module isn't something I am expected to directly teach. However, I can use this insight to inform my teaching of the late Civil War/Reconstruction Era. It makes sense to me to illustrate that there were centuries of slavery in Virginia(America) before the Civil War. So, it makes sense that there would be massive resistance to a new understanding of citizenship post Civil War.
Labor
High
This section would set up a good discussion on the division of labor in society and its related justice/injustice to the parties involved. Clearly, no one would choose to wield that old rusty hoe all day in the hot Virginia sun, so those who had power imposed the labor on those who did not. Initially, this was done through indenture. Eventually, it was done by chattel slavery informed by systemic racism. While this system eventually fell in America, are there current parallels between then and now in re. the gaps between CEO pay and the pay of laborers/immigrants in America today? Do those groups enjoy different sets of legal rights and privileges? Such questions could spark spirited class discussions.
Archaeology analysis
High
Looking at an archaeology site can tell us so much about a location. I would have the students take a virtual tour of Jamestown and then also look at the documents that talked about early settlement, similar to the ones we looked at, and have them draw conclusions about who, what, where, when, and then also, would they go? What were the pros and cons of going to Jamestown. Would it be good to go as a man v. as a woman. We could also determine the role of women at the beginning of the colonization of this country.
Colonial Virginia
Middle
Teach that the Native's relationship with the settlers started out good, but went down hill quickly as settlers wanted more from the Natives.
The settlers must have had a tremendous desire to leave England or they would not have done so with the very low survival rate in the colonies.
Indentured servitude was in place before slavery to provide the labor needed.
Tobacco became the money crop for the settlers as they did not find the silver and gold they were looking for.
Bacon's Rebellion, though likely inadvertently, created a rise in slave labor in the colony.
Despite their hardships the surviving settlers accomplished the first elected assembly in the Americas and laid the ground work for a prosperous economy in the future.
Jamestown Cookie Dig
Middle
I would like to visit Jamestown with my students to learn more about the archaeology and difficulties faced by the English in settling the swampy land with brackish water. I would like to set up a cookie dig before our visit to show how archaeologist grid sections and carefully dig and map artifacts.Then we can examine what was found and how it relates to our studies.
Colonial Virginia
High
I would use this information to show how the Economics system of Indentured servants and slavery would lay the foundation of various Economic Classes. I would use Bacon Rebellion to show students how the wealthy land owners feared poor whites and blacks coming together. This was i'm sure powerful , that Econ class would bind these races together
Teacher
High
I thing it is important to understand the hardships that early colonists faced and how this impacted the development of the colony early on. I also think it is important to fully explain to students the development of the overall labor system in VA and show how, for example, indentured servitude led to slavery, and how over time the economic realities of the colony changed.
Jamestown in the Virginia Studies Classroom
Elementary
One of my students favorite things about Virginia Studies is when the Jamestown Foundation visits our classroom to show replicas of items used at the Jamestown Colony and discuss details of Jamestown from the founding of the colony in 1607 to the arrival of Africans in 1619. The foundation will bring tradition clothing, tools, cookware, and tobacco that would have been found at the Jamestown colony. Students are enriched in details of survival, the relationships between the colonists and the Powhatan Indians, and the arrival of certain groups of people (Africans and women) to the colony.
While completing this module I was brainstorming ways in which to incorporate primary sources and other tangible items into our daily instruction of Jamestown and Colonial Virginia. Maps, letters, and other artifacts would be important to use for students to see different perspectives of colonial Virginia and understand why some displayed the colony as thriving when many were dying of starvation and diseases. This would lead to a classroom discussion about wealth and why England wanted to prevent potential travelers to the New World from gaining information about the hardships faced.
Colonial Virginia Field Trip and Reflection Essay
Elementary
One way that I might apply Colonial Virginia into my future classroom would be to facilitate a field trip to a museum that demonstrates artifacts and presentations on Colonial Virginia. This would be beneficial to kinestetic, visual and interpersonal learners who learn best via movement, pictures and in groups. On this field trip, students can view real artifacts and learn from real historians about the different cultures that interacted long ago. After the field trip to the museum, students would have to reflect and write a few paragraphs on what they learned about Colonial Virginia during the trip to ensure mastery and comprehension of some of Colonial Virginia's lifestyles.
Colonial Virginia
High
My curriculum would focus more upon the establishment of the House of Burgesses, but even that topic fits into an overall narrative of opportunism and necessity being a common theme for the Colonial Virginia narrative. Various topics that range from overselling the potential of the colony, to allowing representative democracy to entice immigrants, to usurping lands from Native Americans due to their inability to properly salvage corn for seeds, to responding to the plight of the non-elite only after a rebellion, to the shift from indentured servitude to slavery, each have some connection to opportunism and necessity for the continued existence of the colony.
Using Virginia's Artifacts in the Classroom
High
I would take students to a historical site such as Jamestown and have them analyze various artifacts such as the hoe, blacksmith tools, tobacco pipes, clothing, and the ship. Also, they would examine documents from Gov. Berkley and the 1662 law about slavery. I want them using the KWL method to analyze each object or document. They would have guiding questions to assist them with historical thinking.
