Colonial Virginia
Colonial Virginia - Wrapup
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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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Grade level
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Intergalactic
Elementary
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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!

Instructions

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