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