Life and Times in a colonial settlement in Virginia
High
I would take tools that are used for farming or find just the blade of a till or a plow and bring that into the class. I would have each student hypothesis what the item is and what it would be used for today and then what it was used for when it was made. Also I would have them look at all the many uses that these tools had and how they were used to help advance the settlements.
Artifacts from Colonial America
Elementary
It is important for students to investigate and learn about the material objects used during the colonial times and how important they were to the survival of the people and the colony. One class activity that I have always enjoyed is having teachers from the Jamestown Settlement come and bring artifacts to the classroom for students to see, touch and hold in a classroom lesson. These lessons are a great teaching tool for both teachers and students.
CAROLYNH
Elementary
I think the information is good to know as a teacher. However, our standards in first grade does not teach the information learned about Colonial Virginia. ( Tobacco Growth and Slave Trade) However, bringing in objects from the past to connect to the present could be a possible way to expose my students and connect them to objects to deepen their understanding.
Colonial Virginia
Elementary
The uprising of Bacon was interesting and would need to be told to my students to understand some of the conditions this early period. I would also want them to read the letter that was written by the son who was barely surviving and most let them be aware of the place of a woman in society. Things have certainly changed today and I would hold a discussion about ways that the students see have changed.
Colonial Virgina
Elementary
I still have a couple more days before the Jamestown test. I have already saved two of the videos from this section to show to my students and delve deeper into what really happened. I also plan to do a writing activity to cross over into language arts on acting as if they are an indentured servant or slave or gentleman and write to their family back home in England.
The Cost of a New Settlement
Elementary
To give students the idea of how much the Virginia Company of London had to invest I set up an activity where students have to use a budget to get supplies. The supplies include things such as tools, weapons, food and clothing. They have to be mindful of things they need to survive and build the things they need. Students have to be thrifty so their invested don't get too upset.
Virginia changing over time
Middle
Listing all of the changes Virginia went through over its lifetime. Showing the differences in each type of people who lived here and the sets of hardships they endured. Taking time to compare and contrast eras. Using power points and videos done to exhibit facts. We have an enormous amount of history in our state and taking some field trips should add to the wonder. I think that students will find it most interesting and fun to explore.
Jamestown Image Flood
Elementary
As a hook to our unit on Jamestown, I would like to do a Jamestown "Image Flood." This is where I would gather several images (primary sources) and have the students analyze each one with a group. I would give them time to discuss/debate and have them make hypotheses on how each object is significant. Over the course of the unit, I would go back and have the students revisit the objects to see if they still have the same thinking or if their thoughts about the object has changed. At the end of the unit, we would revisit one more and confirm what each object is and the significance it played during colonial times.
Help on the plantation
Middle
Noting the changes over time for new land owners in VA. From Native American, to new arrivals of indentured servants, and finally to black slaves as a workforce for the landowner.
Help on the plantation
Middle
Noting the changes over time for new land owners in VA. From Native American, to new arrivals of indentured servants, and finally to black slaves as a workforce for the landowner.
Snuff box
Elementary
Using a picture of the engraved snuffbox found here https://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater/exhibition/1_3.html
students would journal what they thought the item was and what it was used for.
We would then identify and discuss what snuff was, the uses for it in colonial Virginia and the growing and manufacture of it. I would show the Ketcherall's and Fords tobacco labels also found above and have the students observe them in groups making conclusions and then coming together as a class to discuss their findings.
Colonial Virginia
High
I think that it would be very interesting to have the students start from the beginning. By pretending they work for the Virginia Company of England and just had a charter approved by the king. What would be there plan? Who would they send? What would they send? What would be their goals for the colonists?
Colonial Virginia
Elementary
Students should have a variety of hands on materials to touch and explore. I would have students compare and contrast life then and now. It would be interesting to get some reproduction tools that they are able to themselves try out, such as the gardening tools. It would give students a more realistic idea of what it was like back then to plant and harvest.
Richlands High School Tazewell County Public Schools
High
I think that I could use this to show the Columbian exchange. Kids today are pretty far removed from indigenous technologies, that they don't understand the wealth of knowledge that Europeans had over Natives, or the dichotomy of how Natives could offer Europeans a wealth of knowledge based off experience.
Points of View
Elementary
It is important for students to understand the different points of view during colonial times. Have the students do a simple compare and contrast of the life of each person during colonial times (land, owners, servants, slaves) They could so some research, do some play acting. Each group could present their findings to the entire class.
Travel through Time
Elementary
I would have the students create a timeline and bar graph. The timeline would contain the dates and what happened - example: 1607 Jamestown, 1619 Africans arrive, 1622 Powhatans attack.

The graph would show the population of people in the Virginia Colony throughout the years. The students could analyze and discuss the changes in the population using both.

I believe it would help my fourth graders understand just how difficult it was to survive and all the different groups of people and cultures it took to survive and the changes made to succeed.
Colonial Virginia
Elementary
It is important for students to know that disease and starvation was the number one reason that the colony couldn't flourish. Not until tobacco was introduced as a cash crop and not until indentured servitude was implemented in Colonial Virginia. It is also important to teach students they the do indeed have a voice and I would discuss Bacon's Rebellion with them.
Bacon's Rebellion
High
I would definitely want to do a lesson on Bacon's Rebellion to look more closely at its causes and consequences. Ideally, I would begin by having the students look at a painting of the rebellion by Sidney King (or something similar) and asking what they notice about the picture and how these things might relate to the event. I would incorporate “Bacon's Rebellion: The Declaration,” having students read through it in small groups or with partners to answer questions (looking to pull out Bacon's ideas) and to brainstorm as to why Bacon gained so many followers. Depending on the time and grade level of students, we might talk about the make-up of Bacon's militia (black and white indentured servants and slaves) and the rebellion's affects on slavery. Otherwise, we could look at power struggles between Bacon and Berkeley and how it almost led to the destruction of Jamestown.
Colonial Virginia
Middle
As mentioned in the last unit, I want to incorporate the map created by John Smith. In this unit, I want to add to that map analysis the idea of what England wanted in the early years. It was interesting that they were following the pattern of the Spanish and wanting to meet with various tribes of Native Americans to gain items for trade and wealth. The idea of taking over the land doesn't gain traction until after the success of tobacco and laws are changed allowing ownership of land. At that point, it becomes more conflicting with Native Americans as colonists begin taking over more of their land.
I also want to use the statistics given such as how many people came to Jamestown and yet how many people survived. Also, I would point out the percentage of people who were or had been indentured servants as well as the population numbers between colonists and enslaved Africans in the mid to late 1700's.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School Roanoke City
Middle
I learned quite a bit about Colonial Virginia, especially about indentured servants vs. slaves. I did not realize that the lifestyles of indentured servants was so terrible.
I would like students to evaluate some of these primary sources such as pictures, ads, letters, etc and have students compare and contrast lives of the indentured servants vs. the slaves in Virginia.

Discuss and explain bias and propaganda in primary sources.
Colonial Virginia
Adult Education
Colonists were closely connected to the land for their livelihood. Land owners (with significant holdings) controlled most of the formal political and economic power in Colonial Virginia. Laborers and servants had restricted economic independence; therefore, white male landowners were in power. Due to the economic influence of cash crops, early colonists moved quickly from indentured servitude to slavery. Owning people, caused irreversible moral, societal, cultural, political and economic ramifications.
As educators, when talking about Colonial Virginia and looking particularly at cash crops . . . we must consider the various viewpoints: white (influential) male landowners, poor white landowners, women, Native Virginians, indentured servants, and slaves.
Since tobacco became the first (successful) crop in Virginia, looking at early tobacco farming tools would be beneficial. Currently, the rage in antique shopping is purchasing a genuine tobacco basket. I have old one hanging in my house (and we have no land ties to growing tobacco in my family). There are many stores that sell (reproduction) tobacco baskets and all the "farmhouse" designers use them in their decor. This would be a great teaching tool to utilize in the classroom. Whether you bring in and discuss a primary source (original tobacco basket) or a secondary source (reproduction basket) . . . it could make history come alive in the classroom.
A Day in the Life of a Colonial Child
Elementary
In Virginia we have access to so much regarding colonial Virginia. In the classroom, students need to be able to relate to history by seeing and doing. ( This lesson assumes that the students have been to or at least have seen film on Jamestown and how and why it grew.)

Day 1: Field trip to Mount Vernon - observing and investigating housing, cooking, tools, games, how slaves lived on the plantation. Complete essay: If I lived on Mount Vernon Plantation during the Colonial period, on any given day, I would see, hear, taste, smell...

Day Two: This Land is My Land. Agriculture: Who, How, Why? Plant seeds back in classroom. Debate: Whose land is it?

Day 3: Let's Play a Game: Linking present day games to games Colonial children played.

Day 4: A Colonial Celebration: Students dress in colonial garb and share a Colonial celebration.
Nothing Is Ever As Easy As It Seems
Elementary
The dark side of Colonization is a reality that students of all backgrounds should know. In my classroom, I feel it is important that students realize that any thing worth having is worth working for. There isn't any easy way to teach students about starvation or disease, indentured servitude or slavery, but these are all hurdles faced by the early settlers. The times were so different from now, but because of the fortitude and tenacity of the Colonists, a new Nation was brought forth, and I feel that what we have created as an American Society, although not perfect in any way, is a great place to call home. My students could consider the positions of unemployed Englishmen looking to start a new life with very little, but taking a risk. They may want to reflect on what it may feel like to be whisked from your home and placed on a ship sailing off away from their families to live in a foreign land where they may only live by working for someone with only food and shelter as their payment. Some may even choose to identify with Native Americans who were encroached upon, and pushed off of their lands by the Colonists. All positions with hardship, death, and very little to look forward to. But when we look to the future, to what have now, we may compare and contrast the positives and negatives. We could make a Pro and Cons list of the past and the present. We need to let our students realize that no matter how bad things are in our own lives, there is always someone else who has it worse. These comparisons help us appreciate what is ours and show us hope.
Is it fair?
High
To piggy back off of 10th grade English curriculum’s second unit on What are we fighting for? You could use the indentured servants and slavery to discuss is it fair? What were the native Americans fighting for? What were the settlers fighting for? This would be a great Hypocratic discussion circle discussion.
Colonists in Second Grae
Elementary
Second graders really enjoy learning about real world things. I think comparing and contrasting the two cultures that clashed in Jamestown would be a good activity for students to better understand what happened in Jamestown. Using pictures of the Native American Cultures and comparing to pictures of the Colonists, students can see how each culture helped each other. Using a Simple Venn Diagram students can begin to compare the two cultures. This can be done with various small groups and findings can be presented to the class. One group can look at housing. Another group can look at transportation. The other group can look at jobs, etc. It can also be done as a whole group.
Growth of Colonial Virginia
Middle
Since it would be important for students to understand significant differences the lifestyle and social position of the elites, landowners, and indentured servants, I would assign a comparison research activity. Students would research the lifestyle, social position, and jobs of each of the three major classes of individuals in colonial Virginia and write a comparison and contrast essay elaborating on the varying similarities and differences that existed between the classes during this time period. This would better help them understand colonial Virginia.
4th Grade Teacher
Elementary
4th graders have an entire SOL units on Native Americans, Jamestown, Colonial Life and learn about how artifacts help us to uncover more information about the lives of the settlers, Native Americans and others who traveled from across seas. The artifacts that are found help us to learn about their lives, their social interactions, and how they evolved over time. By sharing these images and, if possible, the physical objects, students can make observations and draw these conclusions based on their experiences, understandings, and creativity. They can then think like historians!
7th grade Colonial Virginia
Middle
I will apply this in the classroom by ensuring the students understand the struggles of the early colonists and how the settlement almost failed. I will mention the change in the land ownership laws in 1619 and how that attracted a lot more people. We will then connect that to the rise in indentured servants and then the "transition" to slavery.
From Indentured Servitude to Slave Labor
Middle
I found the explanation about the economy of colonial Virginia changing from indentured servitude to slave labor (from early 1600s to mid 1700s) to be a useful component of teaching colonies to middle schoolers. I usually describe indentured servitude briefly in this unit, explaining how people had their ship passage paid for to the New World in exchange for working for a period of years after that to pay off the debt. What I will add going forward, however, is the larger concept of the economy of a particular society being built literally on the backs of impoverished people. In Virginia's case, it was poor white English people for whom passage in exchange for a new opportunity seemed like a good deal (though for many it was a brutal existence, as evidenced by the letter in this module), but with the availability and advertisement of slaves ships from Africa (and discontent of white servants such as Nathaniel Bacon, the work (agricultural) economy transitioned to an even more impoverished work force in the form of slaves, who were regarded as property and not human beings.
Colonial Virginia
Elementary
I am going to rethink my entire approach to Colonial Virginia. I will apply my new found understanding of servitude to the curriculum. I think it is important for students to understand the process that it took to form the institution of slavery. I think that slavery is such a shocking concept to teach students that it would be better understood if I included the rich details from this module into the curriculum.
Textiles and Tobacco Connections to where I live and work in Modern Virginia
Middle
In my Re-Think part of this module, I mention the colonial outfit I see on the homepage as the other artifact / example of material culture that I "connect to." And I apologize that I'm referring to that when it seems that this clothing will be in the next section. In my "World Connections" course, we make connections to tobacco and textiles, as these were major commodities of the Danville City/Pittsylvania County region clear up until the past twenty years or so. I have found that plant-examples (like a tobacco leaf or cotton plants) and articles of clothing that kids can see and touch first-hand help draw them into the story and guide them into making their own connections to their own families' histories with tobacco and textiles. We also, in my World Connections class, make connections as to why these commodities have almost completely disappeared due to the textile industries going to China and tobacco falling into disfavor for health reasons.
World Connections
Middle
In my Re-Think part of this module, I mention the artifact
Colonial Virginia
Elementary
I have already taught the colonial Virginia unit in my classroom, but our 20th century unit is beginning this week. I plan on reviewing the agricultural history of Virginia and tying it into the industrialized 20th century and how the abolishing of slavery changed the work force in the tobacco industry. The 20th century brought forth civil rights and women's suffrage in Virginia, which will follow a review of colonial life well.
Colonial Virginia
Middle
I would, as I have in the past, show De Bry's engraving which did play up a plentiful land ready for the taking by the Englishmen. It built on the hopes and dreams of investors from the Virginia Company wanting to find riches. I would also use the primary document of the indentured servant begging his parents to pay off his servitude which really showed just how bad things were in the New World.
Life in colonial Virginia
Elementary
Life for men and women in colonial Virginia varied greatly among social classes. An activity to help students understand this would be for them to recreate it. I would have each student randomly choose or draw a role. This could be a small landowner, a plantation owner, a slave, an indentured servant, an African woman or an African child. Giving them a set of prompts or questions, each student would research what problems and conditions these individuals may have faced and write about them in first person. They would then present what they learned and gleaned from the activity to the class.
Settling Virginia
Middle
I believe using the prints of the engravings by De Bry in the classroom will help students understand the attraction the Englishmen had for coming to the New World. Understanding what was depicted in the paintings versus reality for the colonists once they arrived will be memorable. Using the primary documents to allow students to decipher and read those first hand accounts will give the students a better feel for what life was like. Finding a DBQ unit on the settlement of Jamestown would be the best as it guides questions and allows students to analyze those types of documents.
Bacon's Rebellion
Middle
Since I think Bacon's Rebellion tends to be skipped over quickly without students understanding the issues at hand, I would like to tie it into my Civics class. It would be interesting to have students research the causes of the rebellion and to decide whether it was really a rebellion directed against a corrupt government or whether it was mostly just poorer citizens trying to make a land grab at the expense of the natives. This could be done in a (tightly controlled and monitored) debate format. Students could then see that the development of Virginia's government did not just go in a straight line from Jamestown to the Revolution, but had to struggle and adapt along the way.
Colonial Virginia
Middle
Too often our curriculum focuses on the people with power and how others relate to them. I need to do a better job telling the stories of women indentured servants and free and enslaved blacks in the colonies.
Applying information about Colonial Virginia
Elementary
It is important for students to investigate and learn about the material objects used during the colonial times and how important they were to the survival of the people and the colony. One class activity that I have always enjoyed is having teachers from the Jamestown Settlement come and bring artifacts to the classroom for students to see, touch and hold in a classroom lesson. These lessons are a great teaching tool for both teachers and students.
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Comments

I think so many people have a great concept, and a zeal for creativity. I love the different approaches analytically speaking as to how others perceive this information. I think that this would really benefit kids and build up their working knowledge.

Zford I agree about Bacon's Rebellion! It gets skipped so quickly. Maybe doing a primary source analysis of the document that we received in this lesson or maybe some other documents that may be easier to read that deal with Bacon's Rebellion that are primary sources would be a good way to have students gain understanding of this event.

Nothing is ever as easy as it sounds....
You hit the nail on the head! It’s difficult to have the students really understand what it took to make a new life here in the colonies. I love the idea of making a pro and con list. I think I will do that with my 6th graders while we are moving through the Great Depression at this time of the school year.

4th Grade VS teacher here too! I love your ideas and we try to incorporate artifact investigations into each unit as well :) Love VA history!

Love your Then and Now Comment. We had a showcase of Then and Now with a museum when I taught Kindergarten and those real objects really deepened our students understanding of change over time. As a grade level we had multiple teachers and a vast range of ages so the objects were endless. The students researched the objects and we had stations where the students had to explain each item. The students created posters to advertise their museum/station and students were given clipboards as they went to each museum/station. It was a wonderful afternoon of learning.

I like Rebecca's idea of comparing and contrasting tools of colonial Virginia to today's tools. Students will get an idea of how hard agricultural life was in comparison to today.

I have thought about how difficult life must have been using the tools during colonial Virginia, but I never thought about comparing and contrasting to present day tools. Love this! I also think this can lead into some really great conversations.

My takeaway from this module was how much detail on slavery and settlement was in Colonial Virginia. Knowing that there were specific laws put into place for issues like races intermarrying and owning property shows the rapid growth of the New World when the settlers made it to Jamestown. They worked hard and fast to expand their influence and culture, even at the cost of making other races and people groups feel insignificant. Understanding these previous lifestyles can help my students and I to realize that we can work just as hard as the settlers did but to be more compassionate when interacting with other people groups too.

Something I learned from this module that I had not realized was the amount of laws placed upon slavery and slave ownership. A lot of good information was found in the module that can be incorporated into my daily Virginia Studies lessons to create opportunities for classroom discussion.

I actually would try to go into greater depth on this. I also found it interesting as some did. Like to focus on some primary sources with this lesson. Really was an Economic uprising

I was fortunate in having a professor who had gathered up a lot of old tools that would have been used at that time.
I hate to admit it, but I had not connected Bacon's Rebellion with increase in slavery.
The hardship of these early settlers should not be understated.

Has anyone had experience with doing these? I would love to plan to have one in the first week of school to be able to work on colonialism. With the virus, I am guessing that field trips are not going to happen, especially at the beginning of the school year. Any tips would be helpful!

I love the idea of the cookie dig. Archeology is a very hands-on way to teach the skills embedded in U.S. I. I also appreciate the idea of having students create timelines and bar graphs to better understand the difficulty of survival.

I enjoyed reading other teachers' ideas using primary sources and artifacts to teach colonial Virginia. I agree with many teachers on emphasizing labor in Virginia and the development of slavery.

I really liked the idea about using De Bry's engraving. It would be a great introduction to colonization-asking students to look for possible reasons people should come to the Virginia colony. I also agree that mostly our SOL's skip over Bacon's Rebellion, know more about it could give students more insight.

I've always taught Bacon's Rebellion and think it is a good lesson in getting the students to understand why the development and sustaining of a middle class is so important for societies.

I like the idea of giving students pictures or actual artifacts and having them brainstorm in a list that can be converted into an essay for learning about what happened. I would have them research their information and compare the facts to what they brainstormed.

I like the idea of comparing and contrasting slavery with indentured servitude. It should be a good discussion. Someone mentioned having people from the Jamestown Foundation come in to the class to share objects to discuss. If we can not do this in person I wonder if they have a way to virtually join my class.

I, too, really loved the idea of comparing and contrasting indentured servants versus enslaved. I think I would have this be a partner assignment, then time for sharing with whole class.

@NatashaR, I really like your bar graph and timeline activities that you suggested. I have not taught History in a decade, and many of my ideas are definitely geared toward Mathematics. I think it may be interesting to examine different types of graphs in History. They could show data in pie graphs, bar graphs, etc. I love your idea of the timeline. I would like to construct one that goes around the classroom with students adding to it as they learn about new events in Virginia History.

@KasandraB, I like your idea about the usage of a Venn Diagram from elementary students of the lower grades. I think it helps them to organize their thoughts when we ask them to compare and contrast in this way.

@Zford, I don't think that I really learned about Bacon's Rebellion until college. I like your idea about a debate. Students enjoy getting to express different viewpoints in this manner.

I didn't hear of this until high school and didn't clearly see the connection (colonist/Indian)until it was explained here. The Indian connection would be yet another avenue for students to explore.

I love the idea of watching the population changes as the economics change. 80% of Virginia's population at one time were the result of indentured servants becoming land owners. Awesome!

I totally agree that kids love to explore and make their own hypothesis. I also love the idea of bringing their learning not only in the History block but also intertwine it in other subjects. This helps students understand the concept more.

I love how you would incorporate technology into your teaching. I find that when you utilize technology in the classroom it engages the student more. I also like how you have an idea of using debate in your room. I think that allowing the students to be responsible and defend their opinion helps strengthen their learning.

I really liked the idea mentioned above of actually taking students to a historical site in Virginia to allow them to see first-hand the materials that shaped our culture. As a teacher on the far southwestern side of the state, this is something most of my students have never been able to see in person. I believe seeing these objects for themselves would definitely spark interest in learning more about the story behind each artifact.

I never really appreciated the extent the indentured servant played in the initial development of Virginia. The conditions of ridiculously these workers has been under-described in past lessons that I have heard before, and the attrition rate of both settlers and indentured servant was ridiculously high, upwards to 90%! It's hard to imagine these people volunteering to travel to Virginia with casualty rates to high.

I agree that it would be very helpful to compare/contrast the experiences and purposes of slaves and indentured servants. It demonstrates how the American concept of 'race' was constructed through laws and served an economic purpose.

I love the idea of presenting both perspectives on Nathaniel Bacon. A vital aspect of understanding history is being able to understand the motivations behind each perspective.

I loved seeing the posts about field trips to Jamestown! I think that the kids would be so much more interested in seeing the dig sites if I would have used artifacts to get students thinking! I'm so glad I can improve my practices.

Instructions

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Beyond the Textbook: Colonial Labor
This page compares what textbooks say about labor in colonial America with the approach historians take which considers labor by women, Native Americans, and African Americans in addition to white males working outside the home. It also features primary sources that demonstrate the complexity of work in this period.

Slavery and the Making of America
This companion website to the PBS television show Slavery and the Making of America relates experiences of slaves in America featuring audio of oral histories collected through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s.

Colonial Teenagers
Historian Ellen Holmes Pearson provides insights into the lives of teenagers in colonial North America.